A Sixers-centric guide to March Madness: Prospects to watch

One of the best times of the year is finally rolling around. As the Sixers are enjoying their All-Star break, college basketball is still in full swing. March Madness, arguably the best tournament in all of sports, is around the corner. With the top 16 teams now selected, it’s time to direct our attention to some players to watch.

As a side note, the Sixers traded away their first-round pick in this upcoming draft to the Clippers in the Tobias Harris deal. This pick was then swung to the Nets by the Clippers at the draft but is protected. If the pick ends up as a lottery pick, then it stays with Philly.

First-round prospects can be found on the first page, the second round on page two.

Draft Picks:

We are now reaching the fun drafting years in Philly. Sam Hinkie is gleaming down somewhere, as the Sixers are drowning in second-round draft picks from previous deals.

There is a chance that the Thunders’ first-round pick becomes Philadelphia’s. Right now, the Thunder sit at pick 20. If they fall outside the top 20 range, then it becomes Philadelphia. And as mentioned above, Philly is most likely going to not have their own first-rounder.

As of now, the Sixers hold three picks in the second round.

  • Atlanta’s 2020 2nd round pick to Philadelphia protected for selections 56-60 or to Boston protected for selections 31-55 (Atlanta’s obligation to Philadelphia or Boston will thereafter be extinguished)
  • Philadelphia will receive the more favorable of Brooklyn’s 2020 2nd round pick and New York’s 2020 2nd round pick and Boston will receive the less favorable of the two (via Philadelphia to Orlando to Charlotte)
  • L.A. Lakers’ 2020 2nd round pick to Philadelphia (via Orlando)

Data retrieved from https://basketball.realgm.com/nba/draft/future_drafts/detailed

The second round is where Elton Brand will look to do his damage. Last year, Brand made many draft-night trades, and who knows what he can do this year with potentially three second-rounders.

Potential First Rounders:

This section is a big “what-if.” If the Sixers do get a first-round pick, it will likely fall right around the low 20’s. Oklahoma City will need to move up in the West if the Sixers want their pick.

Jalen Smith, Maryland

Jalen Smith is one of the key contributors to Maryland basketball’s success this season. The Sophomore, 6’10, 225-pound power forward is averaging 15.2 points per game, shooting about 54% from the floor.

Smith makes the game look easy, and flies past the eye test. His athleticism and agility are one of a wing player. His size allows him to fight for the offensive glass and feast on many put-back dunks. He falls outside the lottery pick range because of his lack of upper body strength. Smith would be a great piece to immediately stabilize the Sixers’ bench.

Jahmi’us Ramsey

The freshman out of Texas Tech would be a steal in the twenties for the Sixers. His natural athleticism is as high as anyone else’s in the upcoming draft. His 6’3, 195-pound frame may not scream “defense,” but his athleticism makes up for it.

On the season, the freshman is averaging 15.7 points per game and is shooting 45.5% from deep. With a little help in the G-League, Ramsey could become a solid shooter off the bench. Ramsey is an impact player as soon as he steps on the floor. His intense energy and hustle provide a spark for his teammates. He can guard multiple positions and is always looking to attack the rim.

Vernon Carey Jr., Duke

Personally, I would be all for the Sixers taking a scoring big man with a first-round pick in this draft. The film on Carey speaks for itself:

The big man does not fall for pump fakes, has super quick feet, and has great defensive instincts. Carey would fit right in with the Sixers’ style of play. On the season, he is having a stellar year with the Duke Blue Devils. The freshman is averaging 17.6 points while tacking on two blocks and a steal per game. His NBA potential is high, but skyrockets when you add in his .429 shooting percentage from three.

Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Second round prospects are featured on the second page below.

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