The Sixers are in the midst of the hunt for prime playoff seeding. They are only half a game behind the Miami Heat for the fourth seed but face a new challenge while trying to catch up. Ben Simmons is dealing with a lower back injury that could be something or could be nothing. If it is serious, the Sixers will have a hard time overcoming this latest obstacle.
Instead of focusing on the negative, let’s take our first look at some players who may find themselves on the Sixers’ roster next season. I don’t expect the Sixers to keep all of their picks but we’ll assume they do for this first mock.
First Round – None
The Sixers do not have their own first round pick this year due to the Tobias Harris trade. The team does own the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Pick but it is top 20 protected, meaning that the Sixers won’t own it unless the pick is 21st or higher. Currently it is at 20 so this is something to keep an eye on as the season continues.
Second Round – 34th Overall
The Sixers currently have four-second picks and again I doubt they keep all of those picks but they may look to either draft and stash, sign two-way players or hopefully find a second-round steal.
The Pick – Cassius Winston (PG – Michigan State)
The Sixers may or may not have a need at backup Point Guard depending on your opinion of Shake Milton. I have a high opinion of Milton but I also value guards like Winston, tough-nosed, high IQ kind of guards. Is he limited physically? Sure. Will he fight tooth and nail every minute he’s on the floor? You better believe it. Cerebral is the word that comes to mind, that mixed with his obvious shooting/passing skill make me believe that Winston’s ceiling is closer to Fred VanVleet than Frank Mason III.
If Winston is available which I believe he will be, the Sixers would be foolish to pass up on the opportunity.
Second Round – 35th Overall
The Pick – Jordan Nwora (SF – Louisville)
With the Sixers filling positional needs at Power Forward and Point Guard, they now turn to a more general need, shooting. Smith and Winston are quality shooters but it is something an NBA team can never have enough of and Jordan Nwora fits the bill. Additionally at 6’7.5″ with a 6’10” wingspan, Nwora has an NBA body already with enough athleticism to make an impact.
Nwora is limited in what he brings to the table but what he does, he does well. Currently shooting 41.6% from three for the Cardinals, Nowara is projected to be a quality shooter at the NBA level. While he has his faults, the shooting potential along with his measurements make Nwora a worthy prospect.
Second Round – 51st Overall
The Pick – Udoka Azubuike (C – Kansas)
The Sixers have a need for a defensive-minded backup Center and Udoka Azubuike is just that, Azubuike also weighs over 270lbs. While that certainly adds to his physical strength, I would like to see him lose a bit just so he can run with a little more ease. Azubuike doesn’t add much in terms of offensive versatility but he brings efficiency along with a strong defensive presence. Udoka could easily sign a two-way deal with the Sixers and work out with the Sixers/Blue Coats staff until he’s a little more NBA ready.
Second Round – 58th Overall
The Pick – Myles Powell (PG – Seton Hall)
If the Sixers keep the 51st and 58th picks, expect them to either sign two-way contracts or just not make the team. Hoping that they at least sign a two-way deal Myles Powell would make a great addition. A score-first guard with some fight, Powell is a real bucket getter but he needs to refine his skills to succeed at the NBA level. He’s a volume scorer and his lack of size and polish mean he likely won’t have the minutes need to make an impact. If Powell can improve his game in the G-League for a year or two he has a real chance of contributing to a roster. It may be a stretch but any player drafted here is drafted this low for a reason. Committing to developing a player like Powell could pay dividends years down the line for the Sixers.
A lot will happen between now and draft season. The odds of Sixers have all five of these picks at the spots they’re at currently are roughly none to none but it’s good to have an idea of the players potentially available in the team’s draft range.
There will be more mock drafts as we come closer and closer to the draft but until next time, if there is anyone you feel would make a great addition to the team that was not listed, be sure to mention them in the comments.
Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports