Here's what the pundits on ESPN and NBA TV said about the Sixers' draft picks not named Markelle Fultz.
ESPN's Fran Fraschilla:
"Four years ago, the Latvian junior team had two seven-footers playing for them in the European under-18 championships. One guy was named Kristaps Porzingis, and he spent his early development in Spain. His buddy Anzejs Pasecniks, he spent his time in Latvia.
He didn't start to improve until the last two seasons, when he went to Spain to play in the ACB League [Spain's top pro league]. At his size, he is an athletic big man, perfectly suited for the space-and-pace game. He runs, he jumps and he catches lobs at the rim.
He's a little slight, and he's not going to be a very good defender early. But the country of Latvia – which has two million people – now has two 7-foot-2 players who are going to be in the NBA. One a star, and one who I think could be a nice role player."
Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA TV:
"He may look familiar to a lot of people, because he's a Latvian seven-footer – 7-foot-2, actually – with a great shooting range. A little skinny, needs to prove that he can play some defense on the inside. And now comes from Spain. Does that sound like Kristaps Porzingis? It should, because he's a former teammate of Porzingis' on the Latvian under-18 team.
They've got a lot in common. They're from the same age group. What you've got to temper, though, is that he does not have the same skill level as Porzingis. But it is the same skill set. He's a guy that a lot of people liked here in the 20s. He's a guy that could have a really nice impact as a stretch four, even playing some center for the Sixers."
Fran Fraschilla, ESPN:
"They're getting a well-traveled young guy. One of the great stories of the draft. Australia, high school in Vegas [Findlay Prep], prep school in New Hampshire [Brewster Academy]. Nondescript season at UCLA a year ago when they were 15-17. He took his talents to Belgrade, Serbia, and he played for FMP [Beograd], a good Serbian club.
And what you've got here is a unique NBA-style athlete. He shot over 40 percent from three, he runs and jumps and is athletic. And boy – if he would have played with Lonzo Ball this year, he would have been a first round pick. One of the things I like about him is, he played in a league that has recently produced Dario Saric, Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic. All good young NBA players."
Fran Fraschilla, ESPN:
"I watched him four years ago in Washington, D.C. at the Nike Global Challenge. He's a high-energy big man, playing very well in French [top league] Pro A. Very interesting. There's only been one NBA player ever from the island of Martinique. His name was Rony Turiaf, who as you know went on to star with the Gonzaga Zags [and played in the NBA from 2005 to 2014]. This young man almost went to Gonzaga – and you know how they do with international guys – but he signed in France.
He is a running, athletic, jumping, offensive rebounding animal. He may not come over right now, but he's a young big man with plenty of energy. And again, as I've said many times, the French Pro A league translates to the NBA. Size and athleticism, high energy, under-skilled. I think we'll see him in the league some day."