The Sixers’ work could be only beginning after making the No. 1 selection in the NBA draft on Thursday.
Trade chatter heats up around draft night, with organizations around the league looking to address their own unique sets of needs whether it's moving up, into, or out of the first round. The Sixers hold the 24th and 26th picks in addition to the first. President of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said the Sixers are having "active dialogue" with an estimated five to seven teams and "periphery dialogue" with another 10.
Amid a flurry of conversations, the Sixers are not going to rush into a deal.
“I think there is a cutoff at which point it’s probably not productive for us to move,” Colangelo said Tuesday. “We’re not going to make a bad deal in terms of overpaying for something in that range. I believe something in the top eight or so would be something that would work for us as an organization. ... We’ve kind of identified about six or seven players that we would like to see, and we know one of them is coming our way."
The Sixers have been linked in trade rumors involving the Celtics' No. 3 overall selection. The Celtics are in need of frontcourt power and the Sixers are in need of a point guard, which they could acquire at the third pick with a trade. The Celtics have plenty of first-round trade assets with the 16th and 23rd picks as well.
The Sixers are early in their rebuilding phase, though, and do not want to give up a frontcourt player just for the sake of making the trade. The team has to determine how to shape the roster with Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid among their bigs currently on the books. Dario Saric may also join the team from Europe.
"We're not going to make a bad deal, so we will do everything we can to make the right choice if we decide to ultimately move one," Colangelo reiterated. "But we will not make a bad deal. We'll try to make the right deal for the organization."
The Sixers may make moves to land higher in the first round. As CSNPhilly.com previously reported, they are considering bundling both Nos. 24 and 26 to jump in the draft order. The Sixers are eyeing the mid-teens.
“We are entertaining some conversations about the possibility of moving up, packaging 24 and 26 to move up,” Colangelo said. “[We] probably had four or five opportunities to at least consider, and I would say it’s more dialogue or discussion than it is anything reality right now. Nothing is imminent, but we’re looking at every opportunity.”
The Sixers have reportedly told LSU forward Ben Simmons, who worked out for the team on Tuesday, they will select him first overall. As for their later selections, the Sixers will explore their options at what they can yield at the current spots and the potential for players slightly higher on the boards.
“In terms of packaging 24 and 26 to possibly move up into the middle teens, is there someone there that is going to make a big enough difference that it’s worth giving up two assets for one?” Colangelo said. “We’re looking at odds and probability of what a 24th and a 26th selection has at succeeding or becoming a rotation player or an All-Star success as opposed to someone who’s not in the league in a couple of years. You can look at all those statistics.”
The Sixers will conclude their pre-draft workout process on Wednesday. Trevor Cooney (Syracuse), Quenton DeCosey (Temple), Alex Hamilton (Louisiana Tech), Brice Johnson (North Carolina), Devonta Pollard (Houston) and Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga) are slated to participate.