76ers

What does Sixers getting No. 10 pick mean for team?

What does Sixers getting No. 10 pick mean for team?

The Sixers will draft 10th in the 2018 NBA draft.

The results were announced Tuesday in Chicago, where the Sixers and Celtics learned the destination of the Lakers’ first-round selection. The Suns, who had the worst record in the league, landed the first overall pick (see order)

If the Lakers’ pick had ended up at Nos. 1 or past 5, it belonged to the Sixers. If it had been Nos. 2 through 5, it would have gone to the Celtics. The Sixers had a 1.1 percent chance for first and 86.98 percent chance for 10th. 

The Sixers acquired this pick in 2015 as part of the Michael Carter-Williams trade. Last summer, they sent it to the Celtics with the aforementioned conditions in the deal to get the No. 1 pick to draft Markelle Fultz. 

This pick essentially is a bonus for the Sixers this year. Their own first-round pick is 26th, the result of having the fifth-best record in the NBA (52-30). They also hold the 38, 39, 56, 60 selections in the second round. 

Who could the Sixers select with the pick? 
Versatility, athleticism and defense are traits of draft prospects that would fit with the Sixers. The team implemented fluid lineups throughout the season, and prospects who are not pigeonholed into one specific role could be incorporated.

Villanova forward Mikal Bridges and Michigan State forward Miles Bridges are two players projected to be available at 10th who could fill those roles. If Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. were to fall on the draft board, he also could be a match for the Sixers’ system. 

But will they keep it?
There is a chance the Sixers do not hold on to this pick. Unlike past years, the Sixers are not drafting a top-three player with the intentions of becoming a cornerstone building block, as was the case with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Fultz. 

The Sixers have their young core in place and any new additions likely would supplement it. Unless, of course, they find a diamond-in-the-rough franchise player. Paul Pierce, Paul George and Joe Johnson are among those previously drafted at No. 10. 

Roster space is at a premium for the Sixers this offseason. They have to determine which of the current players they will re-sign, if Jonah Bolden will enter the NBA, and what to do with their six draft picks. 

The team could select draft-and-stash prospects, like they did last year with Bolden, Anzejs Pasecniks and Mathias Lessort. Or, they could draft and trade players as was the case with Jawun Evans and Sterling Brown. 

Report: Sixers still eyeing trade up, but reluctant to include Robert Covington or Dario Saric

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Report: Sixers still eyeing trade up, but reluctant to include Robert Covington or Dario Saric

We’re counting down the hours now until the 2018 NBA draft, which means all of the chatter surrounding teams is heading into overdrive.

That includes the Sixers, who are reportedly still attempting to move up the draft board.

Per a report Tuesday by Sports Illustrated’s Jake Fischer, the Sixers are continuing to make calls about moving into the top five. However, “they have offered packages of picks, but have thus far rebuked including oft-mentioned Robert Covington and Dario Saric,” according to the report.

There has still been no mention of exactly which prospect the Sixers are interested in trading up for since former Cavaliers GM David Griffin made the claim during a radio interview last week (see story).

With six total selections in Thursday’s draft, including Nos. 10 and 26 in the first round, it makes sense that the Sixers would offer draft picks first in any potential trade.

However you feel about the streaky Covington, the team was high enough on the All-NBA defender last season to lock him into a long-term deal while Saric has proven to be a rock-solid contributor that keeps improving every day.

We’ll see if the Sixers ease off those demands as we get even closer to the draft.

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NBA draft profile: Miami G Bruce Brown Jr.

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NBA draft profile: Miami G Bruce Brown Jr.

Bruce Brown Jr.

Position: Guard

Height: 6-5

Weight: 195

School: Miami

After his freshman year, Bruce Brown Jr. would have been a no-brainer first-round pick and most likely a lottery selection. Now, it would be a big surprise to see him go in the lottery, and even the first round is far from a sure thing.

There are two main reasons for Brown’s stock falling, the first of which is the regression in his play as a sophomore, especially his shooting. Brown’s three-point percentage dropped from 34.7 percent to 26.7 percent and his free-throw shooting went from 74.4 percent to 62.9 percent. The second reason is the left foot injury Brown suffered in late January, which caused him to miss the second half of the season.

There don’t appear to be any serious concerns about the injury for Brown, who worked out with the Sixers Wednesday. But questions about his shot and why he couldn’t build upon an impressive freshman year are certainly lingering.

Strengths
Brown is an outstanding athlete and competitor. He bench pressed 225 pounds 17 times at the combine, the most by any guard, and that's not at all surprising given the strength with which way he plays. He’s an intense, physical defender with a knack for turning defense into offense. For a guard, he’s an exceptional rebounder, posting 7.1 boards per contest in 2017-18. Offensively, Brown is a solid passer who’s comfortable in pick-and-rolls, which he ran a lot at Miami. He looks capable of being a secondary NBA ball-handler.

Weaknesses
His sophomore shooting dip is obviously a major worry. That 62.9 percent free throw percentage and the fact Brown made only 7 of 46 attempts from NBA three-point range last season are ominous signs. Like his teammate Lonnie Walker IV, Brown was inconsistent on offense. In 19 games last season, he shot 50 percent or better from the floor nine times and 25 percent or worse seven times. Brown has a variety of dribble moves, but his handle isn’t the most tight or fluid. His pull-up game, in terms of shot selection, rhythm and balance, has a lot of room for improvement.  Given how talented an athlete he is, Brown isn’t a great finisher (he shot 58.5 percent at the rim last season) and he doesn’t seem to like using his left hand.

NBA comparison
Brown has said he models his game after Russell Westbrook. He definitely has a little bit of Westbrook in him, especially with his intensity and explosiveness. He also seems to have some Westbrook-like confidence – he thinks he’s the best guard in the draft. And like Westbrook, Brown left college after his sophomore season without a great offensive résumé.

All that said, it’s not fair (or at all realistic) to compare Brown to a player who has averaged a triple-double in back-to-back seasons. Lance Stephenson is a much better comparison. Like Brown, Stephenson is a strong defender, excellent guard rebounder and subpar shooter. It’s important to note, however, that Brown won’t come with any of Stephenson’s notorious, ear-blowing antics.

How he’d fit with Sixers
On the defensive end, Brown will help any NBA team immediately. With his ability to guard one through three at a high level, he’ll have a role off the bench. There’s no doubt Brown’s defense and rebounding would make the Sixers better in two areas where they’re already strong. His athleticism would also be a boost for a second unit lacking in that department last season. 

Draft projection
Because of his injury history and disappointing sophomore campaign, Brown has a slightly wider range than most prospects. He’s expected to be taken in the late first or early second round. He could be an option at No. 26 for the Sixers, or he could be a potential steal at No. 38 or No. 39.  

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