Updated: Friday, 12:10 a.m.
The Sixers on Thursday traded for the No. 25 overall pick, Latvian center Anzejs Pasecniks.
The Sixers traded the 2020 top-20 protected pick they acquired from the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jerami Grant this past season, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe. The Sixers have a crowded roster and will likely stash the 7-foot-2 Pasecniks overseas while he develops.
"Sometimes, especially an organization at the stage we're at in terms of building, you can only have so many young players," Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said. "The players in question are all subject to international contracts or contracts that would require buyouts. And perhaps there's even been some discussion with the representation or agents for those players that there's no intention to come over at this stage."
Pasecniks still has a year left on his contract for next season and also has a club option for the following season. He said he'd love to play in the NBA right away, but he understands it's the team's decision. He was just excited to be drafted by the Sixers.
"It was great," Pasecniks said of his name being called. "I think the moment they drafted me it was an amazing feeling. At this moment, I've still got a smile on my face."
Pasecniks weighs in at just 229 pounds, so his goal will be to gain strength to compete with NBA bigs. The 21-year-old Pasecniks is an athletic 7-foot-2 big that played on the Latvian national team with the Knicks' Kristaps Porzingis. Pasecniks said the two are friends and speak about once a week.
He spent last season overseas in the Liga ACB in Spain. Playing in the league's toughest division, his stats aren't overwhelming: 7.8 points and 3.1 rebounds in just 16.5 minutes a game. He knows he'll have to develop aspects of his game before coming over.
"I'm sure in a couple months I'm going to grow my game 1-on-1," Pasecniks said. "Because we don't do that in Europe. They don't want us to play 1-on-1. They want to share the ball. I hope that I'm going to grow my game 1-on-1. Get stronger and that's what I'm going to do in [the next] couple months."
The Sixers still had four second-round selections — they kept two of their picks (No. 36 Jonah Bolden and No. 50 Mathias Lessort) and reportedly traded the other two (No. 39 Jawun Evans and No. 46 Sterling Brown) (see story).