24. Vasilije Micic
Contract: None, rights held overseas, signed to a contract with Bayern
The Sixers old point guard "type" - like in the sense of attraction - was the big point guard who couldn't shoot. Michael Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten each fit the bill and were brought in during Sam Hinkie's first offseason. Joining them at that same moment was Micic, a Serbian guard who stands 6'6" and whose shooting numbers inspire comparisons to the point guards mentioned above.
Getting compared to MCW and Wroten inspires little confidence. Combine that with a lack of NBA athleticism, and Micic might not be a surefire NBA prospect. But he has a smooth pick-and-roll game and age on his side - Micic is just 21-years-old and has time at least to improve the shooting. I'm not sure he's athletic enough to be an NBA point guard, but if he can improve his shooting he's absolutely an NBA player.
23. 2016 Nuggets Second Round Pick
Placing this selection here reflects what I believe is the value of recency. The Denver Nuggets are projected by most to be a bottom 10 NBA team, meaning this pick should fall in the 31-40 range in the upcoming draft. While draft picks are far from guarantees in this range, they have enough value to swing a trade for a decent end of bench guy or to add as a legitimate extra piece in a trade.
22. JaKarr Sampson
Contract: Two nonguaranteed minimum salary years, one minimum salary team option
JaKarr Sampson ends up higher on this list than I probably expected given that most people think he's some sort of elaborate joke. Expecting to get Chandler Parsons with an early second round pick each year is unrealistic. Getting someone like Sampson - a player with NBA athleticism and select skills but not an all-around game - is a fine outcome with a pick. He's someone that you can work with if you're the Sixers.
Sampson holds less value to other teams because he doesn't fit a role right now. Sampson defends alright for someone who played power forward in college, but he's not a lockdown defender. He doesn't space the floor or shoot well. The guy's a fine passer with some almighty point guard experience, but he wouldn't crack a rotation for a contender now or maybe even ever. A team would trade a second rounder to get him, probably, but I don't think he fetches more than that.
21-18. 2022-2019 76ers First Round Picks
Since these are first round picks, now is a good time to discuss. When making deals, you can increase or decrease the value of a draft pick by adding protections. If you're reading this, you probably know that. A lottery-protected pick is protected 1-14 and is only converted when the original owner makes the playoffs. A top 55 protected pick (which has very little value) is only converted when the team trading the pick has one of the best five records in the NBA. If the Sixers traded top-55 protected picks they'd have as much value as Chu Chu Maduabum.
Adding protections usually decreases the value of a pick, since most teams protect picks to avoid giving up a top selection. The Sixers own picks from the Lakers, Heat, and Thunder which are all protected. The Lakers pick is protected 1-3 this season. The Heat pick is protected 1-10 this season. And the Thunder pick is protected 1-15. The values of each are discounted in this ranking based off those protections and the projections of team records for each of those teams.
The increase in pick value relates to a pick with downside protections, which happens only in rare circumstances. The two most notable of those are probably:
- Houston trading Kyle Lowry to Toronto for a 1-3 and 5-30. If Toronto finished in the lottery and lost, Houston got the pick. This was eventually dealt to Oklahoma City in the James Harden trade and resulted in Oklahoma City drafting Steven Adams.
- Memphis trading Cleveland a pick protected 1-5 and 15-30. It's only converted if Memphis finishes outside the playoffs and is outside the top five in the draft.
Anyway - the discounting of the picks above is more of an indicator of the time value of draft picks I mentioned in part 2.
17. Richaun Holmes
Contract: 2 years, $2,100,000 guaranteed split between the two years, 3rd year nonguaranteed minimum salary, 4th year minimum salary team option
So Rich Holmes impressed me big time during his limited summer league action. Maybe most importantly of all his skills, it looked like he had NBA three point range. His shot looked comfortable - sometimes when players first make a leap into the NBA the longer three point line can throw off a person's shooting motion. His looked fine.
Evan Turner maybe is the most notable recent Sixer with a range conversion problem. Turner just looks like he needs to put extra effort into his NBA three point shooting. His range doesn't extend out to the three point line despite his being comfortable from 18-20 feet. When taking a stretch big from college to the pros, that's always going to be a question because they're typically not Dirk Nowtizki. Their ranges are learned at each step so as to be productive, not because they're prodigious shooters.
And Holmes isn't big enough to survive without a jumper - he's only slightly bigger than most wings. He might even just be the same size as JaKarr Sampson. But I like his odds of making it as a four once that shooting holds up. Players with range, shot-blocking, and offensive rebounding like Holmes' projects out as rarely are second round picks. I have him higher on here than most probably would.
16. 2016 Thunder (and potential Golden State Swap)
15. 2018 76ers
14. 2018 Kings
The Thunder pick, as mentioned above, is protected 1-15, and the pick swap only applies to two of the consensus top five teams in the NBA. The Kings pick falls ahead of the Sixers pick due to the dysfunction rule I applied in part 2 when discussing draft picks years down the road. Both are unprotected, so that's where the line is drawn.
13. Jerami Grant
Contract: 1 guaranteed year at the 2nd year player minimum ($845,059), 1 nonguaranteed year at the 3rd year player minimum ($980,431), and a team option for 4th year player minimum ($1,051,245)
12. Nik Stauskas
Contract: 1 year, $2,869,400, plus two team options at $2,993,040 and $3.807,147.
11. Hollis Thompson
Contract: 1 unguaranteed year at the 3rd year player minimum ($947,276), team option for 4th year player minimum ($1,015,696)
The decision to list Grant, Stauskas, and Thompson in that order can change depending on what the teams in a given trade are looking for. Grant might have the highest upside, Stauskas the best "pedigree" and has harder-to-find skills, and Hollis Thompson could actually be a rotation player for a good team right now.
Thompson also has the friendliest contract - that lack of guaranteed money means less when the players aren't operating on the margins of a roster, but it still matters. Grant also has a terrific team deal, while Stauskas is rookie-scale. Rookie scale contracts are cheap but not Hinkie-special cheap.
Ultimately I decided to do a ranking of which player would be the most valuable for each of the NBA's 29 teams, which will be a supplementary post. See that ranking here. That ranking resulted in the order above.
Coming up tomorrow: The top 10 begins.