The Sixers hold the 28th overall selection in this month’s Draft. One player the team could draft is Nah’Shon “Bones: Hyland from VCU.
Despite controlling a late first-round pick, there is expected value even at 28 that could aid Daryl Morey and the front office in filling out roster holes. Prospects Nah’Shon “Bones” Hyland, Tre Mann, and Cam Thomas, if available, could be amongst the Sixers’ targets.
The team also possesses the Knicks’ second-round pick at 50th overall, which was acquired by Sam Hinkie in a 2015 Draft-night trade. The following will provide more details on one of the previously mentioned Sixers’ potential draft targets, Bones Hyland from VCU.
Getting to Know Bones
The Wilmington, Delaware native was named 2019 Delaware Player of the Year for his performance at St. Georges Tech. The sharpshooting 173-pound guard has an impressive 6-foot 9-inch wingspan while standing at 6-feet 3.5-inches. At June’s Draft Combine, Hyland was interviewed by ESPN’s Mike Schmitz. At one point, Schmitz asked about Hyland’s path through Delaware, to which Bones replied,
“I’m from Wilmington, Delaware; it’s a small city…small city big dreams. You got to have that chip on your shoulder; you got to be a dog, honestly. I got it from the ground up and now I’m here.”
In high school, Hyland was rated a four-star recruit. He even also received offers from programs such as Temple, UConn, and Boston College. The current 20-year-old ultimately committed to VCU, where he spent two seasons. Next, those seasons will be briefly examined.
Hyland’s VCU Career
As a freshman, the long-ranged shooter played 20.6 minutes per game while scoring 9.0 points per game with a 43.4% three-point success rate on 4.7 attempts per game. In a season where Hyland broke VCU’s freshman threes record, the rookie was awarded by being named to the Atlantic 10 Conference All-Rookie Team.
During the marksman’s sophomore campaign, his playing time ballooned to 31.9 minutes per game. This increase in playing time allowed for a growth in production. Hyland averaged 19.5 points, 1.9 steals, and shot 37.1% from three on 7.8 threes attempted per game. This stat line earned the VCU Ram 2021 Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year honors.
Hyland added muscle in-between seasons. His freshman year, his listed weight was 165 pounds. The three-level scorer weighed in at 173 pounds as a sophomore. The eight-pound gain appeared to benefit Hyland. He seemed to be slightly more willing to attack the rim and was noticeably more receptive to contact while finishing. Additionally, the work ethic required to add those eight pounds of muscle should have NBA General Managers encouraged.
Hyland’s draft projections range from the late first round to the middle of the second round. Fortunately for the Sixers, they fall within that range of outcomes. With the current state of the roster being shaky besides Joel Embiid, Hyland’s skillset could be extremely useful for Doc Rivers and the Sixers. If Morey were to pull off a Ben Simmons trade and/or is able to package for a more reliable star, that would, theoretically, open up roles in the rotation. Furthermore, Danny Green is a controversial free agent whose absence in Philly would be costly. However, Hyland could potentially contribute to filling a role in the rotation if free agency ends unfavorably in Philly.
Throughout his two years at VCU, Bones displayed a promising rate of improvement. Along with added muscle, Hyland saw his free throw attempts rise in his second season. After averaging a diminutive 0.8 free throw attempts as a freshman, that number jumped to 4.5 attempts as a sophomore. Similarly, Hyland’s two-point percentage surged to 53.9% in his sophomore season, from 43.0% as a freshman. This progression is certainly eye-catching for NBA front offices.
Bones Hyland’s skillset is highly-coveted across the NBA, as the VCU product can be a solid playmaker, an elite floor spacer, and has the ability to effectively defend at the point of attack. Don’t be surprised if Hyland goes before pick 28 on draft night; the impending rookie has already attended pre-draft workouts with a handful of teams. But, if he undeservingly falls similar to Tyrese Maxey last year, don’t be surprised if the Sixers’ front office phones connect with Bones.