The Sixers are in a peculiar position heading into draft night. Their new P.O.B.O. Daryl Morey uses draft picks as trade fuel rather than rookie selections. The Sixers have a league-high five draft picks for him to utilize. The unpredictability is sky-high and Sixers fans are sitting on pins and needles. Some of the best and brightest at Last Out offered their thoughts on what may go down on draft night. Enjoy !
Given his draft history and recent arrival in
New Philadelphia, how aggressive do you expect Morey to be on Wednesday ?
Austin Krell (@NBAKrell)- The tea leaves can often tell a story, and I believe there is some tea with these Sixers. Their President of Basketball Operations hasn’t made a first round selection in over five years. Their head coach is known to keep rookies on a short leash. Those tea leaves say they will be aggressive in the coming weeks, but not with making a first round selection on draft night.
Rob Manoff (@manoffrm)- I am very unsure. I really think they want a ball handler PG type. Morey has never been afraid to trade future picks so my hope is they can keep this years pick if needed. But I don’t expect Morey to be super aggressive if the right move isn’t there. He said in his press conference that teams biggest mistake is trying to have the perfect team game 1 of the season. To me that means if he doesn’t think a deal is great for the team, he will hang on to the limited assets the Sixers have and make the great deal when the great deal comes along.
A.J. Iezzi (@AJ_Iez)- I think Morey will be advantageous on draft night. He hasn’t made a first round pick in nearly a half decade, but I have a tough time thinking they are definitely punting at 21. If a guard with enticing upside falls to them, they need to pull the trigger. I think they’ll be prepared for multiple scenarios, but not have a rigid plan heading into the draft.
Brian Dougherty (@theyellowseats)- Morey, in my honest opinion, is not the type of guy to settle back on draft night. He was prepping for Houston and now he just needs to tweak his materials. I think he will trade this year’s #1, one of the #2s, and a conditional pick in next year’s draft to move into a top 10 pick or level 2 player.
Ashlee Woods (@ashleemwoods)- I expect Daryl Morey to be pretty aggressive come draft night. He has a history of creating championship-caliber teams right away and he understands the need for Philadelphia to win a championship soon, coming off of two short playoff runs. I look for him to build a team that compliments Jo’s defensive and big ball talents while also getting players to help Ben with scoring.
Who should the Sixers top realistic target be in the first round ?
A.K.- I think we’ve all come to understand that the Sixers, despite having two cornerstones of their future, are lacking in many different aspects of their roster. I don’t think there’s exactly one guy or one role to fit perfectly, so it depends on the best piece available at an area of need when the Sixers pick. Sounds like a cop-out answer, I know. But, I’ve done close to twenty prospect evaluations, myself. I’ve listened to countless podcasts. The consensus amongst scouts is that the middle-to-late first round is deep, while the top is shallow. There are a lot of options to choose from, and it’s hard to go wrong. If the target is a ball-handling shot-creator, I suspect UNC guard Cole Anthony will be available. If the target is a multi-dimensional wing whose reputation is as a shooter, first and foremost, then Desmond Bane might be the guy.
R.M. – Desmond Bane.
A.J.I.- I wish I could say Kira Lewis Jr. (he’ll be gone), but I would say Tyrese Maxey. He’s a bulldog with a great work ethic. The jumper is a question but I would bet he figures it out. The Sixers need combo guards and Maxey could be one of the best in the class. He slightly edges out Tyrell Terry for my top spot.
B.D. -I would love to see the Sixers trade up to #13 and grab Aaron Nesmith from the Celtics in the draft. The Pelicans are in the 13th spot and some mock drafts have them taking Kira Lewis. They could probably still get Lewis at 21. Nesmith goes no lower than 15.
A.W.- If the team seeks to build a young and motivated team around Embiid and Simmons, Philadelphia should go for Desmond Bane at pick number 21. He’s one of the best shooters in the draft— something the Sixers need— but can also be a defensive companion for Embiid in two man sets. Plus, his shot range and mechanics should peak the Sixers’ interest. If Bane is available, the Sixers should absolutely go after him.
What is the worst case scenario for the board at No.21 ?
A.K.- Easy, there are three ‘do nots’: 1) someone who could at any moment forget how to shoot or refuse to shoot a basketball, 2) someone who is physically unable to dribble whilst doing any other action, and 3) someone who plays center. Any of those would be disastrous utilities of the 21st overall pick.
R.M.- A big. If they don’t get a guard or a wing at 21 it’s a disaster in my opinion .
A.J.I.- Desmond Bane, Cole Anthony, Tyrese Maxey, Tyrell Terry, and Malachi Flynn all being gone.
B.D.- If the best player available is Nico Mannion at 21, draft Theo Maledon if he is there or trade down. We all remember what freshman point guards out of Arizona do in Philly.
A.W.-The worst case scenario for the Sixers at 21 is going for Isaiah Joe. He’s projected to not be drafted despite being Arkansas’ top prospect. Joe is most definitely a development player and the Sixers should try to avoid drafting him if other more league ready players are on the board.
How should the Sixers approach their early 2nd rounders (34 & 36) ?
A.K.- I think the salary difference between the 21st pick and those two second round picks is not talked about enough. Daryl Morey loves to work the margins with cost-controlled pieces. So, I would bet he, Elton, and Doc use those two picks to add shooting depth and secondary ball-handling and shot-creating.
R.M.- Thanks to Jason Timperley pointing it out, I think they should 100% trade back to the first for contract and salary cap reasons. Grant Riller would be a good target. Malachi Flynn too but I feel he may not be there.
A.J.I.- Regardless of how No.21 is used, I think one of them is used and the other is trade ammo. Either way, I think the Sixers get the best shooter they can find in the early second.
B.D.- If they have 2 picks, 1 has to go to Elijah Hughes 6’6″ SG out of Syracuse. The other pick should have been traded but if not then Tyler Bey, 6’7″ PF out of Colorado. Also need to look at some international players.
A.W.-I do not think the Sixers will— or should— trade these picks. They have needs that can be filed through the draft. I expect the Sixers to draft some developmental players, like the aforementioned Isaiah Joe from Arkansas. These picks should be used for players that can be developed into starters for the Sixers in the future, thus ensuring long-term success for this team.
Who are your favorite draft sleepers ?
A.K.- My favorite sleepers are Jaden McDaniels and Immanuel Quickley. I suspect McDaniels will go before the Sixers have the chance to make a pick, but I saw incredible upside when I evaluated him. 6’9” with a 6’11.5” wingspan, can create space for jumpers off the dribble. I loved Immanuel Quickley’s ability to shoot off of movement, and he was wildly efficient from beyond the arc in his second season at Kentucky (made over 60% of his three-point attempts on the road as a sophomore).
A.J.I.- Jahmi’us Ramsey and Payton Pritchard are my favorite fringe-first rounders. Ramsey feels like Dion Waiters 2.0 and Pritchard could become a legit rotation guard. Paul Reed, Daniel Oturu, and Myles Powell are some of my favorites projected in the mid-late second.
B.D.- Bey out of Colorado. Oturu out of Minnesota. Reed out of DePaul. Richards out of Kentucky. Hopefully one of these guys falls to 58
A.W.- Tyler Bey and Aleksej Pokusevski. Two players that have unique defensive skills that can compliment Embiid. Although Bey is arguably more league ready than Pokusevski, Pokuseveski can prove useful for the team after some time with the Delaware Blue Coats.
What are your final predictions for draft night ?
A.K.- It would be very Morey-esque to trade back, say, 6-or-so picks to get a first and at least one second rounder, and then flip those picks with a rostered Sixer in a bigger deal. I fully believe the Sixers will be very active from the open of moratorium to tip-off of their first game of the season.
R.M.- Desmond Bane at 21, Grant Riller in the high 20s (after trading back up into the 1st round)
A.J.I.- Tyrell Terry, Isaiah Joe, and Paul Eboua will be Sixers.
B.D.- At #13 Aaron Nesmith out of Vandy. At #36 Hughes out of SyracuseTrade #21, #34, #58 to New Orleans for #13. Wouldn’t be surprised if Morey traded level 3 players (benchwarmers) for picks to fill in for lost picks. # 49 I am leaving that open. Add that to a mid level player and a conditional pick to get one around 27-34.
A.W.- Expect Morey to use his picks to create a championship ready now while also preparing the Sixers for success in the future. I don’t expect any trades with picks unless it’s to move up for a player or if the trade has great value for the Sixers.