Well, we’re here. After a rollercoaster ride of drafted talent, it’s time to rank the top 5 draft picks since 2000. In case you’ve missed any of the list so far, don’t worry, we have you covered!
#5. Jrue Holiday
At just 19 years old, Jrue Holiday was selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2009 draft. As the Sixers organization looked to rebuild around a new young cornerstone piece following the Allen Iverson era, it appeared like Holiday would be just that.
After steadily developing each year, Holiday’s Philly career culminated with a monster 2012 season. Averaging career-highs at the time in both points and assists, Holiday was selected to his first All-Star game, becoming the youngest All-Star in team history (22 years old).
Following his breakout season, Holiday was promptly traded away as new management entered the organization, but that didn’t stop his growth as a player. Holiday has averaged 17+ since being traded to the Pelicans, and has also been selected to two All-NBA Defensive teams.
#4. Lou Williams
Since entering the league in 2005, Lou Williams has: scored 14,424 total points, recorded 3,438 assists, hit 1,347 threes, and won three separate “Sixth Man of the Year” awards. The Sixers drafted him with the 45th overall pick…
The Sixers taking a stab on Williams midway through the second round in 2005 turned out to be one of the best decisions the organization has ever made. Not only was he an extremely productive scorer for the 76ers through his first seven seasons in the league, but he’s continued to remain one of the best bench scorers in the NBA to this day.
Considering how late in the draft the Sixers were able to get “Sweet Lou”, it’s hard not to view this as a top-four pick from the last 20 years.
#3. Andre Iguodala
Of all the players who cracked this list, Andre Iguodala is the only one with a Finals MVP.
Before he started winning championships with the Golden State Warriors, Iguodala was a 76er for eight consecutive seasons. Averaging 16 PTS, 6 REB, and 5 AST, “Iggy” was the best player on the Sixers for the better part of the 2000s. The Sixers made the playoffs five out of the eight years that Iguodala was in town.
Following his departure from Philadelphia in 2012, Iggy went on to win three NBA championships with Golden State, going head to head with LeBron James for a majority of those Finals matchups. Iguodala was also an All-Star in 2012, selected to the All-Rookie First Team in 2005, and made an All-Defensive First (2014) and Second Team (2011).
While he accomplished a majority of his achievements post-Philadelphia, he certainly ended up with a resume worthy of 2004’s ninth overall pick. Currently on the Miami Heat, there’s a chance he could add even more to his trophy case…
#2. Ben Simmons
Love him or hate him, Ben Simmons was an absolute home run of a pick in 2016.
With Joel Embiid already in town, the Sixers were looking for a proper “second star” to pair alongside him. After previously trading away guys like Michael Carter-Williams and Jrue Holiday, the organization was in the market for a new franchise point guard.
Taken with the first overall pick, Simmons has been racking up the accolades ever since debuting in 2017. Just three years into the league, Simmons has already made two All-Star games, the All-Rookie First Team, and won Rookie of the Year in 2017. His career average sits just below a triple-double (16/8/8) and he is currently leading the NBA in steals.
Lack of a jumper aside, Simmons is exactly what general managers dream of when selecting first overall. Not only was Simmons an instant star at just 21 years old, but his ceiling is borderline limitless.
#1. Joel Embiid
The “crown jewel” of the “Process” as Brett Brown likes to call him, the selection of Joel Embiid in 2014 completely turned the franchise around. After years and years of being mediocre, the team finally lucked out and Embiid slipped to them at #3 overall. Once he got healthy, there was no looking back for Embiid and the Sixers.
Since debuting in 2016, Embiid has consistently put himself at the top of the league when talking about big men in today’s game. His career averages sit at 24.1 PTS, 11.8 REB, and 1.8 BLK. He’s been selected to three consecutive All-Star games and has been named to a variety of All-NBA/All-Defensive/All-Rookie teams.
Without Embiid slipping to the Sixers in 2014, it’s scary to even think what the Sixers would look like currently. A superstar on both ends of the court, the only reason the oddsmakers continue to pick Philly as potential Finals contenders is due to the dominance JoJo can display at any given moment.
Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-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.