Five second-round prospects the Sixers need to consider

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 08 Beehive Classic – Utah State v Weber State
SALT LAKE CITY, UT – DECEMBER 08: Utah State Aggies guard Sam Merrill (5) shoots a free throw during a game between the Weber State Wildcats and the Utah State Aggies on December 08, 2018, at Vivint Smart Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.(Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire)

Udoka Azubuike – C – Kansas 

The Sixers have the best center in the league with Joel Embiid and easily one of the best players in the NBA in general, but even he needs a rest during games and the Sixers are struggling in that department. Al Horford can keep the boat steady…ish for now but they need a guy for the future. Well, step up Udoka Azubuike. 

Udoka is a 7 foot tall, 275 pound monster at center and has been bruising teams all across the college system during his time in Kansas. I’m a sucker for an old school player and that’s exactly what Udoka is, he is easily one of the strongest and most powerful players I’ve ever seen, it truly scares me when he posts up players in the paint. He easily overpowers his matchups and with a wingspan of 7 foot 5, rebounding comes quite easily to him. 

His size surprisingly doesn’t hurt him too much as an athlete, he’s pretty speedy for his size and leaps pretty quickly too. If he starts going in the lane, no opponent will want to get in his way and he genuinely seems to love getting hit by opponents. I love his patience on the court too, he knows what role he has to play and won’t force shots or become almost cocky on the court given his sheer size and power. 

The main reason he will fall quite far in the second round is the fact that he’s incredibly raw and will need a fair amount of time to develop for the NBA, he’s a work in progress and may not develop into the highest scorer in the game but what he will give you is a bruising, old school center that will be a great addition to the Sixers rotation for when Embiid finally decides he needs to rest. 

Markus Howard – PG – Marquette 

The Sixers have one of the best point guards in the league with Ben Simmons, and although they’ve experimented with him at other positions since they drafted him, he’s meant to be a point guard and the focal point of the team. However, when he’s off the court, they have no real replacement for him and it’s about time they got one, which is where Markus Howard steps in. 

Like I said previously, the Sixers are in dire need of scorers and my god is Markus Howard a scorer. In 4 years at Marquette, he finished with a 44.4% 2 point shot, a 43.4% 3 point shot, and an 88.2% free throw percentage and he led the nation in scoring for the 2019-20 season.  

The main issue with him is his size and weight, at just 5 foot 11 and 175 pound, Howard will be a real liability on the defensive side of the ball and you can count him out if you want him to drive into the paint. However, with an incredibly smooth 3 point shot, alongside the fact that he’s extremely craft with his dribbles and shot creation, Howard could be a really great piece for the Sixers in years to come, especially off the bench. 

Jordan Nwora – SF – Louisville 

Now onto my final 2 round prospect and this one may not be an immediate need for the Sixers. At this current moment in time, Tobias Harris is the Sixers starting small forward and with Doc Rivers arriving in Philly, I’d imagine Harris is here to stay, even on that awful contract. However, why not add another small forward to the room with one of the best shooting power forwards in the class with Jordan Nwora. 

The Louisville small forward has an exceptional 3 point shot for his position and isn’t afraid to use his 6 foot 8, 225-pound frame to use and play with his back to the basket adding another dimension to his impressive scoring. His scoring potential will be the biggest selling point for teams and obviously, the Sixers will be scoring buyers during this offseason. 

There are two main issues with Nwora though. He is on the older side compared to the other prospects in the draft, being born in 1998 and also struggles at being a run jump athlete that could hurt him on the defensive side of the ball. However, his great strength, quickness, and the fact he’s showing great improvement every season he’s played will definitely help the Sixers and their small forward core in the future. 

Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire

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