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Liberty Ballers Predicts The Sixers First Pick In The 2015 Draft

A consensus has developed among the staff about what's going to happen on Thursday night, with a few outliers.

Is Bob Cooney a figment of our imagination?
Is Bob Cooney a figment of our imagination?
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Liberty Ballers has a writing crew of about a million people. We don't know what will happen at the NBA Draft tonight, but the majority of us believe the 76ers will select D'Angelo Russell with the third overall pick. Our predictions are below:


Michael Levin: The number of times I have slapped a table (any table) last June and said 'they're getting Wiggins'... I don't know what they're gonna do Thursday. I wrote Porzingis, Russell, and Hezonja already, but I feel like nothing I've thought of will actually happen. So with that in mind, let's say they find a way to swindle Karl-Anthony Towns at either 1 or 3. I don't know anything. Let Hinkie be Hinkie. Am I right? Did I win?

Marc Whittington: The Sixers should be trying their hardest to move up to 1 to take Towns. He's the best player in the draft; he's the prototype for a modern big man; he fits with anyone and everyone. If there's a team that has the assets to do so, it's the Sixers, and I would bet Hinkie is doing everything he can to grab him. Assuming Hinkie is unable to do so, he should stick at 3 and pick Russell. He's pretty easily the second best player on my board, and getting him at 3 would be fantastic. After that selection, I'd love to see a trade back into the 6-8 range in an attempt to grab Winslow or Hezonja. I would not surrender the Lakers pick or Sixers pick next season, but everything else would be fair game.

Wesley Share: Unless the Sixers get a haul and a half from New York (no major assets, save for Cleanthony Early's spirit) or Orlando (most fascinating option) to move down a spot or two, I expect them to be making their pick as it is. So, at number three, I believe they'll take Kristaps Porzingis. I'd prefer Russell, but Porzingis has a unique skill set unlike any prospect we've ever really come across. If there's anything we've learned about Sam Hinkie, it's that he loves finding competitive advantages wherever possible, and Porzingis is simply a new breed. Most importantly, if the chips fall right - and that's a sizable if, of course - the Sixers could have a game-changing piece who's damn near impossible to account for.

Jake Fischer: In a three-team trade, Hinkie trades down to Denver at No. 7, Ty Lawson and other goodies and flips Lawson and Oklahoma City's 2015 protected first to Sacramento for No. 6, to have back-to-back picks just outside the top five. At 6, they grab Emmanuel Mudiay to fill the point guard position and at 7, Hinkie selects Mario Hezonja, who, in my opinion, has the second-best superstar potential of anyone in this draft outside of Karl-Anthony Towns, which is why he's ranked second on my board.

Kyle Neubeck: Russell is the guy, and they shouldn't have to move to get him. I think the idea that Hinkie is always going to do something perceived as "off the wall" gets more credit than it deserves. Russell has as much long-term upside as anyone in the draft and will benefit the assumed core pieces already in place. Barring Towns being available at three, this is a no-brainer for me.

Matt Carey: If I were making the pick myself, presumably as some sort of incentive to get me to buy season tickets, I'd pick D'Angelo Russell at #3. I think he has the best chance of being a piece the Sixers can build around. The great thing about this draft, however, is that I'm honestly at peace with almost any result. I'm not a huge Winslow fan, and I don't think Okafor makes any sense in Philadelphia, but it would take me about 30 seconds to talk myself into them. As a result, I'll be pretty happy on draft night with almost any scenario. Go ahead, Sam. Try me.

Roy Burton: I'll go with D'Angelo Russell being the pick at No. 3. We've been scrutinizing and analyzing this thing to death, but when go time comes on Thursday, I don't expect any surprises at the top of the draft.

Tanner Steidel: Um, I say Sixers take Russell at 3. Maybe it's wishful thinking? I just feel Russell has the best shot of becoming a star more than anyone else available at that slot. I got nothing else for ya since I got no idea what Hinkie's actually thinking and it'd be irresponsible of me to pretend like I do.

Justin F: *channeling Adam Silver* "With the third overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers will select D'Angelo Russell from Ohio State University."

Jake Pavorsky: I really have no idea who the Sixers will select tonight, but at this point I think at this point it seems pretty certain the Sixers will stand pat at 3. At that point, it's gonna come down to Russell or Porzingis. If Russell is gone then Kristaps seems like he'll be the guy, but it's wide open if both are on the board. I'll say they probably end up taking Russell, but I won't be convinced until Adam Silver actually reads his name.

Sohil Doshi: With the 3rd pick, I think the Sixers will take D'Angelo Russell. Generally around this time of year, we tend to let our imaginations run wild with different scenarios as more and more supposed rumors get out there. I think there's a good chance that there won't be anything out of the ordinary that happens in the top 5-6 (surprise picks, trades, etc). For the Sixers, the back court is essentially nonexistent and Russell fills both a need and represents a BPA depending on who you ask. Furthermore, if we're hoping for guys to improve on this team, it's prudent that we start surrounding them with talent to facilitate that improvement.

Shamus Clancy: D'Angelo Russell is the guy at three. The pre-draft process tends to make us all over-analyze prospects, but "Voodoo" simply fits the team perfectly, as his quick shooting stroke and court vision give him superstar potential. My wildcard prediction calls for Sam Hinkie to pool the team's assets together to grab another top-10 pick.

Brandon Lee Gowton: Here’s an exciting prediction: the 76ers are going to stay at No. 3 and take the best player available. That player is going to be D’Angelo Russell. He has the best potential to be a star and I think the team will like his potential fit with Joel Embiid.

Sean O'Connor: Unlike some others, I think the Porzingis interest is real. Sam Hinkie's quote about paying a premium for rim protection rings true with the Lanky Latvian, who has the potential to become a revolutionary two-way player, a big with big-time shooting range and decent or better rim protection. But I think he's the second option for the Sixers, since D'Angelo Russell can also potentially change how the NBA is played, but whose question marks are a little less questionable. They'll stay at three, and take Russell if he's there, Porzingis if not. I think.

Dave Rueter: With the #3 pick, the Sixers draft D’Angelo Russell. All of this Porzingis talk is an elaborate ruse orchestrated by his agent and the Latvian Government. If, if, Russell goes #2 to LA, then I would draft Mudiay. Sure, his jump shot appears broken, which drums up nightmares surrounding our former point guard, but even a broken clock is right two times a day. Maybe this one get fixed? Maybe not. But I’m willing to roll with a big, athletic PG.

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