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Most confusing draft picks in recent Sixers history

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Who is the Jalen Hurts of the Sixers?

Jahlil Okafor, Richaun Holmes and J.P. Tokoto attend a press conference after being selected by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 2015 NBA draft Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images

In Philadelphia, sports can be essentially at a standstill and still make fans absolutely lose their minds. Last night, the Philadelphia Eagles selected quarterback Jalen Hurts with their second-round pick. Now, in a vacuum, Hurts is a perfectly fine selection. Many people think he has a good chance of being a highly productive NFL quarterback and could have been a steal for a team at 53rd overall. However, there’s the complicating factor that the Eagles already have quarterback Carson Wentz, who is only 27 years old and just received a contract extension worth $137 million in new money last summer. So...highly confusing, to say the least.

All of which begs the question, what Sixers draft picks have had you scratching your head the most? I decided to run down the most obvious examples, because even in quarantine, we Sixers fans can’t pass up an opportunity for some self-flagellation.

To clarify, this isn’t an exhaustive list of bad picks. Markelle Fultz ended up being a bad pick, but everything confusing with him happened after the draft. At the time, he was widely considered the consensus first overall pick and a perfect fit for the Sixers. Similarly, in hindsight, Evan Turner was a bad pick in 2010, but he had swept the college player of the year awards and any NBA team could use a versatile wing. No, I’m talking about the picks where the morning after the draft, you were still thinking, “Why did the Sixers do that?”

2017: Anzejs Pasecniks with the 25th overall pick

You hate to pick on a guy selected towards the end of the first round, because the vast majority of such selections don’t pan out anyway. The highly confusing part of the whole Pasecniks situation was that Bryan Colangelo used a future first-round pick (albeit belonging to Oklahoma City and top-20 protected) to draft someone who couldn’t come stateside for at least another year, and wasn’t considered to have NBA-level upside even if he did. The Sixers ultimately waived his rights last summer. Pasecniks has appeared in 24 games for the Wizards this season as a reserve.

2015: Jahlil Okafor with the 3rd overall pick

Okafor is the guy who drew the most direct comparison to the Hurts situation on Philadelphia sports Twitter last night. I mentioned Turner above, and Okafor had a similar level of collegiate success and pedigree, but unlike The Villain, there were already signs on draft night that Jahlil’s skills wouldn’t translate to the NBA game, be it his defensive concerns or the league shifting away from post play. But what really propels the Okafor pick to top confusion levels is that the Sixers already had Joel Embiid (who, granted, hadn’t yet played in an NBA game) and Nerlens Noel on the roster. It’s fun to joke about the Sixers fielding an all-center lineup on social media, but even two at once doesn’t work in reality.

2012: Arnett Moultrie with the 27th overall pick

Like with Pasecniks, the Moultrie selecion is confusing for what the Sixers gave up to obtain him. They traded a future lottery-protected first-round pick to Miami to move up from 45th overall to 27th. Moultrie averaged 3.6 points across a total of 59 games across his two seasons with the Sixers, then was traded to New York for a second-round pick and Travis Outlaw. The Sixers immediately waived Outlaw and the Knicks immediately waived Moultrie, who never played another NBA game.

1998: Larry Hughes with the 8th overall pick

As covered in a recent Revisionist History piece by our Adio Royster, the Sixers had Paul Pierce ranked second on their board, but didn’t take him because Larry Brown had made a promise to Hughes. I remain confused to this day. Pierce is expected to headline the 2021 Hall of Fame class. Larry Hughes is...not.

1993: Shawn Bradley with the 2nd overall pick

I would say using the second pick to draft someone who took the previous two years off from playing basketball for a missionary trip would qualify as confusing, especially when Penny Hardaway is sitting right there. I remain convinced that the organization couldn’t pass up having a 7-foot-6 guy playing for the 76ers, all questions of basketball ability shoved aside in place of the marketing glory that would await. Bradley was traded to the Nets midway through his third NBA season for a disgruntled Derrick Coleman.


In your opinion, what was the most confusing Sixers draft pick? Vote below, or maybe you have another option to discuss in the comments.

Poll

Who was the most confusing recent Sixers draft pick?

This poll is closed

  • 12%
    Anzejs Pasecniks
    (47 votes)
  • 36%
    Jahlil Okafor
    (135 votes)
  • 3%
    Arnett Moultrie
    (13 votes)
  • 26%
    Larry Hughes
    (96 votes)
  • 21%
    Shawn Bradley
    (78 votes)
369 votes total Vote Now