Daryl Morey on Sixers first-round pick Jaden Springer: "We feel good about his ability to be a 3-and-D player in this league. We all know how valuable they are."— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) July 30, 2021
Morey mentions that the Sixers like Springer's upside, that he's not 19 yet and was a top HS recruit. pic.twitter.com/IxGiMNkf9E
With round one in the books, and the 28th pick used on Jaden Springer, Sixer fans are feeling good again.
I love Jaden Springer. One of the best defenders in the draft despite being one of the youngest. Fits with Maxey as a shooter off the catch and secondary creator. Finishes crafty inside. Has a huge, glorious ass. I am temporarily happy about the Sixers again! Surely it will last! https://t.co/jQXxUfRzOQ— Michael Levin (@Michael_Levin) July 30, 2021
Then the Sixers added two big men with the 50th and 53rd picks in the draft. The position of backup big man has led to sports-PTSD in Philadelphia. From Amir Johnson, to Trevor Booker, to Boban Marjanovic, to Jonah Bolden, to Anžejs Pasečņiks, to Greg Monroe to Dwight Howard they’ve just never been able to find a reserve big who was viable by the second round of the playoffs. The lone exception might have been Al Horford, but they ruined that by giving him $112M and using him as a starter.
But late on draft night, the Sixers selected a pair of bigs with the 50th and 53rd picks.
Per source, Filip Petrusev is expected to be a stash pick.— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) July 30, 2021
Filip Petrusuv, 21, played two seasons at Gonzaga, as a traditional big. Per ESPN’s Mike Schmitz, he was “automatic in the paint.” He won WCC Player of the Year as a sophomore with averages of 17.5 points and 7.9 boards. But following those two seasons, he went back to his native Serbia, at the onset of the Pandemic. Playing in the Adriatic league, the same league that produced pros like NBA league MVP Nikola Jokić, Petrusuv improved his shooting enough to really play beyond the paint. He wound up winning 2021 MVP overseas.
During his MVP season he dropped 23.6 points, and 7.6 rebounds for KK Mega Basket.
His shooting form looks pretty clean here, although he’s not a high-volume bomber he did shoot over 40 percent on 62 attempts in 21 games en route MVP honors.
So now the Sixers technically have two MVP caliber centers, an Adriatic League one, and an NBA one.
ESPN’s Jay Bilas noted that Petrusev does have the option to stay in Europe, and while Mike Schmitz replied that he wants to come over, it doesn’t sound like that is imminent:
Daryl Morey confirms that Filip Petrusev will most likely play overseas next season. Thinks there's a chance all 3 draft picks could play in summer league in Vegas.— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) July 30, 2021
The Sixers have needed a stretch big more than any team in the NBA since they parted with Horford in 2020. If Ben Simmons is going to be around, they’ll certainly hope one of Paul Reed or Petrusev (eventually) can play that role. The former Bulldog will probably have his work cut out for him playing defense against opposing NBA stars but he’s an intriguing stash prospect.
Filip probably reps the big who can shoot. And this could put some pressure on B-Ball Paul down the road....
Daryl Morey: "With the bigs we bring in, we want to make sure they're either switchable or can shoot."— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) July 30, 2021
Morey says he feel good Filip Petrusev and Charles Bassey check those boxes.
Daryl Morey says he feels a lot of pressure making tonight’s picks because of how Maxey, Joe, and Reed performed last year #Sixers— Justin Grasso (@JGrasso_) July 30, 2021
Charles Bassey, Western Kentucky
So there you go, boom, depth.
Daryl Morey on adding frontcourt depth to this @sixers roster on Draft night:— Lauren Rosen (@LaurenMRosen) July 30, 2021
"There you go. Boom. Depth."
With the 53rd pick, the one the team purchased early on draft day, the team selected Charles Bassey, another big man. Petrusuv is 7’, 235 and Bassey is 6’11 235, so they’re both very large dudes. Buying the extra pick allowed them to stash one big and bring over another right away.
From the great @Sam_Vecenie's draft guide on Western Kentucky center Charles Bassey, the Sixers pick at 53: "I’m still skeptical that he’ll be anything more than a backup center, but he has a pretty reasonable chance to get there with some simple improvements within his game."— Rich Hofmann (@rich_hofmann) July 30, 2021
Bassey was actually a top ten recruit at one point (6th overall in 2018) after high school before suffering a gruesome tibial plateau fracture, a knee injury that left him facing a 9-month rehab timeline. Then the pandemic hit. He’s no stranger to adversity and has had a long road back.
Born in Nigeria, Bassey wound up in Western Kentucky. He was projected to go in the middle to late first-round a couple seasons ago before the injury. He has size, springiness, and some exciting flashes of athleticism. He’s pretty raw and doesn’t necessarily profile as a shooting big. But he’s provided flashes of pro-level talent, a high motor, and solid touch; perhaps his shot can be developed.
Bassey runs well, likes to dunk, and might occasionally remind you of Bismack Biyombo or Clint Capela. It seems like he has solid touch on his free throws.
More from Morey on Bassey, per Ky Carlin, Sixerwire:
“He’s someone who can shoot. I think with the bigs we’re bringing in, we want to make sure they can, they’re either switchable or can shoot, and Charles has versatility there. I don’t know. We like who we picked. Shocker.”
UDFA, Aaron Henry
Michigan State's Aaron Henry has agreed to a two-way deal with the 76ers, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 30, 2021
Projected to go somewhere in the second round, the Michigan State 6’6 star SF, Aaron Henry, signed with the Sixers after the draft wrapped up. He’ll be eligible for the G League, and potentially some run with the 76ers. According to our resident draftnik Dan Olinger, Henry is a “great pickup” as an undrafted free agent.
More from Olinger;
“Very strong build and flashes quick twitch ability with his handle. Off hand finishes are nice. Very good defender overall. Shot may appear awkward but not broken, just hard to predict. He might be able to carve out a role at some point.”
NBA Draft Day!! Where Dreams Take ✈️. Good luck to our guy Aaron Henry on his next life adventure . Thanks for the three years in the Green and White. pic.twitter.com/ixyrEup1AQ— DK (@SpartanHoops_DK) July 29, 2021
Daryl Morey is not open to talking about the Ben Simmons trade rumors tonight. Made it clear he wants to focus on the three draft picks #Sixers— Justin Grasso (@JGrasso_) July 30, 2021
Not a surprise that Morey was not interested in discussing the Simmons latest. Tonight is about the new picks, and with no blockbuster transpiring, there isn’t much benefit to chatting about the Simmons’ situation. I’m not holding my breath on anything happening tomorrow either.
“We had offers [for the 28th pick] but we preferred Jaden Springer” - Dary Morey #Sixers— Justin Grasso (@JGrasso_) July 30, 2021
This one was probably the biggest surprise of the night, since it was widely reported Philly would shop this 28th pick. But fans should be excited they did not because it implies they turned down deals they had lined up for an exciting player they didn’t expect to fall into their laps.
Daryl Morey says he's leaned on the @sixers' scouting staff heavily in each of his first two drafts at the helm, crediting Elton Brand and Vince Rozman (among others) for their work over the years:— Lauren Rosen (@LaurenMRosen) July 30, 2021
"They do a lot of magic. I'm proud to be part of it."
Daryl Morey says that Joel Embiid has been in the gym, and was in the gym today. Morey says that he's "not concerned about him medically at all," but did not confirm that Embiid will not have surgery on the torn meniscus in his knee. "He has a plan. He looks great."— Derek Bodner (@DerekBodnerNBA) July 30, 2021
That the team is not concerned with Embiid’s knee (which suffered a small tear of the right lateral meniscus back on Memorial day) at all is tremendous news; arguably the biggest news of the night. That they avoided confirming whether or not there would be surgery at some point, however, leaves a little bit of concern. As NFL fans monitor the New Orleans Saints news, they’ll notice that their superstar receiver Michael Thomas opted for ankle surgery much much later into the off-season than the team would have liked and now has about a four-month recovery period with the season starting in early September. So hopefully Embiid does not need surgery. But if he does, hopefully, they figure that out sooner rather than later.