Sixers

Taking 2 Kansas products in our latest Sixers-only mock draft

Sixers

For our first two Sixers-only mock drafts, we weren’t sure exactly where the team would be picking.

Now that we know the Sixers hold picks 21, 34, 36, 49 and 58, let’s give it another shot. 

21. Josh Green 

Green has been a popular Sixers pick in mock drafts for months, and it’s easy to see why. 

His on-ball defensive tools jump out — he does the basics of getting down into an athletic stance and mirroring the ball handler well — and the Australian wing also averaged 1.5 steals per game in his one year at Arizona. At a rangy 6-foot-6, Green looks capable of guarding at least three positions in the NBA. 

The main offensive questions for Green are whether he can be a dependable three-point shooter and whether he can progress making plays off the dribble. He shot 36.1 percent from three-point range and, according to Synergy, scored 1.20 points per catch-and-shoot jumper in the half court (85th percentile). If he’s an efficient catch-and-shoot NBA player and develops his game attacking closeouts, that’s an attractive combination when paired with his defensive ability and athleticism. 

34. Devon Dotson 

Dotson led the Big 12 in a bunch of categories as a sophomore at Kansas, including scoring, free throws, steals and win shares. The hope would be that he could help provide the spark the Sixers’ offense lacked this past season with his speed and his skill creating offense by himself. 

 

At 6-foot-2, viable defensive matchups are going to be limited for Dotson. It is encouraging, though, that he knows how to get to the foul line, shield off defenders and finish at the rim. 

His shooting will be tested in the NBA after he hit just 30.9 percent of his three-pointers last season. He did convert 83 percent of his foul shots, which suggests part of the reason his three-point percentage dipped in the 2019-20 campaign could be that he simply had a down season as he assumed a much heavier offensive workload. 

TRADE — No. 36 for Knicks’ 2021 second-round pick and cash considerations 

The Sixers’ five selections are the most of any team. We have the team trading No. 36 for cash and a pick that projects to be around the same spot next year unless the Knicks are better than expected.

49. Udoka Azubuike 

The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Azubuike averaged 13.7 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.6 blocks his senior season.

Physically, he’s comparable to fellow Kansas product Joel Embiid at 7-foot and a very sturdy 270 pounds. Though he figured out how to use that size over his four seasons at Kansas, Azubuike probably isn’t going to offer much in the NBA on offense besides dunking home lobs and easy looks around the hoop. To his credit, he was an ultra-efficient finisher — 1.75 points per shot around the rim in the half court, per Synergy — and understood his strengths and weaknesses.

Speaking of weaknesses … Azubuike made 41.6 percent of his free throws in college. A “Hack-a-Azubuike” strategy could pose a large problem.

At No. 49, though, Azubuike looks like he’d be a good value pick. There’d be nothing wrong with taking a shot on a big, young rim protector at this stage. 

TRADE — No. 58 for Nuggets’ 2022 second-round pick and cash considerations 

Another trade to wrap up the night as we try to take a realistic guess at how the Sixers’ draft might pan out. The team also entered last year’s draft with five picks and came away with two players, Matisse Thybulle and Marial Shayok. The odds of the Sixers using all of their second-round picks don’t seem high.

Of course, the team also might use these second-round selections in trade packages for players, not just future draft picks.