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?
If you haven’t read it already, make sure you’re caught up on spots 20-16 here: “Ranking the Sixers best draft picks since 2000: #20-16“
#15. Richaun Holmes
One of the famous “Sam Hinkie specials”, selecting center Richaun Holmes in the second round of the 2015 draft turned out to be an absolute steal. Holmes struggled to really find a permanent role on the Sixers during his first few seasons in the league, as he battled with injuries and frequently made visits to the G-League.
However, following a short stint in Phoenix (traded away from Philly in 2018), Holmes finally started to find his footing. Currently set to rejoin the Sacramento Kings down in Orlando for the NBA’s restart, Holmes has been putting up career-highs across the board (12.8 PTS, 8.3 REB, 1.4 BLK).
While he’s unfortunately not playing in Philadelphia anymore, this was no doubt a home run of a pick in the second round. At still just 26 years old, Holmes has a ton of time to develop into a legit NBA starter.
#14. Michael Carter-Williams
Since 1963 (when the franchise became the “Philadelphia 76ers”), only three Sixers have won the NBA’s “Rookie of the Year” award. That list includes Allen Iverson, Ben Simmons, and Michael Carter-Williams.
While most fans may view the pick as a “flop”, it actually worked out pretty well for Philly all things considered. Not only did MCW win ROTY despite being the 11th overall pick in 2013, but Sam Hinkie was able to flip him for a future first-round pick despite him experiencing some injury concerns.
Not bad for an overall average player who was picked outside of the top ten.
#13. Matisse Thybulle
Arguably one of Elton Brand’s best moves since taking over as general manager, trading up a few spots for Matisse Thybulle has proved to be the steal of last year’s draft. Not only has Thybulle been able to contribute since day one, but he is also oozing with potential.
The former 2x Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year has done nothing but excel since debuting. When compared to other rookies, he ranks towards the top of the league in steals, blocks, and deflections. Thybulle projects to be a legit building block for the Sixers moving forward, and snagging him at pick #20 was a great decision.
#12. Shake Milton
Similar to that of Marial Shayok (#20 on this list), Shake Milton really hasn’t proven a whole lot in the NBA just yet. However, considering there’s legit conversation being had on if he deserves to start in the playoffs this year, I would say drafting him at pick #54 was a pretty solid decision.
Selected at the back end of the second-round in 2018, Milton has had an up and down path to the NBA. After dominating the G-League in his rookie season, he suffered two serious injuries heading into 2019. Once he recovered, he had to fight hard to get any sort of playing time.
Primarily only getting action due to Ben Simmons being hurt, Milton absolutely took the world by storm. Averaging 19+ through the final few games, Milton looks like a genuine NBA starter moving forward. Getting a player of his abilities so late in the draft is a massive win.
#11. Samuel Dalembert
While Samuel Dalembert was never “great” by any stretch of the imagination, he was the definition of consistent.
Drafted with the 26th pick in the 2001 NBA draft, Dalembert went on to start 491 games for the 76ers. During this eight year span, Dalembert averaged 8.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game. Dalembert even led the league in games played for four straight consecutive seasons, playing in all 82 games each year (2006-2010).
When drafting towards the end of the first round like the Sixers were in 2001, getting a consistent eight year starter like Dalembert should always be viewed as a success.
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