Though the Sixers' head coaching search is currently in the spotlight, the NBA draft is one important component of what promises to be a busy offseason for the team.
Thanks to Mike Muscala and the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Sixers will own a first-round pick, No. 21. They’ll also have picks 34, 36, 49 and 58.
Let’s see who some analysts have the Sixers taking in the first round now that the draft order is set.
Tyrell Terry (Stanford)
Tyrell Terry (Stanford)
Schaefer: “The 76ers look like a tire fire right now, and part of the reason why is a lack of perimeter creation and shooting. Terry has a wide range of possible draft outcomes, but his electricity as a bucket-getter is undeniable. His 4.9 3-point attempts per game in his freshman year at Stanford came off an array of screen-curls and off-the-dribble pulls, making the fact that he hit 40.8% of them all the more impressive. ... He could be a high-upside spark plug for a team in desperate need of one.”
O’Donnell: “His ceiling will be determined by how truly great his jumper becomes. If he falls short of being special as a shooter, does he bring enough to the table in other areas to offset his more obvious weaknesses? Teams will have justified size and defensive concerns here, but Terry is worth the risk at this point in the first round for a team like Philly that badly needs as much shooting as it can get.”
We had the Sixers selecting Terry in our first-round mock draft back in May. He has a slight build (6-foot-2, 160 pounds) and needs to tighten his handle, but the upside factor would be enticing if he’s available. The 19-year-old “broke a record” for a basketball IQ test administered by NBA front offices, according to USA Today’s Bryan Kalbrosky.
Josh Green (Arizona)
Vecenie: “The 76ers could use depth in the backcourt, or more options on the wing from a 3-and-D perspective. Really above all, they just need shooters and perimeter players they can trust. I’m not quite sure I totally trust Green on the shooting front, but he’s an absolutely high-level defensive prospect who at least has the potential to shoot the ball at some point if he can work through some mechanical tweaks.”
As Vecenie notes, the “3” part of the “3-and-D” equation isn’t a sure thing with the 6-foot-6 Green, who shot 36.1 percent from long range in his single season at Arizona despite suboptimal mechanics, including a tendency to jump into his shot from a somewhat pigeon-toed stance. His speed, athleticism and defensive talents are all attractive tools, and one imagines he’d play well alongside fellow Australian Ben Simmons.
Nico Mannion (Arizona)
Givony: “After electing to move Ben Simmons to power forward, the Sixers could stand to shore up their depth at point guard. Mannion can play on or off the ball thanks to his perimeter shooting and basketball aptitude, and has some upside to grow into as well at just 19.”
Mannion shot only 39.2 percent from the floor and 32.7 percent from three-point range in his one year with Green at Arizona. While he’s an intuitive, creative pick-and-roll player and has a knack for pushing the ball ahead in transition, Mannion doesn’t put much pressure on the defense through dribble penetration. We profiled him here.
Leandro Bolmaro (Barcelona)
Woo: “As a tall ball-handling guard with some real creativity to his game, and a player who can be stashed overseas for another year, he has first-round appeal. Noting that Philadelphia also has two picks in the 30s, it would make some sense to consider moving this selection in the interest of adding to the roster via trade, then grabbing a potential role player or two in the second round.”
The 6-foot-7 Bolmaro’s playmaking is his greatest strength. He has minimal EuroLeague experience and his jumper is questionable (though not broken). If the plan is to draft either one or two early second-rounders who have a chance to help immediately, Bolmaro would be an intriguing pick.
Isaiah Stewart (Washington)
Ham: “Stewart has an NBA-ready body and should be able to help a team early in his career. He lives in the paint, outworks his opponents and plays a physical style. Philly needs depth in a bad way, especially in the post behind the oft-injured Embiid. Bruisers still have value in the league, and Stewart should be able to stick.”
The Sixers could indeed use a young backup center, especially if they end up finding a trade for Al Horford this offseason, but selecting Stewart at No. 21 over the decent perimeter options that figure to still be on the board might not make a ton of sense. Stewart also isn’t very agile defensively, which could be a problem for him in the NBA.