76ers

One may not be enough: Sixers could acquire another draft pick

One may not be enough: Sixers could acquire another draft pick

CAMDEN, N.J. — Are the Sixers done making first-round trades? Maybe not.

Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said there may be even more moves in their future shortly after the the team announced it had acquired the No. 1 pick in the draft from the Celtics.

"I think whether we are selecting No. 1 or just staying at three, there's been some talk about our interest in acquiring yet another pick, and I'm not going to give up those efforts because we have moved up to No. 1," Colangelo said Monday afternoon. 

The Sixers will draft first overall for the second straight year. They sent the Celtics the No. 3 pick and a protected future first-round pick to make the deal happen ahead of Thursday night (see the multitude of terms here). The Sixers are expected to select Washington guard Markelle Fultz. Colangelo didn't name specific players when discussing the trade.

Colangelo sees the 2017 draft class as far deeper than No. 1. He previously said there were "six or seven" players the Sixers were considering for the third spot. Now that the Sixers hold the top pick, he isn't ignoring the rest of the talent still out there. 

"I feel that in the top five or six, within the top 10, there's five or six All-Stars, surefire All-Stars," Colangelo said. "There may be one or two franchise-level players. On Thursday night, we will make a decision and make an announcement that results in one of those franchise-level players."

The Sixers are set with first-round picks for the foreseeable future. The team could wait another year or more to see where those selections fall, but there's a chance it won't delay. 

"I always feel that future assets are just that: They're future assets," Colangelo said. "But when you can look at a group of talent in this particular draft and know that you have a comfort level with who those players are, grab them, grab them while you can because it's a known quantity."

The Sixers still have trade bait after swapping the third pick. Of the two acquired from the Lakers and Kings, they had to give only one to the Celtics. They also have four second-round picks in this year's draft and not enough roster space to use all of them for next season. 

"Some bids have come in and now we are assessing and evaluating all of the alternatives," Colangelo said of the second-rounders.

Then there are current players who could be packaged. Jahlil Okafor's future with the Sixers still remains uncertain. They have remained open to a trade after they were unable to move him at the deadline. A player like Nik Stauskas, who boosted his value last season and has an expiring contract, also could be appealing to another team.  

One question has been answered, but plenty remain leading up to the draft. What is known is the Sixers believe their newly acquired No. 1 pick will be key in bolstering the organization. 

"The good news is we still have a plethora of other assets to continue to be available for us and to us as we continue to look at building this team into a championship organization," Colangelo said. "Most importantly, we're taking the next step, I believe, in formulating a solid young core of players that ultimately will lead to a successful and sustainable product. That's our goal and that's where we want to be. With the certainty of No. 1, we know we control our circumstances."

Sixers' turnover-filled nightmare comes with silver lining

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AP Images/ USA Today Images

Sixers' turnover-filled nightmare comes with silver lining

Brett Brown sat at the podium with a puzzled look on his face as he stared at the box score.

Sure, he’d likely already been told that the Sixers had a season-high 27 turnovers in their 106-102 Game 4 win over the Miami Heat. But it’s one thing to hear it from someone else and another to see it written down in black and white.

“The fact that you can actually win a playoff game with this volume of turnovers is mind-boggling,” Brown said.

The Sixers’ level of carelessness on Saturday was equally astonishing.

For three quarters, the Sixers resembled the regular-season version of the team we have become accustomed to seeing over the years under Brown. They had the ball stolen on dribble moves and their passes intercepted. They had passes sail out of bounds and committed offensive fouls.

Simply put, the Sixers were tripping over themselves to give the ball back to the Heat.

“The first three periods, I was shocked to look up at the scoreboard and not feel like you’re just down 15, 14, 18 given the way the game went,” Brown said.

“I’m shocked that we won this game. We really didn’t have a right to win this game. I thought that, defensively, in the first three periods, we were a C-minus. I thought that our turnovers were an F.”

While a lot of that had to do with the Sixers’ own sloppiness, the Heat’s level of desperation was certainly a factor.

“Coming into this game this afternoon, you know you’re going to get the Miami Heat’s best,” Brown said. “It’s a culture of winning. They’ve won championships. Spo’s (Erik Spoelstra) a hell of a coach. You knew they were going to be all wound up. Like I said before, you didn’t have to be a mystic to guess what this was going to look like. 

“And they jumped us and we didn’t handle it well. We had multiple turnovers. I thought in Game 3 we responded to the physicality with only 12 and we did some things fundamentally more correct. There were several times in tonight’s game that they got the better of us and this environment got the better of us a little bit.”

Not when it mattered most.

The Sixers committed just three of those 27 turnovers in the fourth quarter as they dominated another final period to finish off the comeback.

And while the Sixers know they will never reach their playoff goals if they continue giving the ball away at such a rapid rate, they were pleased the team could stop the bleeding in crunch time with the game on the line.

“I think we did a great job of coming back, staying poised and playing as a team,” Ben Simmons said. “Going through our structured plays, whatever it is, defensively and offensively.” 

“I feel that we have been trending in a way that the fourth-period execution, the fourth-period mentality — defensively driven — has been our identity,” Brown said. “Then you go to the other side and say, well, we did a pretty good job of not turning the ball over. Three turnovers, by our standards, is an A-plus.”

Why Dwyane Wade thinks Sixers are 'special'

Why Dwyane Wade thinks Sixers are 'special'

MIAMI — For the 13 first rounds Dwyane Wade has played in, the current Sixers-Heat matchup has made a strong impression.

“They’re good,” Wade said. “They’re special. They’re a good group. They put the right team together.”

Sitting at the podium, Wade spent a good amount of time during his press conference praising the team that has put the Heat on the brink of elimination. He’s been on the winning side often, including three championships, so he recognizes a unique team when he sees it. 

“This definitely is one of the best first-round series I’ve ever played in, first-round opponent,” Wade said.

The Sixers have gone up 3-1 on the Heat with a roster that is balanced both positionally and in experience. Seven players finished in double digits Saturday and only veteran JJ Redick had more than 20 points. Ben Simmons, with whom Wade already has a relationship (see story), recorded his first career playoff triple-double (17 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists). He became the youngest player to do so since Wade’s former teammate LeBron James back in 2006. 

"I give a lot of credit to their point guard, their leader, Ben,” Wade said. “He does a great job of getting them settled, getting the ball to his guys, and keep feeding confidence to them.”

Wade described the Sixers as having “an edge.” They will use it to test the Heat Tuesday when the series returns to Philadelphia. Wade encourages his teammates to play with maturity and withstand the Sixers’ runs. The Heat split the first two games at the Wells Fargo Center. 

“They’re going to play with pace, play with speed, play physical,” Wade said. “Obviously they’re going to play with their crowd. It’s going to be a high energy type of game from them … All we’ve got to do is just worry about this one game and giving everything we have for that game. You walk out of that game, you gave everything you had, you can live with whatever result is there at the end.”

Wade, 36, has had vintage moments against the Sixers in this series. He led all players with 28 points off the bench in the Heat’s Game 2 win. On Sunday, he scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter alone. 

Asked about the possibility of this game against the Sixers being his last game in Miami playing for the Heat, Wade said, “I won’t answer that right now. I’ve got another game to play. I’m focused on the next game and trying to win that one.”

What he will answer is questions about his competition. 

"They’re a very good team," Wade said. "I can’t say nothing negative about them at all. So far they’ve been great opponents.”