CHICAGO - The 76ers have four second-round picks in the June 22 NBA draft. They could trade a couple of them and possibly a player to move up to get a mid- to late first-rounder.
In that scenario, Justin Jackson would be a solid option for the Sixers. Mocks drafts have the North Carolina swingman going anywhere from No. 10 to No. 27.
He was aware of the possible scenario when he met with the Sixers Thursday morning at the NBA draft combine. By the end of the interview, both sides were impressed.
"It was really good," Jackson said. "They were a great group of men. . . . It was kind of back and forth. So it was a good time."
Right now, the Sixers are assured of getting a top-seven pick at Tuesday's NBA draft lottery after finishing with the fourth-worst record at 28-54. They'll have an 11.9 percent chance of winning the lottery. The Sixers will also receive the Los Angeles Lakers' first-round pick unless the Lakers finish in the top three of the lottery.
It would be a reach to select Jackson among the top eight picks. However, the 6-foot-8, 210-pounder, who left UNC after his junior season, would be a solid addition as a later pick. He averaged 18.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists while leading the Tar Heels to the NCAA title.
Jackson was asked what a team would get by drafting him.
"A guy they won't have to worry about off the court," Jackson said, "a guy that is going to work his butt off every day and try to help his team and help himself as much as possible. If I do that I will be happy with my life."
Former North Carolina State coach Mark Gottfried thinks he knows a perfect fit for the Sixers in North Carolina State point guard Dennis Smith Jr.
"I think he has a chance to become an elite-level guard in time in the NBA," Gottfried said. "I personally think with Ben [Simmons] healthy that the two of them together would be quite an amazing combination. I think their skills actually complement each other."
Smith declined to attend this week's NBA draft combine. However, the 6-2, 195-pounder is projected to be among the top seven players selected in the draft.
The Sixers will interview Kentucky point guard De'Aaron Fox on Friday morning. He could be among the top four picks in the draft.
Fox is athletic and explosive. The 6-foot-3, 175-pounder has a solid midrange game and is a good on-the-ball defender. He averaged 16.7 points, 4.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.5 steals in his lone season at Kentucky. The Sixers will end up interviewing more than 20 players at the combine. However, Fox and Markelle Fultz are the only two that they could use a top-seven pick on. They interviewed Fultz Wednesday night.
Sixers draft pick Furkan Korkmaz wants out of Europe and hopes to be in a Philly uniform next season, sources said.
However, the shooting guard has two seasons remaining on his contract with Turkish team Anadolu Efes. Korkmaz has a complicated buyout that could prohibit from him from achieving his goal, according to sources.
Plus, the Sixers are in no rush to bring him here. Another year in Europe will enable the 6-foot-8, 190-pounder to add much-needed strength and bulk. He also needs to get stronger and a little more polished to play in the NBA.
The Sixers picked the Turkish player 26th overall in the 2016 draft.