When I was named co-general manager of the Sixers for this particular exercise, I was elated. Think of all the possible ways this board can fall! What could possibly go wrong? This is the most fun pick of the draft! I get to be fake Sam Hinkie!
If the board falls like this in real life, Hinkie should and probably will make every effort to shop the pick. As Rich pointed out yesterday, this is pretty much a different tier in the draft, and the difference between the next 8-10 guys is minimal. If you can find somebody who has fallen in love with a prospect here (Elfrid Payton and Zach LaVine are the ones that stand out here as guys who are perceived to be fast risers that teams would be afraid to miss out on), and you can move out for a mid-round 1st and an additional asset, go for it.
Alas, the commissioner of this fake draft decided we couldn't trade picks, so here we are.
For the last 24 hours, I agonized over this pick. In my mind, I had it narrowed down to three potential choices:
Option A was Dario Saric, the highest ranked player remaining on the Matt Carey big board, but somebody with a dangerously similar skillset to my new superstar, Jabari Parker, drafted earlier by my esteemed colleague, Mr. Roy Burton.
Option B was James Young, who I would have chosen and just written "DEAL WITH IT" as the entire post.
Option C was Gary Harris, a solid all-around player who may lack the upside of the other two, but makes up for it with a higher floor and a good fit with the currently constructed Sixers.
That's why I'm bringing Harris to Philadelphia.
Harris, the 6-4, 205 pound shooting guard from Michigan State, is probably one of the safer picks in the draft. He lacks the upside of some of the other choices in this range, but he also has a higher floor than most of them, and he doesn't have a killer flaw that stands out as a major "he's not going to be able to start in this league" red flag. He's a good scorer, a good distance shooter, and most importantly to me, a very good on-ball defender, something this team really lacks, and even moreso with the earlier selection of Parker.
Harris struggled a bit this season with his shot, and his percentages were down from his freshman year, which is a little concerning, but also could be an outlier. He doesn't take bad shots and he doesn't turn the ball over.
The one thing that may give the Sixers pause is that he's not great at getting to the basket. This is fine to me after drafting a high-usage player like Parker who can get to the rim and create off the dribble, which hopefully sets up some nice open catch-and-shoot looks for Harris, where Harris did shoot very well last year. His handle isn't particularly great, which is part of the reason he struggles getting to the basket.
Harris is a great complementary player, and that's definitely not something to sleep on at #10, because it almost has to be the case. The pick at #3 really dictates who the pick is here. The idea of picking the best player available is great and all, but it's fundamentally flawed, even for a team with as many holes as the Sixers. Picking Parker closes a lot of doors, taking guys like Saric and Doug McDermott off the table. (Although, to be fair, McDermott was never on the table. There was no need for threats when it came to me picking McDermott. There was a better chance of me drafting Dylan McDermott.)
The same goes for Embiid, although you might be able to talk me into a Saric-Noel-Embiid frontcourt troika where nobody ever scores inside on the Sixers again. Picking Exum takes all of the 2-guards (Harris, Stauskas, LaVine) off the table. Wiggins doesn't take anybody out of play, which is another reason why all of my daydreams these days are Wiggins based.
Regardless, Harris is now a fake Sixer. And if draft night comes and he becomes a real Sixer, that would be great too. Jake Fischer is up picking for the Denver Nuggets at #11 tomorrow. I'm told they are not allowed to draft Kenneth Faried again, which is a shame.