We haven’t done much on the NBA Draft this summer, probably for two reasons:
- There was a bit of Sixers fatigue after a long grind of a season and tough game seven loss to Toronto.
- They don’t pick until #24 anyway, so this draft isn’t as critical as it was last year and in years prior.
That said, there’s still a big opportunity for the Sixers to add a key piece tomorrow night. We’ve seen players like Pascal Siakam, Kyle Kuzma, and Landry Shamet selected in the late 1st round in recent years, an area of the draft that featured a lot of Sixer whiffs during the Bryan Colangelo years. With the franchise on a more accelerated timeline and holding higher expectations in 2019, you’re looking more for that 21 or 22-year-old junior or senior, somebody with a more polished game who can step in and contribute right away. There’s no time for developmental projects, not with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons now firmly established as NBA stars.
Here’s a roundup of Sixer notes from various mock drafts, after the jump:
Jonathan Givony originally had Washington wing Matisse Thybulle to the Sixers, but in his most recent mock draft, he’s going with Villanova forward Eric Paschall:
The Sixers are flush with creators and scoring at every position, and they will need to be creative in adding young, cheap players to their somewhat shallow rotation, considering their luxury-tax situation if Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris return in free agency.
Paschall is one of the more ready prospects to contribute in this draft class, turning 23 in November, with a chiseled physique and an impressive national championship pedigree. Paschall’s athleticism, toughness, perimeter shooting ability and defensive versatility will fit right in with the Sixers, as they’ve expressed interest in adding older players who bring exactly these qualities.
The intangible qualities do fit, for sure. Physically, he’s got that 6’7″ Paul Millsap type of build, and I think Paschall’s draft stock slipped a bit after a down year in which a couple of key Villanova pieces graduated, leading to a natural dip after a couple of national titles.
Villanova lover Kyle Scott would love the Sixers snagging Paschall, though I’ve seen him down in the early 30 range in some other mocks. Think he’d be there at 33?
Sources around the industry have speculated since the NBA Draft Combine that Thybulle has a promise. He skipped that event, and hasn’t done anything in the way of public team workouts so far. Around the industry, sources have tried to figure out who it is just by process of elimination. The thought is Philadelphia makes the most sense. With picks 33 and 34, it’s easy for Philadelphia to mask the promise by bringing in players who could be in the mix at No. 24, as those same players could potentially be in the mix at No. 33. But they also haven’t brought in a ton of players with potential to be picked ahead of No. 24. I wouldn’t call this a certainty by any stretch. I’m not reporting that this is a promise. But teams are in the same boat as everyone else around the industry, trying to narrow down potential outcomes for their opposition.
Thybulle is viewed as one of the top defensive talents in the draft, a rangy and athletic wing who steals the ball, runs the floor, and shot the three well during his sophomore and junior seasons. He averaged a ridiculous 3.5 swipes per game as a senior but really does not score the ball much at all, just 9.2 PPG during four years at Warshington. He could be a really good defensive piece on the second unit, but there might be some overlap with Zhaire Smith’s skill set.
People say Thybulle’s numbers might be inflated by the fact that UW played 2-3 zone, but I think he’s got enough talent to play pretty much anything and guard pretty much anyone:
Vecenie also goes into the second round, mocking 6’5″ Virginia guard Ty Jerome and 6’5″ Mississippi wing Terence Davis to the Sixers. Some people think the Sixers could snag Jerome at #24 overall, so this would insinuate a drop for the national title winner.
Gary Parrish had earlier mocked Purdue guard Carsen Edwards to Philly, but this time around he’s going with Southern Cal shooting guard Kevin Porter, Jr. –
From a talent perspective, Porter would be a steal for the Sixers this low. But he’s done very little to eliminate various red flags, which is why he could be available here. He spent part of his freshman season injured, part of it suspended and was something less than the model student-athlete. None of that means Porter won’t emerge as a top player from this draft. But some of that is why he’s unlikely to be one of the first 20 players selected.
I’m not big on the Sixers going with Porter, Jr. He’s a freshman with only one year of experience under his belt. He’s said to lack focus and discipline, and the Sixers don’t need to waste any time with mental or physical projects in 2019.
The 76ers and Johnson are one of the stronger potential fits in the 20s, with his shooting projecting as an elite skill, and his advanced age less of a concern for a playoff-focused organization like Philadelphia. It’s possible he doesn’t slip to him here, but it would be hard to see Philly passing if he gets to 24. With this pick and four second-rounders in hand, Philly should have enough to move up in the draft if they feel the need.
Johnson’s name is popping up everywhere in regard to the Sixers, but I’d honestly be surprised if he makes it to 24. He’s a 6’8″ red shirt senior small forward, which means he’s already 23 years old. But again, you don’t need a 19-year-old project, you need somebody who can contribute right away.
He really is a great shooter, hitting at a ridiculous 46% from three this year while putting up a shot that’s really hard to contest. He’s not the world’s best defender but can probably grow in that area and become a more than serviceable 3 and D NBA player.
- #24 overall – Virginia guard Ty Jerome (junior)
- #33 overall – Belmont wing Dylan Windler (senior)
- #34 overall – Georgia PF/C Nicolas Claxton (sophomore)
Jonathan Wasserman actually has Windler going to the Sixers at 24:
One of the nation’s most efficient scorers, Windler projects as a fit for a team with stars in place. The Sixers would value his off-ball offense as a spot-up shooter and cutter.
Windler has a quick release, smooth stroke, and moves really well off the ball. I could see him fitting really well into Brett Brown’s offense:
Wasserman has Edwards and Davis to the Sixers at 33 and 34.
His stock has risen during the pre-draft process, but I think I’d go wing/shooter at 24 and look for a Joel Embiid backup in the second round.
The blurb from Kyle Irving (not Kyrie) –
The 76ers could use the 3-point shooting and Johnson gives them exactly that.
This is a team that was a few bounces away from potentially going to the Eastern Conference Finals and beyond, so it’s safe to say they’re looking to win now. Johnson was a four-year (plus-one due to transferring from Pittsburgh to UNC) player in college and is 23 years old, so he should be ready to make an impact as a shooter off the bench right away.
He’s a great spot-up 3-point shooter, converting trey’s at a 40.5% clip for his collegiate career while shooting a career-best 45.7% from beyond the arc this past season.
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That’s it for now. I’m co-hosting with Mike Gill on 97.3 tomorrow from 2-6 p.m., so plenty of NBA draft and Sixers talk on the horizon.