A report came out earlier today that the Sixers are looking to obtain an additional first or second round pick. This is great, as there's a lot of depth deep in this draft that could be useful down the line. The speculation has primarily been centered around big men, and for good reason. With the three wing starters in place, but nobody guaranteed to be a long term fixture in the frontcourt, the need for a big man is very real.
That being said, this team is in desperate need of retooling its guard bench, and I think the depth of this draft potentially makes that the best way to go.
With the (assumed) addition of Evan Turner in a few hours, the dynamics of the team will change entirely. Gone are the days of not having a perimeter player capable of drawing a double team, of not having someone to initiate the half court offense. Holiday, Turner and Iguodala present a trio of wing players capable of finding the open man. While I'm not a complete Louis Williams hater, his role in initiating the offense will be lessened next year, which makes his warts even more damning. The Sixers need to go away from poor defensive, isolation heavy perimeter players and instead focus on obtaining catch and shoot players who can defend and not turn the ball over. No more Allen Iverson, and if you can replace Louis Williams, Willie Green, and potentially even Thaddeus Young with similarly talented catch and shoot players, that's the direction this team should go in. Luckily, there's a plethora of them in this draft.
Players to target:
Good in transition? Check. Good spot-up shooter? Check. Good frame should he be asked to defend the 3? Check. The major concerns with Xavier Henry as a lottery pick aren't nearly as much of a concern for the Sixers, as they'd be asking him to station himself in the corner and prevent teams from doubling Turner, a role he'd thrive in. Henry may have some trouble guarding NBA SG's, but he'd be an excellent fit with Holiday, Turner and Iguodala, as he'd get open looks, transition opportunities, and could regularly guard the opponents weakest perimeter player.
Another high riser who appears to be out of the attainable range, Paul George's upside is tremendous. The concern is whether he puts all his physical tools together, a concern largely stemming from him being a late bloomer and the lack of success on his Fresno State squad. There's also some concern that George may not have the demeanor to make the most of his vast array of tools. That being said, after Evan Turner and Wesley Johnson, George might have the most talent of any wing in this draft. With Turner in the fold, if George doesn't pan out, he'll still be an extremely useful player. If he does pan out? The Sixers come away huge winners in this draft. With a potential #1 in Turner on roster, George becomes a high reward, low risk type of selection.
Avery Bradley may not have the ceiling of Paul George of even Xavier Henry, but he also has a higher floor. Bradley's great pressure defense and great spot-up shooting fit this teams needs to a T, and his lack of PG skills and inability to draw contact become less of a concern. With the defensive versatility of Holiday, Turner and Iguodala, Bradley's size can easily be hidden, and his pressure defense becomes a huge asset.
His skillsets don't match up perfectly with the team needs, but a backup PG is still a need, and if Jones falls to the second round he could be one of the drafts bigger sleepers. Jones is still a subpar shooter from range with questionable shot selection, but his athleticism, ability to get out in transition, and ability to get to the line make him a potential steal based on talent, even if not on fit.
Players to stay away from:
That's not to say if the Sixers can acquire a pick in the low 20's and Babbitt surprisingly falls that they shouldn't be interested in him. At that point, the Nevada product becomes a great pick based on value alone. That being said, Babbitt appears to be firmly in the mid-late lottery range after a tremendous Combine at Chicago, and overpaying for him when he may not be the best fit may be a mistake. Babbitt was an extremely high usage player at Nevada, scoring a lot off of isolation and his surprising athleticism, and was only average on catch and shoot situations. If his isolation skillsets aren't being fully utilized, his defensive weaknesses become more of an issue. I'd be much more inclined to overpay for Babbitt if the Sixers went in the Derrick Favors direction.
Should Warren drop to the second round, he becomes a value pick, someone who could potentially replace some of Louis Williams/Willie Green's productivity at a much cheaper cost. That being said, I wouldn't trade anything of significance for Warren, and drafting the former potential lottery pick in the first round would be a mistake. Warren's a below average defender and a mediocre catch and shoot player, skillsets we already have an abundance of.