Three Days Until Sixers: Draft Prospects To Watch


You know about Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, and Julius Randle. These are guys flying lower on the radar you should keep an eye out for.

As college basketball kicks off on November 8th, it's quite possible Sixers fans will be more likely to watch the NCAA than they are their own team. There is good reason for that, however. This year's draft provides the Sixers with possibly franchise changing players up and down the draft board.

Names like Wiggins, Randle, Parker, and Gordon are those thrown around most frequently, but here are a few others to watch when the NCAA hits your tube in a short matter of weeks.

Joel Embiid, Kansas

Embiid is the best big center in this draft class, and it is not particularly close. The native of Cameroon may have just started playing basketball in 2011, but he is an insanely gifted athlete. He has post moves in his repertoire that are outstanding, and shows his skill set is well beyond his age. He can knock down mid-range jump shots with great frequency, and is also an acute passer. Another thing to like about Embiid is that at age 19, he already weighs 250 lbs. The combination of him at center and Nerlens Noel at power forward is an insanely frightening thought. Embiid is 6th on Chad Ford's big board, and is likely a top ten lock. There's a possibility he could be there with the Sixers second first round pick via New Orleans, if the Hornets do not finish with a top five pick.

Isaiah Austin, Baylor

This 7'0 sophomore center shows a lot of promise, despite how raw he is. In his first year at Baylor, he averaged 13 PPG on 45.9% shooting, as well as 8.3 RPG. Despite being lanky and almost awkward to watch, Austin has some serious talent on the offensive end. Big men seem to be getting more and more athletic each day, but Austin possesses the rare ability to be able to drive with the basketball and step back and hit a jump shot. He also has range from three, shooting 33.3% from beyond the arc last season. Defensively, he has no issue asserting himself on rebounds, and can even stick with guards if necessary, as he has shown great lateral agility. Also like most centers, Austin needs to put on some weight in order to make it at the next level. The 20-year-old is currently ranked 29th overall on Chad Ford's big board, and is currently a late first round pick. With a strong season and Waco, he can easily rise up draft boards.

C.J. Fair, Syracuse

Fair has been a pretty prominent figure on the Syracuse basketball team the past two seasons, but is criminally underrated at the collegiate ranks. The small forward is one of the NCAA's most consistent shooters, and can do just about everything on the offensive end of the court. He can bring the ball up the floor, he can muscle his way to the basket, and he can sure as hell fly. Some consider Fair a tweener, trapped in between a small forward and a power forward, but Fair is a true swingman. If you want a poor man's Andrew Wiggins, Fair may fit the mold. He's ranked 54th overall by Chad Ford, and could go anywhere between the second round to not being drafted at all. Fair has steal written all over him.

Dez Wells, Maryland

Maryland is by no means a powerhouse basketball team, and for that reason many are missing out on the chance to watch Dez Wells. After being expelled from Xavier, Wells transferred to Maryland last year and put on a show. He averaged 13.1 PPG on 52.6% shooting in 2012-13, and Wells is ready to follow up a great sophomore campaign. Wells loves to get out and run the floor, taking it to the rim in transition. He took it to Duke last year in the ACC Tournamentdropping 30 points in a rather flawless game. He's listed as 6'5", 217 lbs., and reportedly looks even bigger this year. Wells is not listed on Ford's big board, and could be a second round pick or an undrafted free agent.

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