With the 2020-21 NBA season now in the rearview mirror, it is time to focus on the offseason. Teams are constantly making moves in an attempt to get better and one of the best times to do that is during the NBA Draft. The Sixers are sure to be very involved in every aspect of the offseason, and this could be the very start.
Q: What do you expect the Sixers to do with the 28th overall pick?
Steve Lipman: I expect the Sixers to trade the 28th overall pick. I guess I also expected them to trade 21 last year though, so who knows. But it just feels like whether or not Ben Simmons is dealt before or on draft night, the Sixers have lots of maneuvering to do this offseason, and that pick is one of the team’s more valuable assets. I also am just not sure how many more roster spots the team is willing to commit to rookie or second-year players, with guys like Tyrese Maxey, BBall Paul, and Isaiah Joe in tow, and Rayjon Tucker potentially continuing on a two-way. So yeah, my guess is that George Hill and 28 are dealt for some depth help on the wing.
Daniel Olinger: Expect is such a tough word, because none of us really know what Daryl Morey and Co. plans or plots to do with this pick. If I had to bet, I would say it gets traded, given that the Sixers’ needs for advantage creation within the context of their half-court offense are very rarely capable of being fixed by a player still available with the 28th pick in the draft.
Q: Who is your favorite prospect in this draft class and which prospect would you like the Sixers to draft with either of their picks?
Daniel Olinger: I’ve obviously done a good amount of work on this draft, profiling prospects through written pieces, my new Sixers Draft podcast and with video breakdowns on Twitter, and needless to say I’ve gotten attached to a few of them quite a good bit. My three favorite targets for the Sixers at 28 are guards Sharife Cooper and Jared Butler, should they somehow still be available, while Pepperdine’s Kessler Edwards is projected to most definitely be there and is probably the best fit for the Sixers due to his cross section of size, mobility and low-usage movement shooting. While Rife’s fit is limited due to his size and necessity for on-ball reps, he’s simply too talented to pass up at 28, and Butler and Edwards just portend very easily toward helping the Sixers’ offense in high-leverage situations.
Tyler Monahan: This year I made a concerted effort to watch more college basketball in order to get a better feel for this upcoming draft class, and because of that, I feel a pretty strong attachment to a few players. Isaiah Jackson out of the University of Kentucky and Kai Jones out of the University of Texas are my two guys. I would love for the Sixers to draft either athletic power forward, but that seems like a pipe dream at this point. Another player I’d like the Sixers to take at some point in the draft is Quentin Grimes from the University of Houston. Grimes is a shot creator and bucket getter; the Sixers need more of that on their bench.
Q: What is your favorite Sixers draft memory?
Dan Volpone: This really hasn’t aged well, but the Sixers winning the lottery to draft Ben and trading up to draft Fultz are, I think, the two most joyous draft memories I have.
Daniel Olinger: Given that I’m the youngest guy on staff, I think saying that the selection of Tyrese Maxey with the 21st overall pick in last year’s draft isn’t too great a hyperbole. That was the most work I’d ever done on any draft class, and the fact that a prospect as talented and likable as Maxey slipped all the way to the Sixers’ selection following such a gloomy season just filled me with so much joy. I’m forever grateful for Mike Muscala and his late-game bubble heroics that brought T-Max to Philadelphia. Build the statue, guys.
Steve Lipman: This may seem an odd choice given recent events, but my favorite SIxers draft memory was Hinkie’s first draft, when he traded Jrue Holiday and 11 to New Orleans for Nerlens Noel, 6, and their first-rounder in the following draft. It’s nothing against Jrue — I loved him as a Sixer and was truly thrilled for him to win a title — but this was the signal that the Sixers finally had a plan, and they were done being good, but not good enough (theoretically, gag). It was the beginning of The Process, and as a long-suffering Sixers fan who was desperate for some sort of direction which didn’t end with a best-case scenario of an early playoff exit as a low seed. Process forever.
Tyler Monahan: This might be cheating, but my favorite memory is the Sixers jumping up to the third pick thanks to a pick swap obtained in a trade with the Sacramento Kings. I remember screaming “THE PICKS SWAPPED” like it was yesterday while my family watched me like I had three heads. The trade up to the first pick to draft Markelle Fultz after this didn’t work out how we expected, but those picks swapping finally made me feel like things were starting to pay off for the Sixers.
Q: Do you think there are any big trades that go down during the draft? If so, who do you think is involved?
Dan Volpone: I think Beal gets traded on draft day, and (setting myself up for heartbreak) I think the Sixers are the team that lands him.
Steve Lipman: There are tons of rumors surrounding the Sixers and Toronto — they seem to be the closest team, currently, to trading for Ben Simmons. As I write this (9:25AM on Tuesday), Bradley Beal has not yet requested a trade. Everything we’re reading suggests that if Beal is going to get traded this summer, he’s going to have to request one this week, prior to the draft. If he does, I think he gets traded (to Philly) just before the clock starts on the first overall pick. If he doesn’t, I’ll say that there are a number of minor-to-middling trades, but no big trades.