CAMDEN, N.J. — In addition to wondering who the Sixers will draft with the third pick, it's fair to wonder if the Sixers will use the selection at all.
“It’s good to be at three,” president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said Wednesday. “We’re excited about the pick. We think we’re going to add a great player or we’re going to have some leverage in discussions with other teams about certain situations that we might entertain.”
Draft picks are another form of trade bait. Each year there are teams around the league looking to move up the board, and the third overall pick is enticing.
Just as teams amp up their discussions at the trade deadline, the draft is another opportunity to have conversations about moving players and picks. Exploring who could be interested in a team’s pieces is part of the business.
“I’m not saying I will (trade the pick),” Colangelo said. “What we say all the time is, we leave all our options open and we’ll look at all the scenarios that can play out with respect to the value of that draft asset.”
The Sixers already are stacked with young pieces, including three top-three picks in Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor. This is the time to see if they could acquire a more established player with the third pick or a combination of the third, additional picks (the Sixers have four second-rounders) or even someone currently on the roster.
The player that jumps out as a candidate for a trade package is Jahlil Okafor. The Sixers attempted to move him at this past trade deadline. They remain open to the possibility of trading him.
“I want to find a situation that’s great for us and great for Jahlil, and if that means him staying here then that’s great,” Colangelo said. “He’s a great kid and a great player and we’re going to see how he fits with this group.”
Fit is a factor when the Sixers look at No. 3. They plan to implement a unique system with the 6-foot-10 Simmons at point guard when he makes his NBA debut next season. He has recently been playing 3-on-3 and Colangelo said he is “doing very well.”
How Simmons’ role will impact the Sixers’ decision remains to be seen as they weigh their options at different positions.
“Being in the third spot here in this draft, we can talk probably about a scenario where we address both: the best talent and the best fit for the organization,” Colangelo said. “We’re going to look at everything as we make a decision, but both things will be strongly considered …
“I think any of the guards on the board could complement Ben Simmons, regardless of where he plays.”
The Sixers will hold workouts leading up to the draft and prepare to make the third selection, whether they end up keeping it or not.
“We feel we’re going to get a very good pick at No. 3," Colangelo said, "and we’re confident in our ability to do that."