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Sixers Draft Grades from around the web

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NBA: NBA Draft Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Yahoo! Sports:

Overall Grade: B

Mikal Bridges would have been ideal, but the trade for Texas Tech swingman Zhaire Smith certainly makes sense. A physical defender and excellent rebounder, Smith’s biggest challenge will be improving as a creator off the bounce to help offset his sub-optimal 6-5 frame as a small forward. The good news? He is an elite NBA athlete as a leaper and with his lateral quickness. The Landry Shamet pick at No. 26 is a good one. Shamet, from Wichita State, is a knockdown shooter who can play some pick-and-roll as well. Second-rounder Shake Milton out of SMU is a good playmaker and multi-positional defender.

The Ringer

Zhaire Smith Grade: A

Brett Brown surprised all of the cynics (like myself) who figured he would take an instant-impact upperclassman like Mikal Bridges. Instead, he traded down to get a high-upside flier in Smith, and the Sixers got an unprotected first-round pick in 2021 for their trouble. It’s not clear exactly how Smith fits next to Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, but he’s a smart player who may already be the best athlete in the NBA. His defensive ability will get him playing time right away on a contender, and he has more offensive upside than people realize.

Landry Shamet Grade: B

Shamet made his name with a strong performance against De’Aaron Fox and Malik Monk in a classic NCAA tournament game two seasons ago. He didn’t take a big step forward as a sophomore at Wichita State, but his combination of size, shooting, and secondary playmaking should make him a solid rotation player. Shamet could slide into the role of folk hero backup point guard currently occupied by T.J. McConnell.

Bleacher Report

Overall Grade: A

Trading Philadelphia native Mikal Bridges put a strange spin on a feel-good story, but the 76ers accepted a great deal there. Zhaire Smith has the 10th-best freshman BPM ever recorded, according to Sports Reference. Landing him and a future first was too much to pass up. [...] Additionally, Landry Shamet is one of the best shooters in this class, and Shake Milton has a chance to fit well in the position-less era.

CBS Sports

Zhaire Smith Grade: C+

The Sixers had a perfect pick at No. 10 with Mikal Bridges, an NBA-ready 3-and-D player. Then they traded down to get one of the most raw players. Will Smith be a contributor any time soon, the way Bridges could have been? He’s got the potential to be an excellent player because of his absurd athleticism. But the Sixers should be thinking about next year, not 2021 (which is when they get the Suns’ pick).

Landry Shamet Grade: B

They need a shooter because almost everyone on their roster who can shoot is a free agent. They get one of the draft’s best. Shamet is a classic on-or-off-ball point guard with size. He could be a backup plan if Markelle Fultz doesn’t ever find his fit, too.

Shake Milton Grade: A

His huge wingspan, positional versatility and strong shooting made it seem like he could have been a late first-rounder.

USA Today

Zhaire Smith Grade: B-

Smith, who is headed to Philadelphia via a draft-night deal according to USA TODAY Sports’ Sam Amick, is an explosive, athletic wing who’s extremely versatile on defense. The 76ers can easily plug him in and assume he’ll compete defensively from the start.

Landry Shamet Grade: C-

Shamet has a quick trigger from three, a good motor and is a capable one-on-one scorer. He’s also got good size for his position and will provide the 76ers with a scoring boost off the bench.

Overall Grade: B-

It was a strange night for the Sixers. Villanova’s Mikal Bridges was a perfect fit for the Sixers at 10, and the pick made sense. It was rather shocking when they ultimately traded back to 16 to get Smith and an unprotected Heat first-round pick in 2021. In retrospect, the trade makes some sense — Smith has the higher ceiling, though Bridges is a better shooter and ready-to-go now. Smith has a high ceiling, but low floor unless he gets a better jumpshot and ballhandling. His athleticism is tantalizing. Shamet was probably picked too high, but the pick is fine. He’s a good shooter with length and the ability to play on or off the ball. He’ll fit nicely off the bench. Milton was a solid value later on as another combo guard. he’s 6-6 with a 7-foot wingspan.

SBNation’s Ricky O’Donnell

Zhaire Smith Grade: A

Philadelphia trades the rights to Mikal Bridges to Phoenix for Miami’s 2021 first rounder and the rights to Zhaire Smith. For as much as Philadelphia would have embraced a hometown product like Bridges, this is a great trade for the Sixers. Smith is the best athlete in the draft, an explosive 6’4 guard who plays like a big man. He rebounds better than Jaren Jackson and blocks more shots than Marvin Bagley, making him one of the most unique prospects in this class. There is no better pure athlete in this class than Smith. If his shooting eventually comes around, watch out. Until then, he’ll thrive running in transition with Ben Simmons and will be able to make plays above the rim on both ends of the court.

Landry Shamet Grade: C

Shamet thrives as a pull-up jump shooter, which is vital for Philadelphia given Markelle Fultz’s shooting struggles. He has good size at 6’5 and has plays with poise and pace. Is he strong enough to defend multiple positions? Can he run an offense? There were better players available.

Sports Illustrated

Zhaire Smith Grade: B

This pick is going to the Sixers with Miami’s 2021 first-rounder for Mikal Bridges, so Smith is headed to Philly. We’ll grade this decision for the Sixers, which is a little bit baffling given how strong a fit Bridges was, but does build in more long-term upside for Philadelphia and adds a future first. For the Sixers, who can afford to bring Smith along slowly, it’s an admirably bold move, and while Smith folds in a lot of risk, he will benefit from being able to play off of the established stars already there. It’s a good pickup for the Suns, who sorely needed a defensive-minded wing player to add to their core, and have assembled an appealing collection of young talent.

Landry Shamet Grade: C-

I don’t love this pick for the Sixers, given the breadth of guards still on the board, but I can understand the thinking behind it—Philadelphia needs to put consistent shooting next to Ben Simmons in order to keep the floor spaced and optimize their stars. That said, not everyone viewed Shamet as a first-round caliber talent because of his average athletic ability and defensive shortcomings. Given his experience level the hope has to be that he’ll help the team immediately in a role capacity. J.J. Redick’s free agency could also be a factor here.

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