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2017 NBA Draft: Sixers trade up to No. 25, select Anžejs Pasečņiks from Latvia

That’s interesting, I suppose.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers-Press Conference Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers executed a trade to obtain pick No. 25 in the 2017 NBA Draft, trading a future first-round pick to obtain the rights to Orlando Magic’s pick at the spot, according to multiple reports. They used it to select big man Anžejs Pasečņiks, a 7’2” center from Latvia.

Details came in fast, furious, and inspired a lot of confusion amongst Philadelphia fans. Mostly because, well, they drafted another big man!

Here are some of the details on the swap.

The Orlando Sentinel’s Josh Robbins got the details of the trade correct, but not the team—the first round pick is one the Sixers obtained in the Jerami Grant trade with Oklahoma City.

Here’s what the folks at Draft Express had to say about him:

Pasecniks' feel for the game is a work in progress at this stage. He's registered just 8 assists in his 559 minutes in Spain the past two seasons, or one every 70 minutes of action. He can be somewhat of a black hole at times, looking to fire away every time he gets a catch, and struggling to move the ball fluidly within the flow of the offense when he does try to get others involved. These are things you'd like to see your stretch big man be able to do from the perimeter, and is something he'll have to improve on in time.


Pasecniks will wow you at times with his ability to cover ground fluidly at his size, getting low to the ground and sliding seamlessly staying in front of guards, but he really doesn't know how to use this consistently at this stage. He is somewhat of a blank canvas still on the defensive end, with many of his flaws being fundamental, experience and technique related, as opposed to a lack of ability. He's upped his shot-blocking numbers to a respectable 2 per-40 this season, which is something to continue to monitor as the season moves on.

Despite the flaws Pasecniks shows, it's important to remember that he's still only 20 years old (turning 21 next week), very much a late bloomer, and is just now starting to get his first taste of consistent rotational minutes at the professional level. Almost every team in the NBA is looking for a 7-footer who can catch lobs, make 3-pointers, cover ground fluidly defensively, and protect the rim. Players in his mold are so rare that someone is bound to take a chance and see how he looks with a few more years of development as he enters his mid-20s and completes his physical maturation.

Though he may not be a smooth fit into the current Sixers lineup, there are a lot of fans of the pick, including one of the resident draft heads at The Ringer, Kevin O’Connor, and you can read their draft guide blurb on him here.

We’ll have to see what this means for the other big men on the Sixers roster, and if this is just the first step in a series of things to come. Our resident European expert Wesley Share will be stopping by soon with his thoughts on snagging our version of the Latvian Gangbanger.

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