We finally got our first bit of Sixers-related draft news from Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer. He reported on Thursday that the team is actively seeking out a second-round selection in next week’s draft:
“One smaller trade element to monitor for Philadelphia: The Sixers are actively seeking opportunities to acquire a second-round pick in next Thursday’s draft, league sources told Yahoo Sports.”
As most know, the Sixers are strapped for draft picks period. They forfeited their second-round selection this year for the Danuel House, Jr. and P.J. Tucker tampering investigation, and their first-round pick is routed to Utah via Brooklyn. As of right now, they don’t have any picks in this year’s draft.
There are several routes they can take to acquiring a pick, whether that’s dealing a player or future draft capital. It’s unlikely we’ll see any first-rounders moved in a basic framework, but the Sixers do have two extra second-rounders; one in 2024 (Knicks) and the other in 2029 (Portland). Most likely, the Sixers will be able to buy a pick from another team using money, similar to what they did with the pick that eventually became Charles Bassey a few years ago.
The new CBA makes spending difficult, so it makes sense why the Sixers are targeting a second-round prospect in particular. You can negotiate a partially/non-guaranteed deal with players selected in this range, compared to the framework of a first-round draftee.
Outside of the draft, Fischer also dropped some free agent nuggets that echo some sentiments we’ve heard over the past few days:
“The Philadelphia 76ers, often floated right behind Boston as a potential Beal suitor, are also not expected to target Beal, league sources told Yahoo Sports, regardless of whether Harden decides to remain with the franchise.
Philadelphia has made it clear the Sixers are focused on re-signing Harden, who has until June 29 to decline a $35 million player option for next year. Similar to last summer, it appears that Philadelphia would prefer to sign Harden to a shorter-term agreement, one that still provides a lucrative payday for the 10-time All-Star but doesn’t present the Sixers with the possible predicament that Washington currently faces with Beal’s long-term salary. The Sixers will have various paths to move forward if Harden were to walk, particularly by exploring trades for Tobias Harris, who’s entering the final season of his five-year, $180 million contract. But Philadelphia, sources said, is not expected to target Fred VanVleet in the event Harden departs via free agency, despite the obvious connection to new Sixers head coach Nick Nurse, who won a championship with VanVleet in Toronto in 2019.”
We’ve already tackled Bradley Beal stuff on Liberty Ballers, but the Fred VanVleet nugget is interesting. There hasn’t been anything concrete reported on his free agency, but the VanVleet-to-Philly buzz was picking up on Twitter. It appears there isn’t anything serious in that storyline, at least for now.
If you haven’t, I strongly recommend reading Jake Fischer’s report. It includes several new details ahead of next week’s draft from around the league. In the meantime, start doing some draft homework.