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Mock draft roundup: Might another Kentucky guard drop to Sixers?

/ by Noah Levick
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Here we are again.

A year after taking Jaden Springer with the 28th pick, the Sixers will enter Thursday night’s NBA draft in Brooklyn with No. 23. 

Let’s run through a final roundup of mock drafts: 

Sam Vecenie, The Athletic 

Jake LaRavia, Wake Forest 

Vecenie: “It would be a surprise to see LaRavia fall out of the top 35. He’s shot extremely well in pre-draft workouts and has convinced teams he can be a high-volume shooter who makes them. He tested well athletically at the combine and has the kind of confident mindset that tends to be successful at the next level among role players. This 76ers pick is thought to be available in a trade if the right offer comes along.”

LaRavia was an All-ACC selection for the Demon Deacons after playing his first two college seasons at Indiana State. The 6-foot-8 forward has an almost casual-looking jumper with minimal excess movement. He was very efficient (64.9 true shooting percentage, second in the conference) and productive in a ton of areas, posting 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game. 

Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated 

TyTy Washington Jr., Kentucky 

Woo: “There’s a strong belief around the NBA that Philadelphia ends up trading this pick, likely attaching it to either Danny Green or Matisse Thybulle as they look to shore up their supporting cast around Joel Embiid and James Harden, and also potentially save some money. Considering Daryl Morey’s past distaste for using draft picks, it wouldn’t be surprising if someone else selects here.

 

“That said, if Washington falls a bit, he'd be an option worth considering at this spot. Word is he hasn’t overwhelmed on the workout circuit and could be in for a bit of a slide. Despite an uneven freshman year, there’s still some optimism surrounding Washington’s context, as he played through injury and Kentucky guards have often fared better in the NBA. Still, he isn’t a great athlete or overly tall for a combo guard, and he’s a little bit polarizing, factoring in that he was quite old for a freshman. Washington may ultimately benefit from the fact this is a pretty thin guard draft, and he profiles as a potentially solid rotation option.” 

Bryan Kalbroksy, USA Today’s For the Win 

TyTy Washington Jr., Kentucky 

Kalbrosky: “I’ve long enjoyed imagining the fit of Kentucky’s TyTy Washington on the Philadelphia 76ers. After the success they have had with former Kentucky standout Tyrese Maxey, I think they would be willing to take a similar gamble here. Washington would be a solid value this late in the first round.”

Washington is similar to Maxey in the sense that he’s comfortable playing fast while staying under control. He committed more than three turnovers in a game just twice his freshman season. If the Sixers selected him, we imagine Kentucky head coach John Calipari would be a frequent visitor to Philadelphia.

Jonathan Givony, ESPN

Wendell Moore Jr., Duke 

Givony: “… Moore has had a strong pre-draft process with excellent showings in several private workouts, helping to solidify himself as a first-round pick. The Duke product has intrigued teams with a strong frame, 7-foot wingspan, passing ability and outside shooting at only 20 years old, with more than 2,500 minutes of college basketball experience under his belt.”

Though more exciting prospects might be available in this range, Moore is indeed well-rounded and familiar with high-pressure, big-game settings. He raised his three-point percentage to 41.3 as a junior and shot over 80 percent from the foul line every season at Duke. 

Krysten Peek, Yahoo Sports 

Walker Kessler, Auburn 

Peek: “Kessler led the country in blocks (155) during his sophomore season at Auburn. The rim-running center moves well for his size at 7-foot-1 and has solid footwork, pinning defenders on the block and finishing strong at the rim.”

Backup center is a perpetual question for the Sixers, but would it make sense to add a third young big man to the roster along with Paul Reed and Charles Bassey? 

 

Rob Schaefer, NBC Sports Chicago 

Dalen Terry, Arizona 

Schaefer: “Whether Philadelphia trades or keeps this pick, Terry makes sense in this slot. He’s a long, active defender and savvy enough facilitator that, if he improves the consistency of his outside shot, could very well grow into the brand of 3-and-D wing that is so en vogue in this day and age.”

Terry also looks like he could be a sensible choice for several teams ahead of the Sixers, including the Timberwolves (No. 19), Nuggets (No. 21) and Grizzlies (No. 22). In addition to his defense, Terry’s passing talent and general ability to contribute without scoring should attract playoff teams with high-usage stars.