In previous years, I was diving in search of NBA Draft. But my positions and responsibilities evolved, causing me to shift the focus elsewhere. to help myself and Philadelphia 76ers Fans get ready for Thursday, I’ve enlisted assistant Jake Rosen from Cerebro Sports. Jake is among the best minds available to us. Call him Follow on Twitter @JakeInThePaint if you haven’t already and read his work. You’re going to be a strong consumer of basketball, I’m sure of that.
Well, starting with a macro question here. How do you — or how can you — differentiate a draft philosophy for a team rebuilding team versus a team like the Sixers looking to finally take the last step to become a title contender?
The Sixers have no time to lose. Joel Embiid is at the height of his power and the Sixers have a responsibility to brief his team that could contend for the title. Needless to say, this adds a certain layer of pressure to winning on the margins, a layer that other organizations may not feel. From a philosophical perspective, Philadelphia doesn’t have a lot of time for projects or prospects that may need two to three years to acclimatize. They need players who can step in from day one and make a contribution.
Likewise, how should this philosophy guide Philadelphia’s approach to this draft?
Stay away from swinging or gambling. There are plenty of older, more predictable possibilities that should still linger when Philly is on the clock. As I’ll get into later, there are a few goals I really like for Philly, and they all seem to be predictable within her scope. I will remain patient, let the board fall as it may be, and then make a sound selection based on production and provide the necessary skill set that can help Philly in some way this year.
What do you think are the most pressing needs of the six teams, and does this draft provide solutions to those problems?
I think Philly can go one of three ways here. I would say his needs are to set up additional guard, fixed wing assistance and a reserve post. I’m not very excited about any of the adults outside of Galen Doreen and Mark Williams who will likely be off the board by age 23, so I’d prefer to address this need in a free agency or at home, depending on how much you trust Paul Reed.
I’m expecting another jumpstart from Therese Maxi, but James Harden’s future as a mega-creator looks a lot more murky than Philly might hope. With Matisse Thybulle’s attack limitations raising its head in qualifying, I think getting a little more help on the flanks, with an eye on completing the Embiid and guards, is essential.
The 2022 project is pretty weak for the guards, so Philly might be better served in the FA veteran market, but there’s one goal I really like about them. The suite of wings is definitely deeper, packed with proven players, scalability, and dropability that Philly could envision as part of the rotation.
Who are your favorite targets for The Sixers at age 23 and why?
The only guard is Kennedy Chandler. He is lightning fast and showed the ability to destroy defenses with his speed and handling. Chandler is a very efficient PnR processor that can help create half the pitch. Most importantly, despite being only 6 feet tall, he excelled at handling the ball as a mover, positional threat, and cutter. In addition to his creative pieces, the comfort and ability to make an impact by playing on Philly’s more established talents makes this a curious fit.
As for the wings, Galen Williams is my favorite name here. At 6 feet 6 feet tall, he’s one of the best PnR handlers in the entire draft, while also providing floor space for Philly stars. Highlighting it as a second-side builder is seamless, and while it doesn’t provide the rush that Chandler has, its frame and size make it an easier bet to contribute right away.
Another name I will come up with is Margoun Beauchamp. He doesn’t bring the same equity as Williams, but if his point jump can become consistent, Beauchamp could be a valuable two-way winger who successfully fills in the gaps.
*Editor’s note: Chandler and Beauchamp are among a handful of potential clients +1000 odds on the Draft Kings to reach the top 5. So, there’s definitely a chance it isn’t on the board when the Sixers pick at 23.
There has often been talk of Philadelphia packaging this choice in the trade. You obviously don’t know what this hypothetical trade is, but in a vacuum, would you advocate holding or trading this choice? For either answer, why?
I think there are a number of good goals for Philly at 23, but in her schedule, I certainly wouldn’t mistake them for packing her for a more established NBA talent. I think the Sixers know what their needs are, and if they feel they can better check the short-term box through the trade, I will definitely understand and be supportive.
The Sixers do not have any picks for the second round at the moment. Are there any potential unbelieving players that you think would make sense to them?
UDFA is always a gamble, but I love it Michigan StateHere is Gabby Brown. He shot 38.2% of depth at 10.8 3PA per 100 holdings at 6-7 with a long-range tire. He won’t make much of a dribbling effort, but perhaps Brown can go a few minutes as a ground clearance of good size and defensive versatility.