The NBA Draft is this Thursday at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn. As I’m writing this, your Philadelphia 76ers have the tenth and 26th pick in the first round plus multiple second rounders.
For now …
Who knows what’s going to happen on draft night or the three days before? “Smoke Screen Season” is in full throttle at this point.
There is a lot of buzz about Michael Porter, Jr. being a top-five pick — which is hilarious to me considering he’s a 19-year-old kid with a bad back and a bad hip. Kevin Knox is flying up draft boards despite seeming very “Carmelo-ish” to me (i.e. great offensively, liability defensively).
Last week, head coach and interim general manager Brett Brown said, “We are completely exploring aggressively all options, and I think we just know we need a little bit more.” Oh, really, Brett? Could this be one of those “aggressive options” the Sixers are looking at?
From @MikeAScotto 's mock draft in @TheAthletic - Grizzlies exploring what Parsons + 4 would get them in a trade... pic.twitter.com/qJJR8DHvdp— Peter Edmiston (@peteredmiston) June 14, 2018
The Memphis Grizzlies are shopping the #4 pick on the condition the trade partner takes on the contract of Chandler Parsons. There are plenty of bad reasons not to take this trade.
Trading up for the wrong guy.
If the Sixers are trading away assets (#10 pick, Fultz, Saric, Covington, etc.) to move up to #4, they better not be taking the aforementioned Porter, Jr. (a 19-year-old small forward with all the ailments of a 60 year old YMCA hooper). Or someone like Mo Bamba, the big man with the longest wingspan in NBA Draft Combine history (7’10” if you didn’t know). I’d love Mo Bamba … if the Sixers didn’t already have Joel Embiid. So that’s a no.
Trae Young? He gets the hardest pass I can give.
Trading up to guarantee that the Sixers get Villanova’s Mikal Bridges is misguided. Bridges is not going top-three. I would stake my life on that opinion. There’s a good chance he’ll be there with the tenth pick, so why give up more assets for a guy you can get with your own pick? Even if he isn’t available, there are still plenty of options: Miles Bridges of Michigan State, Lonnie Walker (“The U”), SGA (Kentucky), Zhaire Smith (Texas Tech), or Knox (Kentucky).
Oh Dear Lord in Heaven, that Parsons Contract, though!
It’s not good.
It’s not pretty. In fact, it’s pretty damn ugly. There’s “Elephant Man Ugly”, and there’s the much worse “Chandler Parsons’s Contract Ugly”. Parsons counts for $24.1 million in 2018-2019 and $25.1 million in 2019-2020. I’ll be nice and say his numbers don’t justify that amount of money. At one point (his two years in Houston) it might have been, but not now.
You don’t want to make the deal because of that contract? It’s completely understood because the Sixers would be throwing away cap space for a guy that’s played 70 games in the last two seasons. The Sixers wouldn’t be getting “Prime Parsons”. They’d be getting broken down Parsons.
It basically means the Sixers are giving up on Markelle Fultz.
There is no “the Sixers can keep Markelle and get the #4 pick”. Fultz will have to be part of that trade package. The tenth and 26th pick isn’t enough, and switching Dario for Chandler Parsons is unacceptable.
If Chris Wallace (not that Chris Wallace, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace) isn’t completely incompetent, he’ll require Fultz in that kind of deal. He’s a young piece with upside no matter what some say about his being a bust. Anthony Bennett was a bust. What happened with Fultz is just weird.
Depending on who you believe, either the Sixers wanted Fultz all along (as Brett Brown has said) or Bryan Colangelo overruled everyone and took Fultz because his totally normal collars fed into his inferiority complex. Whatever the story, it’s irrelevant if the Sixers trade up to #4.
Now that I’ve outlined so many bad reasons why the Sixers shouldn’t do this, allow me to point to the bright, glaring and extravagant good reason:
Holy crap, though. Luka Dončić is totally, 100%, certifiably worth it.
This is literally the ONLY reason the Sixers should make this deal.
Someone explain to me why there are rumors that Dončić could fall out of the top-3. There are three certified blue chip prospects in this draft: Dončić, Ayton, and Jaren Jackson, Jr. Then, there’s everyone else.
Last year, Jonathan Tjarks said Dončić might be “the best European NBA prospect in the 21st Century”. If you’re the Kings at two or the Hawks at 3, why are you passing on that? (Hey, Vlade Divac. Do you have any idea how crazy you’ll look if you take Michael Porter Jr. with the #2 overall pick? Your franchise has been STARVING for a superstar since DeMarcus Cousins left. Can you not screw this up?)
For those that need a refresher on Dončić, here’s the 4-1-1. He’s a 6’8” point guard with incredible passing ability on both touch and bullet passes, fluid control with his dribbling and creation, an assassin in the pick-and-roll, floaters, step-backs, and finishes incredibly well at the rim. He’s the total package.
Ok. You want something other than my words? Fine.
I hope three teams are insane enough not to take Dončić. I hope he’s there, and I hope the Sixers make that deal.
Are you afraid Dončić won’t translate well to the NBA? Don’t be.
For example, estimate of how Luka Doncic's production would translate to the NBA using each of these values: pic.twitter.com/GgEJ48cH8J— Jacob Goldstein (@JacobEGoldstein) June 18, 2018
What do the Sixers look like if they make this trade AND Dončić is picked?
(Notice how I included the “AND Dončić is picked” caveat because, again, that’s the only reason you do this.)
I won’t say unbeatable because every team is beatable on any given night, but holy crap they’ll be good. Simmons, Embiid, Saric, and Dončić for (at least) the next five years. I’ll take that over whatever the Boston Celtics want to throw at us.
The rest of the team would be filled out by Covington, TJ, Parsons (for two years, anyway), and any combination of vet minimum guys that want to ring chase.
If Brett Brown wants to be aggressive, this is one way to do it. Granted, this means that Brown & Co. have resigned to the fact they’re going to strike out on all A-tier free agents (Lebron, Paul George) as well as Kawhi Leonard in a trade. They’d be making that decision before free agency begins.
Right now, three days before the draft, we’re in “wait and see” mode — which is both the best and worst. It’s great because there’s excitement, but it’s terrible because it’s magnifying anxiety.
It wouldn’t be a Sixers off-season if it didn’t, though, right?
How much would you give up (while taking on Parsons) to be able to draft Doncic?
This poll is closed
10th pick + Fultz
10th pick + Fultz + Cov
10th pick + Fultz + Dario
10th pick + Fultz + Dario + Cov
Whatever it takes
Not doing it.