De’Aaron Fox is one of the biggest risers on the draft scene since his college season ended, and it appears he will be making a visit with the 76ers soon enough, according to multiple media reports.
The most recent update comes from Philly.com’s Keith Pompey, who says the Sixers are set to bring in De’Aaron Fox for a visit on Saturday, June 17, two days after they work out his teammate at UK, Malik Monk.
This confirms an early report from NBA.com’s Scott Howard-Cooper, who shared details from Fox’s itinerary last week.
De’Aaron Fox getting into his visits. Sacramento (5) today, scheduled for Phoenix (4) later in week, Lakers (2) and Philly (3) next week.— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) June 5, 2017
Fox’s schedule came attached to a note about the potential availability of Lonzo Ball past the second pick, which would have serious implications for Bryan Colangelo and his staff.
Lonzo Ball has never been a lock for the Lakers. Fox interview will blow them away. Mature, smart, handles the spotlight. A real option at 2— Scott Howard-Cooper (@SHowardCooper) June 5, 2017
A member of the Sixers organization confirmed to us that Fox will be in for a visit.
There has been some Fox to the Lakers buzz over the last few weeks, and it’s not totally unsubstantiated. Lakers president of basketball operations Magic Johnson was in attendance for Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament game against UCLA, giving the former point guard a front row seat for Fox’s dominance of Lonzo Ball. There’s a possibility he won’t even be an option for the Sixers at No. 3.
Fox’s quick-twitch athleticism would potentially make him a great-fit in Philadelphia’s transition game, but there are deep concerns regarding his ability to play in a half-court offense with the talent already on hand. His fans have pointed to his free-throw numbers and less broken form than Josh Jackson, while critics will say he could not hit water if he took a jump shot off a yacht.
The numbers aren’t pretty on his shot; he made just over 36 percent of his two-point jumpers at Kentucky, and connected on 24.6 percent of his threes at UK. You have to ask yourself whether the free-throw numbers—which are only in the low 70’s—are enough to shrug off ghastly shooting percentages as a freshman. I can’t bring myself to believe that added strength is all it will take to turn him into a respectable shooter.
As Derek mentioned in our discussion of Fox’s jumper on the latest Sixers Beat, there are plenty of examples of guards who continue to shoot well at the line without corresponding improvements to their long-range shooting. Fox would do well to equal the careers of some of the athletic point guards that are mentioned as comps, but even if he hits his edge-case outcome, he could end up being a tricky fit with Ben Simmons.
Still, he’s worth bringing in, and the Sixers are in a draft slot where they should be exploring every option at their disposal. You never know, maybe he blows your mind with a shooting barrage and looks like he’s all set to leave that concern in the past.