The Sixers appear to have zeroed in on Markelle Fultz now that they’ve traded up to No. 1 in the NBA draft. But what about all of those second-round picks?
With four second-rounders, the Sixers could go in just about any direction.
Will they select the best player available, a player that fits a need or a draft-and-stash candidate from overseas?
Here’s a look at 10 players the Sixers could have their eyes on in the second round of the 2017 NBA draft.
Jordan Bell: Power forward, 6-9/227, Oregon
This is looking more and more like a pipe dream by the day. Bell’s buzz continues to grow as the draft nears and some mocks now have him sneaking into the end of the first round.
However, if he is there early in the second, the Sixers would be wise to pounce.
Bell was the defensive anchor (Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year) and a rebounding machine for Oregon. He averaged 8.8 rebounds a night last season and really made his name in the NCAA Tournament when he grabbed double-digit boards in every game during the Ducks’ run to the Final Four.
With a high motor and ability to play above the rim on both ends, Bell is definitely a guy the Sixers should keep their eye on. After all, you don’t come across "a Dennis Rodman-like player” that often in the draft (see story).
Johnathan Motley: Power forward/center, 6-9/230, Baylor
If Bell is off the board, the Sixers could opt for the similarly-skilled Motley.
The lanky big man covers a lot of ground with a 7-4 wingspan. Motley combined that length with supreme agility to be a terror for opponents at Baylor.
He averaged 17.3 points on 52.2 percent shooting and 9.9 rebounds last season as a junior with the Bears as he received the Karl Malone award as the nation’s top power forward.
While Motley doesn’t provide much versatility and is coming off surgery in April for a torn meniscus suffered during the NCAA Tournament, he is well worth a second-round selection for the Sixers.
Thomas Bryant: Center, 6-10/241, Indiana
Bryant brings the similar length (7-6 wingspan) and physicality to the court as the first two players mentioned. He’s a bruiser down low and loves to finish with authority at the rim.
That powerful demeanor resulted in 12.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game last season for the Hoosiers.
However, what makes Bryant intriguing is his improved three-point shooting. The 19-year-old big made 5 of 15 attempts (33.3 percent) from long range as a freshman before connecting on 23 of 60 tries (38.3 percent) as a sophomore (see story).
With the emphasis being placed on shot making from all positions in today’s NBA, that could be just the skill that gets Bryant’s name called.
Alec Peters: Power forward, 6-9/225, Valparaiso
If it’s shot making the Sixers want, Peters is their guy.
Peters is a dead-eye shooter from just about anywhere on the floor and in any situation. He can pull up off the dribble, find space off the pick-and-roll or simply spot up for a jumper.
Even after shooting a career-low 36.3 percent from three-point range as a senior, he still finished with a 41.6 mark from long range during his four years at Valpo.
Peters averaged 23.0 points (eighth in the nation) and 10.1 rebounds last season to be named Horizon League Player of the Year.
The NBA certainly offers a higher caliber of players than the Horizon League and Peters will have to do all he can to survive defensively, but his level of shooting ability will make that easy to overlook.
Jonah Bolden: Power forward, 6-10/227, Serbia
There are few international prospects projected to go in the second round that are worth getting excited about (French center Mathias Lessort and Slovenian small forward Vlatko Cancar could be the only ones), so let’s go with a player that has a bit of history in United States.
Bolden was born in Australia, but he moved to the U.S. with his family at 17 years old and played his final season of high school ball in the states. He followed that up by attending UCLA, where he redshirted a year and then averaged 4.6 points and 4.8 boards in 21.7 minutes a game.
Bolden felt his skill set as a ball-handler and perimeter shooter weren’t being used correctly with the Bruins, so he bolted for the professional ranks in Serbia. It’s worked out so far as he put up 12.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field and 41.9 percent from three in his first season with KK FMP Beograd. That was enough to earn him the Adriatic League Top Prospect award, which has become pretty prestigious after NBA draft picks such as Dario Saric and Nikola Jokic won it in recent years.
There have previously been some issues to dig through with Bolden both on and off the court. But with NBA-ready skills of his own and his father to pass down nearly two decades of professional basketball knowledge (mainly in Australia’s NBL), that is more than enough to take a risk in the second round.
Others to keep an eye on: Lessort, Purdue PF/C Caleb Swanigan, Utah PF Kyle Kuzma.