Over the weeks leading up to the 2017 NBA draft, we'll be making cases for the Sixers to draft several prospects. Our series will kick off with options at No. 3 (or trade downs) followed by second-round possibilities. The 2017 NBA draft will take place on June 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.
Even with all of the noise surrounding him, Lonzo Ball's game did most of the talking during his lone season at UCLA.
The freshman sensation unleashed his unique skill set as he averaged 14.6 points, 7.6 assists (best in the nation), 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game.
With Ball drawing comparisons to some of the game's all-time greats such as Jason Kidd and Magic Johnson (and his father somewhere likely saying he's already better than both of them), the 19-year-old point guard is entering the league with supreme expectations.
The case for Ball
We all know the Sixers' carousel-like rotation at the PG slot during Brett Brown's tenure. Ball would solve those issues in a flash.
He provides supreme size and excellent decision making at the position. Plus, Ball's explosion once he gets a head of steam in the open court is something Brown would love since the coach wants his team to push the pace at all times.
Most importantly, Ball would give the Sixers a much-needed shot maker. He connected on 55.1 percent of his attempts from the field and 41.2 percent from three-point range last season on his way to being named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and first-team All-American.
The case against Ball
It's not often that a prospect's biggest weakness has nothing to do with him, but that is exactly the case for Ball.
Ball's outspoken father, LaVar, has rubbed some people the wrong way during the pre-draft process. There was the hilarious claim from LaVar that he would beat Michael Jordan one-on-one, the boast that Lonzo is better than Stephen Curry, billion-dollar asking prices for sneaker deals and much more.
As for Lonzo Ball's actual on-court weaknesses, there are a few.
The guard has a slender frame and lacks physicality, which can be exploited on defense (see De'Aaron Fox's 39-point masterpiece against UCLA in the NCAA Tournament). Ball also has a strange shooting motion that may be easy to block for taller NBA players.
Lastly, Ball has been known to display some of his California cool on the court at times with a nonchalant attitude and body language, which would certainly rub passionate fans like the Sixers' faithful the wrong way.
From an overall standpoint, you're not going to find players like Ball often in the draft.
The size, high basketball IQ, unselfishness and knock-down shooting are key components not typically found in a player at such a young age.
However, the baggage his father brings — primarily in the form of wanting his son to only play for their home-state Los Angeles Lakers — could push teams away.
If the Lakers pass on Ball at No. 2 — which they are reportedly leaning toward doing (see story) — the Sixers will have to seriously consider selecting the PG with the following pick. The basketball fit says yes, but the family fit could make it a no.