With hype around this year’s NBA Draft beginning to build, what better time to look back at some of the Sixers’ finest selections over the last 20 years?
#20. Marial Shayok
Marial Shayok has only played ten actual NBA minutes, yet he’s already looking like a gem of a draft pick.
Selected towards the very end of the 2019 second-round, Shayok has done nothing but impress since entering the 76ers’ organization. Averaging over 20 points per game playing in the G-League this year, Shayok possesses a unique set of skills that make him a lethal all-around scorer. He shot over 45% from the field and over 35% from three.
Shayok has yet to make any sort of serious NBA impact yet, but his future looks extremely bright. Considering how things worked out for former Blue Coat standout Shake Milton, expect Shayok to see an increased role in the future.
#19. Furkan Korkmaz
Despite finally popping this past season, it took Furkan Korkmaz longer than preferred when it came to developing into a legit role player. A first-round pick during the 2016 draft, Korkmaz battled injuries and a lack of playing time during his first two professional seasons. After seeing his team option declined following the 2019 playoffs, he was all set to return home to Turkey.
Luckily for both Korkmaz and the Sixers, they agreed upon a last-second deal. Since then, he’s averaged career-highs pretty much across the board, emerging into the team’s primary sixth man.
If it wasn’t for those shaky first two seasons, he would likely have landed higher on this list.
#18. Landry Shamet
Sixers fans have a tendency to act like Elton Brand traded away Michael Jordan himself when talking about the Shamet-for-Tobias Harris deal. In all reality, Shamet was a nice pick, but nothing too special.
Taken with the 26th pick in the 2018 draft, Shamet proved to be a reliable sharpshooter off the bench for Philly. However, after just 54 games, he was sent to Los Angeles in a multi-asset trade which saw the Sixers land Tobias Harris.
Shamet is still a solid shooter for the Clippers, but he’s seen his role start to lessen with the acquisition of guys like Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, and Reggie Jackson. When talking about the Sixers, this turned out as a “win” scenario considering Elton Brand was able to use a late first-round selection to acquire a 19+ PPG scorer in Harris.
#17. Willie Green
One of the more underrated Sixers from the last two decades, Willie Green was one of the better late round “gems” that the Sixers hit on in the 2000s
A second-round draft pick in 2003, Green went on to play seven seasons with the Sixers. During that time he averaged 9.4 points per game and shot over 45% from the field. Bouncing back and forth between starting SG and sixth man, Green was about as good of a player you could ask for when taking a guy 40 picks deep in a draft class.
Green also served as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, winning NBA championships in both 2017 and 2018.
#16. Marreese Speights
A first-round pick in 2008, Mareese Speights never truly lived up to the hype in Philadelphia. Acting primarily as a backup, Speights was traded away after just three short seasons as a 76er. However, Speights’ post-Philly career turned out to be far more lucrative.
After brief stints in Cleveland and Memphis, the veteran center landed with the Golden State Warriors. Averaging a career-high 10.4 points per game coming off the bench in 2014-15, Speights earned himself the nickname “Mo’ Buckets”.
A fan favorite amongst the loyal Golden State crowd, Speights played a crucial bench role during the Warriors’ championship run in 2015. While he never lived up to his first-round status, that NBA finals ring that he gets to wear speaks for itself.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
David is a 20 year old college student at the University of Maryland. A lifelong Philadelphia sports fan who started covering the teams back in late May of 2019. After just a few months of writing for fun on a personal blog, he now reports on the 76ers for PhillySportsNetwork.com and the Phillies for Fansided.com.