Today we’ll learn if the Sixers will have a pick in this upcoming draft. At some point before 5:00 p.m. ET, Sean Marks and the Brooklyn Nets will inform the Philadelphia front office if they’re taking the Sixers 2022 or 2023 first round pick. That option was given to them in the Ben Simmons-James Harden blockbuster.
This year’s pick was offered (along with the Sixers’ protected 2027 pick) at the Feb. 10 trade deadline.
ESPN’s Jonathan Givony said: “Most NBA teams [assume] that the Nets will punt to 2023 and gamble on the Sixers sending an even better pick next year if the wheels come off in Philadelphia.”
So we’ll learn if the time we’ve already spent on Youtube highlight reels was in vain or not and whether or not we should pencil off another chunk of time scouting.
Do Joel Embiid and co. need a three-and-D wing to support the perimeter? Do they need a rim running, lob catching reserve big for when Embiid rests, the type Harden has played so well with in his past? What about a stretch four in the mold of a Grant Williams? Should they just go “highest upside player” available and forgo some safety in hopes of the next Jimmy Butler, selected 30th overall?
The Inquirer’s Keith Pompey has suggested they could stash this player overseas to save money of the total salary cap.
What will the Nets do with the Sixers’ draft pick? The answer could have a big impact this summer. https://t.co/KdPMsD6siC via @phillyinquirer— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) May 31, 2022
“Right now, the sense around the league is that Brooklyn will likely defer the pick....Perhaps the best thing cap-wise about picking draft-and-stash players is that they won’t count against the cap until they’re physically playing with the team.”
The Sixers *could* work around Harden picking up his option, but I will say that a draft-and-stash would probably be the worst thing they could do with their first rounder. Just draft one of the multiple forwards available or at the very least trade for future draft equity. https://t.co/vfRKDR4PDv— Harrison Grimm (@Harrison_Grimm) May 31, 2022
All of these questions can burn in our minds for the rest of the afternoon. We’re also curious: why don’t the Sixers know yet? Some fans have wondered if the Nets are being a little petty, and stripping precious time away from the Sixers scouting department. Are they mad because they think Philadelphia crossed some lines wooing Harden away?
But perhaps Brooklyn is simply attempting to cram a full draft scouting season into a small window and today is the final analysis day.
If they believe a player who can make their win-now rotation will fall to pick no. 23, they’ll probably pick up their option this season. If they don’t, and most experts expect them not to, Philly will be on the clock on draft day.
Betting on injuries and mayhem to befall Philly is the higher upside play for the Nets. It’s been reported that their team will look to trade this pick anyway, and there’s a better chance than not, the 2023 pick will have more perceived value at some point next season.
On the other hand, if the Sixers get this pick, there has to be a good chance they go shopping themselves. The idea of developing a young player in the G League or on their bench over a couple years of Joel Embiid’s prime feels suboptimal. Could the Sixers make a selection for another team with a trade already lined up when they’re on the clock? Could it drag on through the summer? Could one or two of Shake Milton, Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle, Danny Green, Tobias Harris or Jaden Springer be involved?
We can’t help but think of these scenarios. Let’s keep refreshing our Twitter feeds and make sure Adrian Wojnarowski is on our alerts all day.