The chaotic guard from Arizona State University is an interesting prospect for the Sixers to consider in the second round. The 6-foot-4, 222-pound combo guard is a physical specimen whose motor and defensive versatility make him eye candy for the Philadelphia fans who love and support passionate players like Mike Scott.
Lu Dort gets the Marcus Smart comp because of his build: 6-foot-4 with a 6-foot-8 wingspan, the defensive ferocity, and the inability to shoot the long ball. Obviously having a Marcus Smart on the Sixers would be a great addition for the backcourt, but I’m personally very down on the Smart comp due to Dort’s IQ on the defensive end not being anywhere CLOSE to Marcus Smart (right now). Smart is a goddamn genius on the defensive end and has unteachable instincts and timing. From watching Dort, you can see the effort and motor are comparable to Smart, but his instincts and awareness are not close to Smart’s level. Dort overhelps and can’t contain himself on defense, and although he led his team in steals, he often got caught out of position or his over-rotation led to any easy basket for opposing teams.
That being said, Dort makes those “winning plays” and was certainly a “stats do not matter” guy for ASU last season. The immeasurable hustle plays and effort on both ends of the floor are there, and his fiery passion never goes unnoticed. The Sixers (or any NBA team that takes him) have a great foundation to work with and can mold him how they see fit. He relentlessly attacks downhill on drives and never shies away from contact. His wide, muscular frame combined with his 38-inch vertical make him a soaring boulder flying towards the rim. While his dribble-drive game needs some taming and control, the power is certainly there.
His outside game is the real question. He shot just over 30 percent from 3 his freshman year, and boy, did he shoot some moon balls. A couple times his shots would fly out of the broadcast shot angle and take a half-second before coming down from orbit and clanking back iron. The Sixers obviously need a playable backup guard off the bench next season who can defend and spot up along the perimeter (we also have Shake Milton and Zhaire Smith who could make the leap next season). Lu Dort may not be that guy, especially with the 24th overall pick. But depending on how the end of the first round shakes out and who is there, one of the four second-round picks could be used to take an experimental chance on this brick ball of muscle and passion.
If you want a poetic reason to take Dort, his best game of his lone season in college was a 33-point game against Utah State. A game in which Danny Ainge’s son, Crew Ainge, was his primary defender most of the game… and Crew Ainge could not contain Mr. Dort.