In his first draft as Sixers general manager, the majority of opinions seem to be that Bryan Colangelo knocked it out of the park. Both Kyle and I sung his praises in our reaction pieces to Philadelphia's selections of Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu, and Furkan Korkmaz, and it seems as though we're not alone. The rest of the Liberty Ballers staff was ecstatic about how the night unfolded, and you can read their reactions below.
Shamus Clancy: A+
The Colangelos have done it, winning over the dedicated Process Trusters with a near perfect draft. Grabbing three guys who were viewed site-wide as top-10 players in the draft is quite the haul, as all of Ben Simmons, Timothe Luwawu and Furkan Korkmaz (FURKAN!) combine the concepts of drafting for both fit and upside. Bryan Colangelo was even saved from himself it seems by not dealing Nerlens Noel in an idiotic trade to the Celtics. Hail Hydra!
Jake Hyman: A+
Bryan Colangelo didn't cave in to trading for Kris Dunn, stated that he wasn't giving up significant assets in order to move up significantly in the draft, and proceeded to accrue viable talent at each selection. It was the perfect scenario you'd hope the new GM would lead off with. Simmons is the premier talent in this year's class and has innate traits that Ingram won't replicate (vision, athleticism), which could help lead Simmons to stardom. Timothe Luwawu and Furkan Korkmaz were both regarded by some draft pundits to be lottery-worthy talents. Between taking arguably the top player and finding talented, offensively complementary international wings to possibly pair with Simmons, Colangelo's first Sixers draft was a success.
Max Rappaport: A+
Honestly, I'm in complete shock. I came into the day with a sense of cautious optimism, then had that hope shattered by a series of wildly lopsided trade rumors throughout the day and into the early portion of the draft itself, and finally walked away feeling as though Bryan Colangelo had just rope-a-doped the entire league before delivering his powerful haymaker. Putting the selection of Ben Simmons at #1 aside for a moment, BC impressed me with his self control (not trading Noel and/or Okafor in a subpar deal in order to create roster balance more rapidly, as he had been rumored to be considering) and his willingness to bet on upside late in the first round (selecting Timothe Luwawu at #24 and Furkan Korkmaz at #26). Luwawu was a guy ranked #6 on my Liberty Ballers Big Board last month, and his fit on this roster, with his defensive potential and shooting stroke, is something that really excites me; I think he could even play some minutes at the one (with Ben Simmons acting as the team's de facto point guard) because of his defensive versatility. Korkmaz was ranked #14 on my board, and he's another guy who can thrive with Simmons in transition while also spacing the floor. Also, his name is goddamn Furkan. Of all the drafts the Sixers have had in the post-Bynum era, this might be my favorite.
Jake Fischer: A-
As everyone else attested, not mortgaging a plethora of assets for Kris Dunn was obviously a bullet dodged. Although I have a sneaking suspicion the Sixers' mega offer for 3 was leaked by Boston to try and help their negotiations with Chicago. But I digress. Luwawu was, of course, terrific value as well. I'm a fan of the Korkmaz selection, but I would have much rather taken Demetrius Jackson at 26. He was absolutely being considered by the team at that spot and I have no idea why he fell to 45. From what I've been told, it's not medical. I think he has the potential to be a starting point guard in this league, and at worst case, he's a tremendous, energizer bunny backup point that can really play well off Simmons. And, speaking of which, I'm still Team Ingram, although I obviously understand why Simmons was the pick. With all that, I think an A- is a very valid grade.
Michael Levin: A-
It all worked out too well. I loved every pick. I'd barely change a thing. That's why I'm terrified that this draft class will be horrible and I will be exposed as the fraud I am and forced to live out my days as a parody account. Kind of a dick move to go and do everything I want so I can't complain about it. Eat shit, Colangelo. A-minus.
Brandon Gowton: A-
The Simmons pick was obvious. I had Luwawu at 7th and Korkmaz at 12th on my big board so, like everyone else, I thought they were great value picks. Kudos to Bryan Colangelo for sitting tight with those selections.
The only knock I have on this draft is that Jahlil Okafor hasn't been traded yet. I don't think the Sixers NEEDED to trade him last night; there's still time. But unloading him would have made it A+.
Roy Burton: A
Any night where you walk away with Ben Simmons is a good one, but the Sixers went the extra step of surrounding the No. 1 pick with two quality wings in Luwawu and Korkmaz. And if the rumors are to be believed, the Sixers showed exceptional restraint in not giving up the farm for the highly coveted Kris Dunn. It was a stunning turn of events for Bryan Colangelo: His detractors began the day cautiously pessimistic, and most of them ended the evening grinning like Cheshire cats.
Marc Whittington: A
This grade is more for having the self-restraint (or perhaps the luck that nobody bit, but we'll give BC credit here) not to trade Okafor and Noel for nickels on the dollar. Between that and Simmons, the night was a success. Add in Luwawu at 24, and it's the best draft day since 2013 when Hinkie blew it all up.
Sean O'Connor: A
Aside from the rumored events of draft night, Bryan Colangelo deserves a lot of credit for the lead up to the draft. Not only did he draft Ben Simmons - the right player, in my opinion - with the top overall pick, he helped convince a potential star pick that Philadelphia was a preferred destination over Los Angeles, which with the recent record of the 76ers was not an easy feat. And through doing that the team generated a buzz amongst a general populace for the first time in three years. The draft would have always been a win had Colangelo accomplished that, and he did.
The other events on draft night had Sixers fans on the edge of their seats, and Colangelo wisely held off on giving Boston a package of players and picks in exchange for Kris Dunn. In hindsight, it feels like a leak from Boston, which was not true, to try and convince Chicago to lower their asking price for Jimmy Butler. At which point Minnesota jumped on board and leaked the same details. Or at least I hope it was. In any case, the Sixers held off on a deal and let the wild events of the draft come to them with the later picks in Luwawu-Cabarrot and Korkmaz.
There's still a logjam at the center position, and the Sixers still don't have a starting point guard on the roster. But good on Colangelo for not trading value for the sake of fit, and realizing that the rest of the offseason can be used to make these improvements.
Justin F.: A
Bryan Colangelo may have just walked out of the draft with its best haul. Whatever veracity there was to the rumors regarding trading way too much to get back up into the top 8, Colangelo avoided making any shocking error, kept his picks, and got great value both times late in the 1st round. Sam Hinkie would be proud.
Elsewhere, Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated gave the Sixers an A for their picks of Simmons and Luwawu, while Korkmaz got a B+.
USA Today gave the Luwawu pick a B+ while Korkmaz earned an A-, noting that both were great value picks.