If you’ve missed any of this series so far – fear not. As we enter the penultimate article in the series and dive into the top 10, here are the players we’ve ranked so far:
#10. Thaddeus Young
While many may view the “post-Iverson/pre-Embiid” Sixers as a bit of a disastrous time in the team’s history, it was by no fault of Thaddeus Young’s. The 12th overall pick in 2007, Young went on to have a string of successful seasons in Philadelphia.
Across seven years, Young averaged 13.7 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. During the 2013-14 season, Young set a career-high in points, averaging an impressive 17.9 points per game.
Ultimately, Young played in 516 games as a Sixer. Had the organization been in a better spot, he likely would have had some more playoff success as well. The longtime Sixer was also flipped for a future first-round pick in a multi-team trade during the 2014 offseason. Still playing in the league today, Young has been a solid piece for the Nets, Pacers, and Bulls in recent years.
#9. Dario Saric
While it maybe took Dario Saric a bit too long to actually come over to the United States, once he got here, it was clear the Sixers had made an excellent draft night decision in 2014.
Debuting in 2016, Saric would go on to average 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game through just over two seasons with the Sixers. He was a beautiful fit next to Joel Embiid down low, and the Philadelphia fanbase absolutely adored him.
On top of that, the Sixers were able to center a trade package around Dario in 2018 to land multi-time All-Star Jimmy Butler. While this trade ultimately didn’t pan out in a championship for Philly, any time you can turn draft picks into a proven All-Star should always be considered a success.
#8. Jerami Grant
Sam Hinkie was known for his ability to seek out lesser-known talent when he managed the Philadelphia 76ers, and Jerami Grant was one of the best examples of this. A second-round pick in 2014, Grant would not only eventually be flipped for a first-round pick, but he would also develop into one of the better sixth men in the NBA.
Entering the league at just 20 years old, Grant showed flashes of serious potential through his first two and a half seasons as a Sixer. Averaging 8.2 points and 1.4 blocks per game, Grant was seen as one of the more exciting two-way players in the league at the time.
Grant was traded for OKC’s protected 2020 first-rounder in 2016 (this pick was traded to Orlando before eventually being reacquired by the Sixers in 2019), and went on to get even better for both the Thunder and the Nuggets. Currently averaging 12 PPG and 4 REB, Grant is one of the Nuggets’ first choices coming off the bench.
#7. Nikola Vucevic
Considering Vucevic played in just 55 games as a 76er, it might seem a bit strange to see him ranked so highly on this list. However, considering what he developed into in the NBA post-Philly, it’s clear that he was a fantastic draft pick.
Taken with the 16th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft, Vucevic struggled to really find a role with Philadelphia. He was promptly traded away as the Sixers completed a multi-team disaster trade which saw them land Andrew Bynum.
Following his departure from Philly, Vucevic blossomed into one of the best centers in basketball. Averaging 16.0 points and 10.2 rebounds per game over the last 8 seasons with Orlando, Vucevic has consistently been a bright spot for the Magic.
Averaging 20.8 points and 12.8 rebounds per game in 2019, Vucevic was selected to his first All-Star game.
Hard to not feel like this was the “one that got away” when it came to the Sixers of the last decade.
#6. Kyle Korver
The Sixers traded cash to the New Jersey Nets on the night of the 2003 NBA draft for the rights to Kyle Korver. The Nets used that money to buy a new copier machine, while Korver hit 2,437 career three-pointers. Honestly hard to decide who got the better end of that deal.
The 51st overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft, Korver would go on to exceed any and all expectations during his professional basketball career. Not only did he finish his time in Philadelphia as one of the greatest shooters in franchise history, but he went on to have an exuberant amount of success on almost every team post-Sixers.
He led the NBA in 3P% on four separate occasions, made an All-Star game with Atlanta, and of course played in two NBA finals with the Cavaliers in 2017 and 2018.
The Sixers landing one of the greatest shooters in NBA history with the 51st overall pick is still one of the best draft night decisions the organization has made to this day.
Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports