76ers

Kane's NBA mock draft 2.0: Familiar faces at top day before draft

Kane's NBA mock draft 2.0: Familiar faces at top day before draft

Much has changed for the Sixers since my initial mock draft was released the day after the draft lottery. Namely, they acquired the No. 1 overall pick from the Celtics in exchange for the No. 3 overall pick and a future first-round pick in either 2018 or 2019. Bryan Colangelo did a terrific job of utilizing the assets that Sam Hinkie left behind, ensuring the Sixers will add a difference-making guard to pair with in-house cornerstones Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

1. Philadelphia 76ers - Markelle Fultz, Guard, 6-4, 195, Washington
It's a foregone conclusion that the Sixers will select Fultz here. Colangelo should be commended for maneuvering to the top of the draft to acquire Fultz, who I view as the best prospect in this year's class thanks to an offensive skill set that is tailor made for today's NBA. He has an ideal blend of size, athleticism and scoring ability. Fultz is a more than capable outside shooter who can get to the basket whenever he wants. Most importantly for the Sixers, he is a perfect fit with Simmons. Fultz can play off the ball when Simmons is directing the offense, but he can also play point guard when needed. If everyone stays healthy - and that's a big if - the trio of Fultz, Simmons and Embiid should have the Sixers positioned nicely in the Eastern Conference for the next decade.

2. Los Angeles Lakers - Lonzo Ball, Guard, 6-6, 190, UCLA
Despite rumors of the Lakers' interest in other top prospects, I envision them staying the course here and selecting Ball. The fact they traded D'Angelo Russell to the Nets on Tuesday all but confirms the Lakers have their eyes on Ball, a playmaking point guard poised to be the next in a long line of Lakers superstars. Ball has terrific size and is the best passer in the draft - his skills are comparable to Jason Kidd and the man who will draft him, Magic Johnson. The only potential drawbacks are a funky jump shot and his outspoken father, Lavar. But the positives far outweigh the negatives with this pick - Ball's best attribute is the fact he makes his teammates better. That's something that goes a long way with Johnson.

3. Boston Celtics - Josh Jackson, Forward, 6-8, 210, Kansas
Danny Ainge and the Celtics' brass will ultimately decide between two players here - Jackson and Duke's Jayson Tatum. I would take Tatum. I think he'll end up being the better player of the two. But in the end, the Celtics will be swayed by Jackson's athleticism, defensive ability and overall potential. He comes with his share of question marks (including a few off the court) but there is no denying he has superstar potential. Jackson reminds me of Tracy McGrady, and pairing that type of talent with Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Al Horford and company is too enticing to pass up.

4. Phoenix Suns - Jayson Tatum, Forward, 6-8, 205, Duke
Tatum represents tremendous value for the Suns with the fourth pick. I've been a big fan of his since his days as a high school standout in St. Louis and he made significant strides during his one season at Duke, particularly with his jumper. Tatum will team up with Devin Booker to give the Suns an explosive 1-2 punch. In Booker and Tatum, you have two players with 30-plus point potential on any given night.

5. Sacramento Kings - De'Aaron Fox, Guard, 6-3, 170, Kentucky
Fox is a blur, hands down the fastest player in this draft. His stock soared during the NCAA Tournament after he outplayed Ball in Kentucky's win over UCLA in the Sweet 16. Fox gets to the basket whenever he wants but needs to improve his inconsistent outside jumper. If he does, he has the potential to eventually become one of the Top 5 point guards in the NBA.

6. Orlando Magic - Malik Monk, Guard, 6-3, 200, Kentucky
An exciting few minutes for John Calipari mugging for the cameras in the green room as Kentucky prospects go back to back with selections. The Magic will be very fortunate to grab Monk with the sixth pick - he could go as high as third to the Celtics. He's the best shooter in the draft and will provide instant offense to a Magic team that could certainly use it.

7. Minnesota Timberwolves - Jonathan Isaac, Forward, 6-10, 215, Florida State
I'm not as high on Isaac as others, but he's worth the gamble here for Minnesota. Isaac's big selling point is his defensive versatility - he's able to guard multiple positions on the perimeter and in the post. His offensive consistency concerns me, but it shouldn't concern Minnesota too much with Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins already on the roster.

8. New York Knicks - Dennis Smith, Jr., Guard, 6-3, 195, NC State
Smith is in the mold of Russell Westbrook - an aggressive, explosive guard who won't back down to anyone. He gives Knicks fans something to get excited about and head coach Jeff Hornacek an enticing perimeter piece to pair with budding superstar forward Kristaps Porzingis, who I believe will stay in New York despite speculation that the Knicks are making him available via trade.

9. Dallas Mavericks - Lauri Markkanen, Forward, 7-0, 230, Arizona
With Dirk Nowitzki entering his 20th season, the Mavericks select a player in Markkanen who shares a lot of the traits Nowitzki had when he entered the league. Markkanen is an elite shooter for a 7-footer, but is inexperienced and has plenty to learn. Who better to teach him than a future Hall of Famer who just scored his 30,000th point last season?

10. Sacramento Kings - Zach Collins, Forward, 6-11, 230, Gonzaga
The Kings address the frontcourt with their second pick in the top 10. Collins helped himself tremendously during Gonzaga's run to the national championship game. He's very skilled offensively and competes on the defensive end.

11. Charlotte Hornets - Justin Patton, Forward, 6-11, 230, Creighton
Patton is a lottery pick based on raw athletic ability and upside. He might not contribute immediately, he but has the potential to be a game-changing big man on both ends of the floor. Patton only scratched the surface during his one season at Creighton.

12. Detroit Pistons - Luke Kennard, Guard, 6-6, 195, Duke
Kennard had a breakthrough season at Duke that significantly elevated his status as a NBA prospect. He is an elite shooter with range well beyond the three-point arc. His spot-up shooting would be a great asset on a Pistons team looking for perimeter scoring punch.

13. Denver Nuggets - Frank Ntilikina, Guard, 6-5, 190, France
The Nuggets don't appear to be sold on Emmanuel Mudiay at point guard, and if Ntilikina is available here, he might be too appealing to pass up. He's a rangy prospect with the ability to become a lockdown defender, but his offensive skills need polishing.

14. Miami Heat - John Collins, Forward, 6-9, 225, Wake Forest
Collins was one of the most reliable and productive players in all of college basketball last season. He is a natural scorer in the low post and should help fill the void left by Chris Bosh on the Miami frontline.

15. Portland Trail Blazers - Jarrett Allen, Center, 6-10, 235, Texas
Allen fits the bill in terms of what NBA teams look for in a big man - he scores in a variety of ways and protects the rim defensively. He put up solid numbers as a freshman at Texas and, down the road, he will provide balance for a Portland team that relies primarily on its backcourt.

16. Chicago Bulls - Bam Adebayo, Forward, 6-10, 245, Kentucky
Adebayo made strides last season at Kentucky, but he still as a long way to go before he can be counted on as a consistent offensive performer. But his size, defensive presence and rebounding ability make him a good fit for the Bulls.

17. Milwaukee Bucks - Donovan Mitchell, Guard, 6-2, 210, Louisville
Mitchell is an elite athlete who was one of the best perimeter players in the country as a sophomore at Louisville. He was more of a combo guard in college but will be asked to play point guard in the NBA. That transition will take some time.

18. Indiana Pacers - OG Anunoby, Forward, 6-7, 230, Indiana
Like a lot of players in this draft, Anunoby is billed as a defense-first prospect. So much so that a few Kawhi Leonard comparisons have already surfaced. I'm not ready to go there but Anunoby certainly has the potential to develop into an elite defender.

19. Atlanta Hawks - TJ Leaf, Forward, 6-10, 225, UCLA
Leaf has outstanding scoring skills for a big man and he displayed that offensive versatility last season at UCLA. He has a high basketball IQ, which helps compensate for his lack of elite athleticism. Leaf will fit in well with how the Hawks like to play under head coach Mike Budenholzer.

20. Portland Trailblazers - Justin Jackson, Forward, 6-8, 200, North Carolina
Jackson capped his college career with a NCAA championship and ACC Player of the Year award at North Carolina. His versatility should serve him well at the pro level - he shoots consistently from the perimeter and drives to the basket effectively.

21. Oklahoma City Thunder - Harry Giles, Forward, 6-10, 230, Duke
This is a high-risk, high-reward pick for the Thunder. Two years ago, Giles was a frontrunner to be the first pick in this draft. But a knee injury cost him his senior season of high school and he struggled to return to top form at Duke. But the skills that once made him an elite prospect remain. Giles just needs to get (and stay) healthy.

22. Brooklyn Nets - Terrance Ferguson, Guard, 6-7, 190, USA
Ferguson enters the draft by way of Australia, where he played professionally last year as an 18-year-old. He remains very raw but should have plenty of time to develop during the Nets' rebuilding period.

23. Toronto Raptors - Ivan Rabb, Forward, 6-10, 220, California
Rabb arrived at California two years ago billed as a future NBA star but didn't do a whole lot to enhance his draft status during his college career. He'll need to improve a great deal on both ends of the floor, but he's worth a flier here for the Raptors, who need help inside.

24. Utah Jazz - Tyler Lydon, Forward, 6-9, 215, Syracuse
Lydon was very impressive at Syracuse. He's an intelligent player with a very dependable jumper. His athleticism and defensive ability are question marks. He's far from a lock to be selected in the first round, but he could thrive in the right situation.

25. Orlando Magic - Caleb Swanigan, Forward, 6-9, 250, Purdue
I'm higher on Swanigan's NBA potential than most. He was one of the best players in college basketball last season and has a very well rounded offensive game. All the concerns center around his defensive ability. I view him as a winning player capable of helping Orlando immediately.

26. Portland Trail Blazers - Derrick White, Guard, 6-5, 200, Colorado
White is one of the fastest risers in this year's draft following a strong senior season at Colorado and solid showings on the pre-draft workout circuit. He was a First Team All-Pac 12 selection this past season and should be able to play either guard spot at the pro level. In this scenario, White would be able to learn from two of the best guards in the league in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and eventually step into a larger role should Portland decide to shake up their core.

27. Los Angeles Lakers - Ike Anigbogu, Center, 6-10, 250, UCLA
The Lakers acquired this pick in the trade that sent Russell to Brooklyn. It's anyone's guess if they end up keeping this pick, but if they do, look for them to target Anigbogu. He's a major project, but he's the type of player who could pay major dividends down the road for the Lakers. He didn't produce much offensively at UCLA, but his defensive potential is his biggest asset.

28. Los Angeles Lakers - Jordan Bell, Forward, 6-9, 225, Oregon
Bell is a lot like Jonathan Isaac in that his biggest contribution will be the ability to guard multiple positions on the pro level. He always plays hard and has NBA caliber athleticism. Bell could end up being a steal for the Lakers this low in the first round.

29. San Antonio Spurs - Josh Hart, Guard, 6-6, 215, Villanova
Hart isn't showing up in the first round in most mock drafts, but I'm convinced he's first round worthy after watching every game he played during his four years at Villanova. He is a winning player who can guard multiple positions on the perimeter. He scores in a number of ways and has an effective - if not natural looking - jumper. The best case scenario is a winning team like the Spurs drafting him and molding him into their program. He's exactly the type of overlooked prospect that San Antonio banks on finding late in the first round.

30. Utah Jazz – D.J. Wilson, Forward, 6-10, 240, Michigan
Wilson played a starring role during Michigan’s unexpected run to a Big Ten Tournament title and Sweet 16 appearance this past March. Wilson fits the mold of what NBA executives look for in frontcourt players. He’s long, athletic and can stretch the floor with his outside shooting ability. He’s a very good finisher around the rim but will need to bulk up to endure the grind of the NBA season. If he continues to develop at his current pace, Wilson could end up being a steal late in the first round.

Sixers Talk podcast: What is going on with Tobias Harris?

sixers-talk-tobias-harris.jpg
NBC Sports Philadelphia/USA Today Images

Sixers Talk podcast: What is going on with Tobias Harris?

Danny Pommells and Paul Hudrick discuss Tobias Harris' struggles continuing, Ben Simmons' unwillingness to shoot the ball, and why Matisse Thybulle isn't seeing more playing time.

• Another rough night for Harris. What the heck is going on?

• Simmons was strong, but still refuses to shoot the basketball outside the paint.

• Should Thybulle be getting more minutes?

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.

More on the Sixers

Sixers' putrid fourth quarter dooms them in loss to Magic

Sixers' putrid fourth quarter dooms them in loss to Magic

BOX SCORE

In a game between two of the best defensive teams in the NBA, the Sixers weren't able to get enough offense to win.

The Magic used a 32-15 fourth quarter Wednesday night to down the Sixers, 112-97, at Amway Center.

With Joel Embiid out (injury management/left knee soreness), Ben Simmons shined on both ends of the floor, but Tobias Harris' struggles continued. The Sixers move to 7-4 as they fly to Oklahoma City for a date with the Thunder Friday night (8 p.m., NBCSP).

Here are observations from the loss.

Getting defensive

Coming into tonight’s action, these were two of the top six teams in the NBA in terms of defensive rating. It didn’t look like that from the jump as both teams got off to hot starts from the field. The Sixers’ transition and pick-and-roll defense weren’t great in the first quarter but tightened up in the second. They appeared to turn up the heat a little bit, pressuring at full court a couple times and also trapping more. But the Magic appeared to get whatever they wanted in the fourth.

The biggest surprise was Orlando’s three-point shooting early. The Magic came into the contest as the worst three-point shooting team in the NBA — yes, much worse than the Sixers. But they shot a torrid 42.9 percent (6 of 14) in the first half. Those percentages evened out as the game went on. Orlando hit just 2 of 11 in the third quarter. It was the Magic's defense that clogged the paint as the Sixers were unable to capitalize on their open looks from the outside. A night after hitting just 8 of 38 from three, they hit 8 of 30.

Simmons shines

This was arguably the most attacking and aggressive Simmons we’ve seen since opening night. He had a strong performance — especially on the defensive end — which went for naught. He was engaged and put an awful lot of pressure on Orlando’s ball handlers. It led to a couple fast breaks and easy transition baskets for Simmons.

This lob from Shake Milton was mighty impressive.

He finished with 18 points (9 of 12), eight rebounds and five assists.

Simmons was also called for a technical foul in the second quarter. 

There was a huge free throw disparity in the first half. The Magic got to the line 17 times while the Sixers got there once. In defense of the officials, Orlando did do a nice job packing the paint.

Mixed results with no Jo

With Embiid sitting, Al Horford got the start and Kyle O’Quinn saw a jump in minutes. O'Quinn was more effective than Horford in this one.

Horford, who sat Tuesday night for load management purposes, looked spry but perhaps a little rusty early. As he got into the flow of the game, he was strong in pick-and-roll defense, but his shot just wasn’t falling (5 of 18).

This drive and dunk was done by a man with fresh legs.

O’Quinn continues to impress with his passing prowess. He dished out four assists in the first half and hit yet another three. Just a 22.4 percent shooter from three for his career, he’s now 6 of 12 this season. Snagging O’Quinn as basically a third-string center was one of the shrewdest moves of GM Elton Brand’s offseason.

A bounce-back game for J-Rich

Josh Richardson didn’t have a stellar shooting performance Tuesday (1 of 8 from three) but looked good against the Magic. A new wrinkle Brown seems to like is using Richardson as a ball handler and Simmons as a screener and roller in the half court. With Simmons’ unwillingness to shoot, but strength as a roller, it’s an action that makes sense for both players.

Richardson also navigates the pick-and-roll well as a ball handler and did so a bunch with Horford in the second half. Richardson had 19 points (7 of 14, 2 of 4 from three), six rebounds and five assists.

More struggles for Harris

Harris made his first shot after dipping in and swishing an elbow jumper. Unfortunately, that was really the last highlight of the night. Following his 0-for-11 performance from three-point range Tuesday night against the Cavs, it appeared Harris was trying to be aggressive and get to the rim. Too many times he looked indecisive — getting caught in between whether he should pull up or try to finish at the basket. He also had a couple brutal turnovers in the fourth quarter on back-to-back possessions.

He went just 4 of 13 for eight points. These issues sure look mental. This is a guy that shot the ball at an elite level from three over a large sample size. I’m not sure what you do if you’re Brown, but you have to do something. 

Not quite the Markelle Fultz revenge game

Fultz looked a lot like the player he was early last season for the Sixers. He’ll make some tremendous plays off the dribble and flash some defensive potential, but while he is willing to shoot again, the form just doesn’t look right. He missed a three late in the first half that just barely grazed the rim and missed another badly in the second half. He still just looked like he’s pushing the ball from his chest. It was D.J. Augustin running the point off the bench that led Orlando's late run.

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.

More on the Sixers