76ers

NBA draft profile: Alabama G Collin Sexton

NBA draft profile: Alabama G Collin Sexton

Collin Sexton

Position: Guard

Height: 6-3

Weight: 190

School: Alabama

After a scuffle broke out in the second half of Alabama-Minnesota last November, every player on the Crimson Tide’s bench came onto the court, resulting in ejections for all and leaving Bama with just five players to finish the game. Minutes later, an Alabama player fouled out. Less than a minute after that, another left with an injury. Trailing by 13, Alabama would have to play the final 10-plus minutes 3-on-5.

And Collin Sexton nearly willed them to victory.

Sexton scored 17 of his 40 points while playing at a two-man disadvantage and got Alabama within three points late in an eventual 89-84 loss.

That heroic performance in a loss was a microcosm of Sexton’s lone season in Tuscaloosa. There weren’t those notable glorious achievements of making an All-American team, winning a conference championship or earning a Sweet 16 bid, but the pursuit of those goals with the Crimson Tide on Sexton’s back was thrilling to watch.

Sporting a top-20 usage rate in the country, Sexton was a one-man band at ‘Bama. The electrifying point guard averaged 19.9 points and 3.6 assists en route to being named SEC Co-Freshman of the Year. Sexton also put on a show in the SEC Tournament, carrying No. 9 Alabama to the semifinals with a game-winning buzzer beater and a 31-point effort in an upset over No. 1 Auburn. Those performances helped Bama lock down its first NCAA tournament trip since 2011-12.

Strengths 
The first thing that jumps off the screen while watching Sexton is the intensity he plays with. He’s Russell Westbrook-like in how passionate he is and it carries into his offensive game. Sexton is a downhill guard that relentlessly attacks the rim on fast breaks and in the half-court, as evidenced by his 7.6 free throw attempts per game. He possesses the handles and quickness to break down defenders and create separation for either a drive or a pull-up. He can use either hand in getting to the rim and finishing there.

Despite the offensive burden he shouldered, Sexton still managed to be efficient, shooting 44.5 percent from the field. And while he was clearly the most gifted offensive player on Alabama he was far from unselfish, as he only took 13.3 shots per game. Sexton's not an elite passer, but he's a willing one. In pick-and-rolls, he won't just put his head down and recklessly attack, but rather scan the entire floor and keep his dribble alive until making a decision.

On defense, he competes on-ball and has the frame (6-7 wingspan) and quickness to be a strong defender that can handle both guard positions.

Weaknesses 
There were some encouraging starting points for Sexton's shot at Alabama; he shot 77.8 percent on 252 free throw attempts and 33.6 percent on 131 threes. But there are questions as to how much he can develop and improve as a shooter. It's difficult to be an effective NBA guard without the threat of a shot, so how reliable Sexton's three-point shot and pull-up jumper are will have a large impact on his career trajectory.

He also needs to tighten his shot selection. He takes some ill-advised jumpers and tends to over-drive on attacks, leading to some tough contested shots at the rim. He'll have to work in a floater or short pull-up to combat that.

NBA comparison
From his on-court mentality to his athleticism and style of play, Sexton does resemble Westbrook. But Sexton has a ton of developing to do with his game and body to reach Westbrook’s level. With that in mind, Kemba Walker and Eric Bledsoe are much more reasonable comps.

How he would fit with the Sixers
This all comes down to Sexton’s shot. If the Sixers are optimistic about it, then he theoretically fits with Ben Simmons. There can never have enough ball handlers and creators on the court at the same time as long as the spacing works. Also, if Markelle Fultz doesn’t turn into the high-caliber player the Sixers hope he can, Sexton would provide some insurance as a secondary creator behind Simmons. And the Sixers, who had the lowest pick-and-roll frequency this season, could add a different look to their offense.

Draft projection 
Sexton seems to be a consensus mid-to-late lottery pick at this point. While Orlando would make sense at No. 6, his range will likely start with Cleveland two picks later. He shouldn’t make it past the Clippers at Nos. 12 and 13.

Sixers Talk podcast: Training camp is coming

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NBC Sports Philadelphia/YouTube

Sixers Talk podcast: Training camp is coming

Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick go back and forth about JJ Redick's comments about the importance of team dinners, five Sixers landing on SI's top 100, and Joel Embiid saying he has lost 25 pounds.

• Discussing nuggets about Jimmy Butler and the quadruple doink from JJ Redick's appearance on the Lowe Post.

• Sports Illustrated's Top 100 for 2020 came out. The rankings are mostly fair but the guys have one gripe.

• Joel Embiid said he lost 25 pounds ... but he clearly didn't lose his sense of humor.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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JJ Redick believes Sixers needed more team dinners on road last season

JJ Redick believes Sixers needed more team dinners on road last season

Sixers fans are generally excited about the team's new roster construction heading into the 2019-2020 season, but there's no doubt the sharp shooting of JJ Redick will be missed.

Redick took his talents down to the bayou and will suit up for the New Orleans Pelicans this season. Redick joined ESPN NBA insider Zach Lowe on Lowe's podcast this week to talk about his new opportunity. They also reflected a bit on his time with the Sixers and the tough loss to the eventual NBA champion Toronto Raptors in the playoffs after four bounces of a Kawhi Leonard desperation shot.

Redick is open about the fact that the decision to move on to New Orleans was partly financial.

"I never got the sense that [the Sixers] didn't want to bring me back. Unfortunately, it came down to a little bit of economics," Redick said.

Jimmy Butler's decision to move on to the Miami Heat obviously precipitated that move. Redick speaks highly of Butler regardless of his decision.

"I love Jimmy. I would play with Jimmy again," Redick said. "He is in the upper tier of two-way players and in the upper tier of offensive players in the NBA, period."

So Redick has moved on to New Orleans, but it's tough not to think back to what could have been. There was a point in the Toronto series where Redick believed the Sixers were capable of winning the NBA championship last season.

"Joel [Embiid] and I spent some time together after the season and we talked about it. It was Game 4 [against Toronto] for us. We lost that game and I felt like, for most of that game, we had control, not just that game but that series. We had a chance to go up 3-1. That was the opportunity that we missed. You lose that game and it's 2-2 and you've got to win 2 out of 3 against Toronto, and that's a tough task."

One other interesting nugget from Redick's time in Philly was his sharing that he believed they didn't do enough team dinners on the road.

"I wish, I've tried, I wish, the team meal on the road is huge. I think it's huge. We didn't do it enough last year in Philly. We tried. It wasn't enough. Some of that, look, nobody wants to be forced to go to dinner. It's got to be real and authentic."

Some other choice quotes from the pod below.

On Ben Simmons getting a jumper.

"Ben works. He worked all of last offseason. I witnessed him during the season get his shots up after practice every day. I think he'll be able to shoot at some point. A lot of it is confidence. He can shoot a high enough clip when he's shooting spot shots that it should translate to shooting threes in a game. The video that went viral, looks to me like he's shooting with some confidence there."

Lowe also asked Redick about the dagger shot in Toronto.

"I was on the bench," Redick said. "I sort of had that perfect angle 'cause as soon as the ball had come inbounds, I sort of walked onto the baseline. Not on the court, but onto the baseline so I could get a straight-on view of the action. My memory may be a little jogged but my arms were crossed, I was watching the ball bounce around the rim, and it went in. I'm not sure I had any initial reaction, I think it was just shock. Part of you wants to walk off the floor and punch a wall and the other part of you, if I'm the Raptors, I'd want to dap up the people that I had just played a seven-game series against. I stayed on the court and talked to Kyle, Marc, Kawhi, Danny and those guys. Told them I hope they win a championship and walked off. Then you get back to the locker room and you see the emotion, I was obviously feeling emotional, then Joel started crying. Those are the sorts of moments that you don't forget. As much as you don't forget the shot, the aftermath of moments like that, you just don't forget. There's just a lot of raw emotion."

You can listen to Redick's entire conversation with Zach Lowe right here.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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