While it looks like the NBA is in fact on track to finish the 2019-20 season, this doesn’t take away from the fact that the Philadelphia 76ers have a daunting task ahead of them this offseason. Despite spending close to $300 million this past summer, it appears the team is in no better shape than it was two years ago when Brett Brown was trotting out guys like Dario Saric and Marco Belinelli as starters.
While the Sixers will likely be extremely active in the trade market as they try to offload some of their uglier contracts (Al Horford), the biggest opportunity the team has to improve in 2020 is without question the draft. Entering this year’s draft process with five total picks (including four in the top 50), the Sixers have a serious opportunity to add an influx of young talent to the roster.
One name that has popped up a ton recently when it comes to Sixers’ mock drafts is that of 21-year-old G/F Saddiq Bey. An absolute sharpshooter who played two years of college ball in Philadelphia (Villanova), it’s no surprise fans have been calling for him to land on the 76ers.
Up to this point, our Sixers team has completed draft profiles on seven different prospects in this year’s NBA draft. Saddiq Bey is without question the best player I’ve personally looked at thus far.
Averaging 16.1 points per game while shooting 45.1% from three on 5.6 attempts per game, he would be a dream fit next to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. His ability to space the floor and shoot at a high percentage is exactly what this current Sixers unit needs.
When it comes to projecting Bey’s landing spot in this year’s draft, it’s proving to be a bit more challenging than usual. Despite being ranked as the 47th overall prospect by NBA Draft Net, most mock drafts have him landing in the 15-20 range during the first round.
His elite shooting is simply going to be too good to pass up for most teams in that range.
The Sixers are currently projecting to be selecting at #22 in the first round, due to OKC’s pick conveying. With that in mind, any possibility of landing Bey and his services will likely require a trade-up. Elton Brand wasn’t afraid to pull the trigger last year for Matisse Thybulle, and he easily has the draft capital to move up once again.
Minnesota’s First-Round Pick (#16 overall)
Philadelphia’s First-Round Pick (#22 overall)
Philadelphia’s Second-Round Pick (#34)
Philadelphia’s Second-Round Pick (#36)
During last year’s draft, the Sixers moved up four spots to select Thybulle. They did so by swapping firsts with the Celtics while including pick #33. That gives us a pretty solid precedent for what the price of moving up would be around this range.
The Timberwolves are quite the mess right now, as they’ve utterly failed to build a functioning cast around Karl Anthony-Towns. They traded for DeAngelo Russell, but it’s hard to tell how much help he’ll truly be. They currently possess the #3 overall pick and are expected to select one of the higher-ranked players in the class.
Unless the T-Wolves are infatuated with someone at pick #16, moving down a few spots to acquire more players is the right play. They need to solidify the rest of their starting lineup and their bench moving forward as they attempt to get back into the playoffs.
Regardless of if trading up for the second year in a row is the right play or not, there is definitely a market for the Sixers to move up if they really want to. The front office clearly didn’t value their second-round picks last draft, and they could be operating in a similar mindset heading into 2021.
Sixers Draft Preview: Saddiq Bey: https://phillysportsnetwork.com/2020/05/02/sixers-draft-preview-saddiq-bey/
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports