People have been talking about this draft class for over a year now. It is expected to have some of the best talent in a draft in the last decade, possibly rivaling the 2003 NBA Draft that had LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, and David West all in the first round. Except this year’s could even be better. It features guys like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum, Joel Embiid, and Marcus Smart, among others. How many of these guys could become legends? We already know that Embiid’s foot injury could affect his career in the NBA, but will that deter teams from taking him?
The Sixers have a great situation because of the seven draft picks they have: two in the first round and five in the second round. Their first pick as of now is the #3 pick, but I have a strong feeling that that could change. There have been plenty of rumors involving the Sixers trading Thad Young and the #3 pick to the Cavaliers for the #1 pick. And at this point, I totally see it happening. But there are so many different rumors about what the Sixers could do. There are also rumors of them trading Michael Carter-Williams for a third top ten pick, possibly targeting the Lakers’ #7 pick or the Kings #8 pick. Or the Sixers could stay at 3 and trade Young to the Kings for the #8 pick. Or the Sixers could just trade their whole roster for the entire draft. I seriously wouldn’t rule out anything at this point.
— Jeff McMenamin (@SixersBlog) June 24, 2014
Scott O'Neil Confirms To Angelo Cataldi Team's Decision To Stay Quiet On Draft Night (Audio Included) | http://t.co/Q3lNgZ2uZY
— WIP Morning Show (@WIPMorningShow) June 24, 2014
As for who they might take, that is a little more defined. Although it 100% depends on what trades they make. Either way, I expect at least one trade to be completed by the end of the first round, and I wouldn’t at all be surprised to see more than one. Here are some guys that they’ve been said to be targeting in Thursday’s draft:
SF Andrew Wiggins, Kansas
Recently, it was seemed like Wiggins is the player that the Sixers want the most in the entire draft. But it seems most likely that he will be selected first overall if no trades occur, meaning the Sixers would have to trade up to get him. At this point, I’m fine with them doing that, even if it means having to give up Young. Wiggins is an amazing talent and would be a massive help to their team. He’s definitely the best player in this draft in my opinion and would be another great person to build their franchise around. I see them drafting him, just barely, as the most likely outcome for their first pick of the night.
G Dante Exum, Australia
— Eliot Shorr-Parks (@EliotShorrParks) June 24, 2014
Exum is another guy that they’ve been looking closely at, especially recently. He has the potential to be another great player in the league and lead a team from the backcourt. He has multiple problems with him, which in my opinion, are too much to deal with for the Sixers to take him. First of all, he has no college or professional experience, meaning his only competition throughout his basketball career is against high school teams in Australia. Not exactly top tier competition. Also, he may be listed as a shooting guard or combo guard, but he really projects to be a point guard in the NBA. News flash: the Sixers already have a great up and coming PG in Carter-Williams. While some people have said that it could work to have both of them there, I don’t see it likely. If the Sixers draft Exum at #3, expect MCW to be traded for another lottery pick. I don’t see them coexisting.
C Joel Embiid, Kansas
Report: 76ers eye Joel Embiid at No. 3 draft pick http://t.co/hnsE5jz3Kr
— SI Wire (@SI_Wire) June 23, 2014
Of all the people I have on this list, Embiid is the guy I want the least to be the Sixers’ top pick. While taking him would likely mean they wouldn’t have to trade up or trade Carter-Williams, Embiid is hurt. All the big men that have had this injury in the past have suffered greatly and were unable to get their careers back on track, such as Yao Ming. Embiid may be a great player, but his injury has made him a huge liability and likely means he will have to miss most (if not all) of his rookie year. The Sixers have already had two seasons in a row that they did this with, and I am not at all interested in doing it a third time. There are a lot of things that would make me unhappy on draft night, but drafting Embiid would be number one on my list.
PG Marcus Smart, Oregon State
Some recent reports have suggested that Smart may be moving up on their draft board, possibly even higher than Exum. While I find that hard to believe, I do know how great of a talent Smart is. His statistics in college were similar to Carter-Williams in that he did a lot (scoring, rebounding, passing, and stealing), but will have to work on his shot selection and shooting percentage. I personally don’t think Smart is good enough to warrant selecting him to replace Carter-Williams, but it still remains a possibility for the Sixers. There’s even less of a chance of Smart coexisting with Carter-Williams, so I just don’t think it would be a smart pick (pun intended).
SF Doug McDermott, Creighton
If the Sixers plan on getting rid of Young, they’re going to need to bring in a scorer, and McDermott would be that perfect player. He is a tremendous shooter, leading the NCAA in scoring last year with 26.7 PPG. He is great from wherever, including from the line and beyond the arc, making him a multi-faceted threat. He has the potential to be an amazing scorer in the NBA if he ends up with the right squad, but there’s also something about him that worries me a bit. He reminds me a lot of Jimmer Fredette, who was a top scorer in college, played all four years in college, but wasn’t on a top name school. Then when he came to the NBA, he struggled greatly to do anything, averaging just 6.9 PPG over his career. I don’t want that to happen, but hopefully if the Sixers take McDermott, he won’t be the next Jimmer.
SG Nik Stauskas, Michigan
The Sixers are in dire need of a good shooting guard, and I think Stauskas could be that guy. Projected to be taken around the Sixers’ #10 pick, he could be a good compliment to MCW (or Exum, if it comes to that) in the backcourt. He’s a great 3-point shooter, which is something the Sixers also lack. I think he would be a great pick for them if they still need a SG when their #10 pick is on the clock. Whether they pull the trigger on him is up in the air, but so is the rest of the draft for that matter.
2014 NBA Draft 2014: 5 players the Sixers could target in the second-round http://t.co/yP7NXtqPiz
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardo975) June 24, 2014
These guys would all be players that they’d take in the first round. As for the second round, I have no idea who they’ll take because it entirely depends on what positions they fill in the first round. They could get out of the first round with 2 or 3 guys of a wide combination of positions. But with five second round picks, I expect them to take a variety of guys and see who works out. Not every rookie ends up being a star, but there’s a lot of pressure on the Sixers to deliver in this draft. If they screw up, they’re putting themselves in a huge hole.