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With draft day here, a final Sixers mock roundup

/ by Noah Levick
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Draft day has arrived. 

If the Sixers make the 28th pick, who will they take? Below is our final roundup ahead of the draft, which begins at 8 p.m. ET in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center:

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report 

Miles McBride, West Virginia 

Sam Vecenie, The Athletic 

Miles McBride, West Virginia 

Vecenie: “McBride is one of my favorites in this class. He’s lightning-quick laterally and is elite at the point of attack defensively. His game is all about pressure. He attacks the opposing ballhandler, then attacks when he has the ball on offense. When West Virginia switched to more of a four-out offense in the second half of the year, McBride thrived and looked like a potential high-level backup. He could become a starter if his jumper off the bounce continues to come along. This would be an absolutely tremendous pick for the 76ers.

“McBride is seen as likely to hear his name called in the last third of the first round and could go a bit higher than this in the 20s. For their part, the 76ers are still seen as a potential threat to trade this pick given that president of basketball ops Daryl Morey has traditionally not always gotten involved in the draft.”

One of the questions with McBride is how sustainable his improvement as a three-point shooter is after he went from 30.4 percent beyond the arc as a freshman to 41.4 percent as a sophomore. He made quite a few contested mid-range jumpers and shot 81.3 percent from the foul line, both of which bode well. The enjoyment he takes in bothering his defensive assignment is fun to watch, as long as he’s on your team.

 

Vecenie’s reporting that McBride might be picked before No. 28 makes sense, since the 20-year-old’s game should appeal to teams thinking most about players that can help them win in the postseason. Note: Vecenie, who has an abundance of knowledge about all things draft, updates his final mock throughout the day. 

Bryan Kalbrosky, USA Today 

Nah’Shon Hyland, VCU 

Tyler Byrum and Chase Hughes, NBC Sports Washington 

Nah’Shon Hyland, VCU 

Byrum and Hughes: “Some evaluators think Hyland is the best shooter not projected to go in the lottery. Whether or not the 76ers keep or deal Ben Simmons, they still need help scoring on the perimeter to balance Joel Embiid's dominance inside. Ideally, his shot-creation and playmaking ability should progress nicely on a playoff-contending team where he can ride on the bench.” 

Jeremy Woo, Sports Illustrated

Nah’Shon Hyland, VCU 

Woo: “Hyland has been rumored all over the first round, with interest from teams picking in the Top 25, but identifying a spot for him is a bit tricky, as his likely microwave-scorer role is a bit of a luxury on some teams. He gathered steam with a terrific showing at the draft combine and has impressed with his shooting skills, putting him in play higher than this. While he’s quite slender for an NBA two-guard, his ability to make tough shots is hard to find, and has helped separate him from the large pack of guards in the 20-40 range. While his game is not the most diverse, Hyland is viewed as a potentially valuable bench scorer. 

“Daryl Morey has never been particularly attached to his draft picks, and history suggests the Sixers will entertain trade offers here, making it an interesting spot for another team to grab a player who unexpectedly slips to the back of the first round.”

Hyland, who has the fabulous nickname “Bones,” could be enticing to the Sixers in part because he demonstrates zero hesitancy about shooting. Seemingly, the best-case scenario is that he’s a game-changing scorer, a player who checks in, torches the defense for 10 or 12 rapid-fire points and forces the exasperated opposing coach to call a timeout.

The valid concern of whether he can hold up defensively in the NBA and his negative assist-to-turnover ratio are among the reasons he could be available at this spot. We also went with Hyland in our mock draft. 

 

Jonathan Givony, ESPN 

Josh Primo, Alabama 

Givony: “The Sixers will be looking to surround their core with as much 3-point shooting as possible after a disappointing playoff exit. Primo, the youngest player in the draft, might need some time before becoming a consistent contributor, but he has helped himself with a strong pre-draft process and is a candidate to come off the board around this range or earlier to a team trading up to select him.” 

Kevin O’Connor, The Ringer 

Joshua Primo, Alabama 

O’Connor: “The Sixers are trying to win a championship this season, but they can’t lose sight of the future. Primo has long-term go-to scoring upside and in the meantime would provide immense value as a shooter.”

A native of Toronto, Primo won’t turn 19 years old until Dec. 24. The conventional wisdom for a player that young who wasn't a full-time college starter is he’s a long way from rotation minutes, but Primo showcased some impressive role-player attributes in his one season at Alabama.

There will no doubt be other good shooters on the board at No. 28, so selecting Primo would indicate the Sixers are very high on his off-the-dribble scoring. NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Adam Hermann had the Sixers taking Primo in his final mock draft.