With their first-round pick seemingly on the block, the Sixers may need to cash in on their second-rounder. Here are 6 names to watch:
There is a ton of speculation regarding what the Sixers will do with their draft picks in the upcoming draft. With the rumors of the Sixers’ interest in trading their first-round pick heating up, the focus on adding talent may fall to their other selection with the 50th overall pick. One would think the Sixers will not walk away without making a selection in the draft, so here are six targets for the Sixers in the final round:
Filip Petrusev – 6’11 Serbia
The big man, originally from Belgrade, Serbia, had a great year playing in Yugoslavia. Filip Petrusev averaged 23.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and shooting 41.9 percent from deep, earning him MVP of the Adriatic League.
Petrusev is the definition of a stretch 5 in today’s NBA standing at 6-foot-11 and 225 pounds. He can be a catch-and-shoot option off the bench as well as a lethal option in the pick and pop. He is a good finisher around the rim as well and even displays good passing for a big. Petrusev is a solid rebounder for his size, but if he’s able to add weight, he can be a nightmare on the glass.
Austin Reaves – 6’5 Oklahoma
Oklahoma’s Redshirt Senior led the team to the Round of 32 in the NCAA tournament. Averaging a team-high 18.3 points, 4.6 assists, and 5.5 rebounds a game. The 6-foot-6 guard has some shooting and athleticism concerns. Reaves did show promise on catch-and-shoot threes despite shooting 30.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Reaves is very good at scoring inside with his craftiness. He loves his step-through move to beat opponents near the rim. The combo guard can also create for others. He has good accuracy on kick-outs off drives. He will be mostly used as a catch and shoot wing earlier on in his career, which will fit well with the Sixers.
Aaron Henry – 6’6 Michigan State
Henry led Michigan State in points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks. Henry is a very good on-ball defender for his size. He stands at 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds. He has great feet, which lets him stay with quick guards.
Henry is good on closeouts forcing opposing players inside and off the three-point line. Which is ideal with an anchor like Joel Embiid behind him. Henry is a streaky shooter but has the tools to be a good 3-and-D player. As seen below, he is not afraid to attack the rim.
Isaiah Livers – 6’7 Michigan
Isaiah Livers is the type of player who is slept on every year in the draft. He may lack the eye-popping size and athleticism that NBA front offices obsess over, but this does not change the fact that the Michigan forward can ball. Livers does all the little things the team needs and is a model of efficiency as he shot 46.5% from the field, 41.2% from beyond the arc, and 87% at the free-throw line throughout his four years in college. He stands 6’7 and could fill the role of a wing or small-ball power forward, which is a position of need for the Sixers.
His upside is fairly limited, which is why he has not drawn more draft attention, but Livers is an ideal fit for an NBA role player, which would make this an extremely successful pick. The 22-year-old took 51% of his shot attempts off the catch-and-shoot and can be effective without needing the ball a ton on offense. He is comfortable shooting from the corner and is unaffected by closeouts. Livers took 51% of his shot attempts off the catch-and-shoot this season and would be a great addition to the Sixers’ young core.
Sandro Mamukelashvili – 6’11 Seton Hall
His lack of lateral quickness and overall defensive concerns are likely the reason for this, but Sandro Mamukelashvili is a much better NBA prospect than he has been given credit for. He is an above-average ball-handler, possesses an impressive burst of speed, and is one of the best passers in the draft. Mamu spent four seasons at Seton Hall and averaged 17.5 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 3.2 assists his senior season. The Monteverde Academy graduate has point forward potential and could be the stretch big man that the Sixers have been in search of.
Mamu will likely be a fan-favorite regardless of how his game translates, but his skill set is more than worth a flier on. His shooting stroke is somewhat inconsistent, as he shot 33.6% from beyond the arc last season, but he shot 43.4% his previous season. Mamu flashed his ability to play as a center and alongside a legitimate big man during his time at Seton Hall and would be an extremely versatile piece to add to the Sixers bench.
Kessler Edwards – 6’8 Pepperdine
The 20-year-old is an interesting player who averaged 17.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 1 steal per game in his last season at Pepperdine. He is a bit of a “tweener” who will likely be best suited in the NBA as a stretch forward. Kessler Edwards attacks the basket well with his long strides and also has flashes pick and pop potential. He has a unique shot with a hop-like base where he lands with his legs feet in front of one another, but it has no serious mechanical concerns.
Defensively, Edwards moves his feet well and makes high IQ decisions. He sometimes struggles when matched up with quicker guards as he can be caught flat-footed in these situations. The Pepperdine product is unlikely to develop into more than a complementary player, but he could grow to be effective in this role. Edwards has the frame of an NBA player and is worth exploring what he could develop into.