Sixers 2024 Draft: Four international second round targets

Sixers Daryl Morey 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers’ Daryl Morey speaks during a news conference before an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Friday, Feb. 9, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Whether Daryl Morey and Elton Brand are seeking immediate talent to complement Nick Nurse’s Philadelphia 76ers next season or a draft-and-stash to boost the international pipeline for future Sixers’ seasons, the front office will be able to either of the two with the 41st overall pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

The pick was acquired from Boston in early February in exchange for 21-year-old former first-round pick Jaden Springer. Morey has a history of drafting prospects who played overseas, including Isaiah Hartenstein, Clint Capela, and Filip Petrusev.

The front office sees the draft-and-stash as an opportunity to add talent under team control without counting towards roster limits and the salary cap. Generally, this talent gains value as they age and become closer to coming over to the States and can be used as trade chips. The following will concisely explore four of the top international prospects who could be available for the Sixers in the middle of the second round.

Pacome Dadiet

Shades of: Nicolas Batum, Trevor Ariza, Ben Sheppard

Dadiet is a six-foot, eight-inch French wing who last played in Germany for Ratiopharm Ulm. The projected second-round pick will turn 19 years old this summer. Dadiet projects in a 3-and-D role with the potential to compete for rotation minutes early in his NBA career. Dadiet will bring a well-rounded skillset to his next team as he is unlikely to be stashed overseas—at the NBA Draft Combine, Dadiet commented on his NBA readiness to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, “The NBA is my plan A. I do not have a plan B.”

Dadiet is more impactful on the offensive end of the floor but projects as a plus-defender due to his size, mobility, and wingspan. His offensive game features the ability to beat a defender in isolation, pull-up and catch-and-shoot threes, and frequent off-ball cutting. The young wing is capable of getting to the rim and finishing over defenders by using his six-foot, nine-inch wingspan. While Dadiet plays active, hands-on defense, he often experiences lapses of inconsistency, mostly due to risk-taking. In the NBA, his risk-taking defensively will lead to blown coverages and/or fouls.

Dadiet appeared in 59 games for Ratiopharm Ulm this season and averaged 15.3 minutes per game. He recorded 6.6 points and 2.3 rebounds per game while shooting 50.2 percent from the field, including 35.8 percent from three on 2.3 attempts per game. While nothing leaps off the page, Dadiet’s three-point attempt rate of 49.1 percent is notable–nearly half of his shots were attempted from beyond the arc. This is encouraging for his fit in Philly as he could space the floor for Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, leading to open kick-outs to Dadiet in the corners as the defense collapses.

The widely assumed departure of free agent Tobias Harris will open up minutes in the Sixers’ rotation. Additionally, if the front office is unwilling to bring back any of Nicolas Batum, Kelly Oubre, or KJ Martin, Dadiet could feasibly slot into any of those vacated roles. Unfortunately, consensus mock drafts have Dadiet picked before the Sixers at 41, but a fall or trade is not impossible.

Juan Nunez

Shades of: TJ McConnell, Tre Jones, Josh Giddey

Nunez was a teammate of Pacome Dadiet for Ratiopharm Ulm last season. The six-foot, four-inch point guard just turned 20 and is a draft-and-stash candidate. The Spanish lefty projects as a rotational point guard once he takes the NBA leap, but he just signed a one-year deal with Barcelona. With effective timing and decision-making, Nunez showcases a veteran-like ability to run the pick-and-roll.

In 54 games last season, Nunez played 23.1 minutes per game and recorded 9.9 points on 47 percent shooting from the field, 3.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 1.7 steals per game. While his proficiency to run the pick-and-roll is clear, Nunez is a willing but relatively inefficient shooter. In Germany, he shot an unimpressive 31.9 percent from three on 2.6 attempts per game. Unlike Dadiet, who shot a promising 74.4 percent on 1.4 free throws per game, Nunez shot a discouraging and concerning 60.7 percent on 2.7 free throws per game.

With uncertainty surrounding the status of Maxey’s primary backup for the future, Nunez could be the long-term solution.

Nikola Djurisic

Shades of: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Malik Monk, Hugo Besson

Djurisic is a six-foot, seven-inch Serbian wing who last played for KK Mega Basket in Serbia. The club, formerly known as Mega Leks, may be familiar to some Sixers fans due to Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Filip Petrusev playing there in the past. The 20-year-old scorer is a draft-and-stash candidate.

On an NBA court, Djurisic projects as a versatile weapon on offense due to his impressive ability to score at all three levels. The bucket-getter can finish in traffic and has a quick release on his jumpers from deep. Furthermore, when playing off-ball, which will happen frequently in the NBA, Djurisic displayed a cromulent ability as a cutter.

In 36 games, Djurisic averaged 29.9 minutes per game and recorded 14.8 points per game on 44.4 percent shooting from the field. Additionally, he shot a disappointing 30.5 percent from three on 3.6 attempts per game. From the line, the young scorer shot 76.3 percent on 5.2 attempts per game. Also, he averaged 2.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.

With his combination of size and mobility, Djurisic should grow into a more impactful and reliable defender. At the NBA Draft Combine, he tied projected lottery pick Devin Carter for the third-fastest lane agility time in the class behind projected top ten picks Dalton Knecht and KJ Simpson, a six-foot point guard.

Melvin Ajinca

Shades of: Dorian Finney-Smith, Dean Wade, PJ Tucker

The least-polished prospect of the four, Ajinca, almost certainly will be a draft-and-stash. With the previous three prospects, a reasonable argument could be made for them to leap to the NBA immediately. With Ajinca, that argument is less realistic. He is cousins with former NBA big man Alexis Ajinca, who played for Charlotte, Dallas, Toronto, and New Orleans across his seven-season career. The six-foot, seven-inch lefty turns 20 years old on the same day as Round One of the NBA Draft.

The French wing will attack the rim if given any space and is an effective pull-up and catch-and-shoot three-point shooter. While a young, raw prospect, Ajinca has accepted his role as a floor spacer, and plays under control.

In 35 appearances playing for Saint-Quentin in France this past season, the shooter played 24.8 minutes per game while averaging 10.2 points on 39.9 percent shooting from the field, along with 3.5 rebounds per game. Also, Ajinca shot 2.0 free throws per game at an 81.4 percent clip. Additionally, the projected second-rounder shot 35.7 percent from three on 5.6 attempts per game. His three-point attempt rate was an eye-opening 68.1 percent, which certainly has drawn the attention of NBA scouts. While having poor defensive metrics, Ajinca still possesses theoretical defensive upside due to his build.

In a strong international draft class, the Sixers have a chance at adding meaningful talent in the second round. With a roster devoid of depth, these upcoming draft decisions could be thrust into roles early in their NBA careers. The second round of the NBA Draft will air live on ESPN at 4:00 pm ET on June 27th. For continued Sixers coverage and other Philly sports content, visit PhillySportsNetwork.com!