The NBA draft is here and, by virtue of an overnight trade with the LA Lakers, the Sixers hold five picks in the 2018 NBA Draft:
Round 1: #10, #26
Round 2: #38, #56, #60
There have been plenty of rumors surrounding the Sixers’ reported interest in trading up in the draft. Since we can’t necessarily predict every last-minute trade, we’ve compiled our staff’s predictions for what the Sixers will do tonight.
Anthony: I’ve never been asked to make a Sixers draft prediction before, so I have zero track record. As such, this prognostication either turns out to be amazingly prescient or epically terrible. I’m betting on the latter… That said, I think the Sixers trade up. How high? I’m not sure. Depends on which guy they want and how high they have to go to get him. I think they’d love Doncic, but only if he starts to fall somewhere they can make a reasonable trade. So I’m gonna go with Michael Porter, Jr. Yes, another injury risk – but the potential here is super high… so much so that he could be another superstar. But there’s no doubt he’s a crapshoot. He can be a boom as equally as he can be a bust. I tend to think he’s worth the gamble – and if the Sixers feel the same way, this could end up being an historical night for them when we look back at it five years from now.
Bob: The Sixers will stay at 10 and take Texas Tech’s Zhaire Smith. It’s a great story and a nice fit, but I would be surprised if Mikal Bridges is on the board when they pick. Smith’s potential to develop into a quality perimeter scorer has reportedly intrigued the team, and I think that’s what they value most when they make the pick.
Chris: The Sixers stay at 10 and take Kevin Knox. Mikal goes to the Knicks at 9 after they couldn’t get a deal done to get Mo Bamba. Trae Young goes to the Hawks after they trade down from 3. That leaves Knox and Zhaire Smith available. Smith seems like a reach at 10. Knox would be fine. I do think the Sixers try and move up from 26. And please let it be Donte.
Coggin: The Sixers stay at 10 and take one of the Bridges boys. They then proceed to burn down the city and pass up hometown hero Donte DiVencenzo at 26 in favor of the heelish Dukie Grayson Allen.
Jeff: The NBA draft is probably my favorite night of the year. And yet, I am CONSISTENTLY wrong about these picks to a pretty laughable degree. Joel Embiid? Too risky, give me Exum. I thought Acie Law IV was going to be a franchise point guard for god’s sake. I got Simmons right, though. Anyway, like Cubs fans used to say, “Wait til next year”….well it’s next year right fucking now baby. So who do the Sixers go with at 10 tonight? Probably Mikal, if we’re being honest (h/t to the conspicuously absent Kevin Kinkead). I’d also be fine with Carter, SGA or Knox. If Trae is still there, gotta think long and hard about scratching that lottery ticket. But I’m going to stay on brand and go with the guy with a IV at the end of his name. Love a IV. Give me the uber-athletic, apparently insane Lonnie Walker. I just hope his jump shot doesn’t turn out to be an illusion like the Earth apparently is.
Kevin: Don’t do anything complicated or dumb. Stay put and grab Mikal Bridges or the best player available.
Mike: The safe prediction at 10 is Mikal Bridges. He can drain open threes, play in transition and defend the perimeter – all things we will certainly need next season. Mikal would make an immediate impact on a winning team and he would get to stay here in Philly where he just won two titles at Villanova. It just makes sense and I’d go to bed happy tonight.
However, if Michael Porter Jr. is still on the board at 10 the Sixers gotta grab him. Going into the season Porter was considered the potential No. 1 overall pick but then his hip & back problems shelved him. We’d get some serious Sam Hinkie level value here as he could end up being the best player in the draft. Porter’s comparison by some to Kevin Durant is a major stretch but I can realistically envision a Jayson Tatum type player (only better & taller). This would go a long way toward making up for Colangelo getting absolutely fleeced & stuffed in a locker by Danny Ainge on the trade up to #1 as well as Collar’s subsequent whiff on Markelle Fultz.
Phil: So this is the last wheezing gasp of The Process, and look where we’ve ended up — no GM, and the Sixers somehow need a shooting guard because the shooting guard they drafted #1 overall last year was too frequently a “DNP — who cares why.” If Trae Young falls to this pick, he’s the right selection. Patch the hole in the wall as soon as you can. It will probably be Mikal Bridges here, though, and I can see him helping the current cast a lot.
Russ: It might be blind optimism. It might be insanity. I think the Sixers are going to try to move mountains for Luka Doncic. I’ve written up my reasons why the Sixers should make every effort to draft the reigning EuroLeague MVP. The kid is an absolute stud, whose skillset includes elite shooting and ball-handling. If they’re unable to convince Atlanta that a trade of #3 and Plumlee for #10, #26, and Covington is mutually beneficial, or Memphis is unwilling to part with the #4 overall pick without including contract-albatross Chandler Parsons, the dream dies. That is, unless you want to buy into post-apocalyptic Hinkie theft from Vlade Divac for #2. For as many times as I’ve written about a trade for Kawhi Leonard here, here, and here, I’m giving into the hype that Kawhi and PG13 are headed for LA. With all of that in mind, I’m holding out a tiny bit of hope that Michael Porter, Jr. falls to #10. I like Mikal Bridges. He’s a great fit with this current roster and he’s a local kid. The latter part is what concerns me. Is our collective view on Bridges skewed by his playing for NCAA Champion Villanova? If he had played for WVU or USC, would we still be falling over ourselves to draft him? Michael Porter was the #2 ranked high school player prior to his season at Missouri. I know he’s had injury issues – a Sixers favorite – and his play left plenty to be desired, but – outside of undersized Trae Young – he’s got the highest superstar potential of any player projected to be around at #10. Speaking of Trae, I hope he proves everyone wrong and becomes Steph Curry 2.0. I just wouldn’t bet on it.