NBA mock draft: Could Sixers go for a shooter?
The 76ers have one first-round pick, at No. 21, and four second-round choices, at Nos. 34, 36, 49, and 58.
The NBA draft is Wednesday, and it is expected to feature several trades. The 76ers have one first-round pick, at No. 21, and four second-round choices, at Nos. 34, 36, 49, and 58.
A college freshman has been selected No. 1 overall in each of the last 10 years and the first-year players are again expected to dominate.
Here is our mock draft for the first round.
1. Minnesota LaMelo Ball, 6-7 PG, Illawarra Hawks (Australia). Ball, 19, is a potential generational passer whose jumper needs work.
2. Golden State James Wiseman, 7-1, Fr. C, Memphis. Will the Warriors be tempted to trade this pick for more of a veteran presence?
3. Charlotte Anthony Edwards, 6-5, Fr. SG, Georgia. His athletic ability is off the charts, but his three-point shooting (29.4%) and defense need work.
4. Chicago Deni Avdija, 6-9, SF/PF, Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel). Avdija, who will be 20 in January, improved his three-point-shooting from 27.5% to 37.5% in a year.
5. Cleveland Obi Toppin, 6-9, So., PF, Dayton. The Cavs get the best offensive forward available, who led the nation with 107 dunks.
6. Atlanta Tyrese Haliburton, 6-5, So., PG/SG, Iowa State. If the Hawks don’t trade this pick, Haliburton (42.6% from three) will work well with Trae Young.
7. Detroit Patrick Williams, 6-8, Fr., SF/PF, Florida State. There are rumblings that Detroit could be trading up, but if not, this ACC sixth man of the year who averaged 9.2 ppg. would be an upside pick.
8. New York Killian Hayes, 6-5, PG/SG, Ratiopharm Ulm (Germany). Leon Rose’s first pick could be this 19-year-old who is a creative passer but shot just 21.8% from three in Germany’s top league.
9. Washington Onyeka Okongwu, 6-9, Fr. C, USC. The Wizards might have to trade up to get this poor man’s Bam Adebeyo.
10. Phoenix Devin Vassell, 6-7, So., SG/SF, Florida State. The Suns could use one of the top defenders in the draft, who also shot 41.5% from three.
11. San Antonio Isaac Okoro, 6-6, Fr. SG/SF, Auburn. Any team would like his defensive potential, realizing his three-point shooting (28.6%) must improve.
12. Sacramento Aaron Nesmith, 6-6, So., SG/SF, Vanderbilt. With Buddy Hield possibly being traded (to the Sixers?), the Kings could draft one of the top shooters in the draft from three (52.2%) during an injury-shortened sophomore season.
13. New Orleans Kira Lewis Jr., 6-3, So. PG, Alabama. With Jrue Holiday possibly on the trading block, the Pelicans may consider the fastest player in the draft.
14. Boston Saddiq Bey, 6-8, Soph., SF, Villanova. If the Celtics don’t trade up, they could select Villanova’s fifth first-rounder since 2017.
15. Orlando Tyrese Maxie, 6-3, Fr. PG/SG, Kentucky. Even with Markelle Fultz’s improvement, the Magic still need for an upgrade in the backcourt, and this this combo guard would provide it.
16. Portland Precious Achiuwa, 6-9, Fr. PF, Memphis. The Trail Blazers would get a former soccer player who is just tapping his potential.
17. Minnesota Jalen Smith, 6-10, So., PF/C, Maryland. He averaged 15.5 ppg. and 10.5 rpg, with a solid inside-outside game.
18. Dallas Aleksej Pokusevski, 6-11, PF, Olympiacos (Greece). Pokusevski, 19 in December, needs seasoning and must gain weight, and this could be a draft-and-stash pick for the Mavs.
19. Brooklyn R.J. Hampton, 6-6, SG, New Zealand Breakers. Hampton, 19, who bypassed college to play professionally in the NBL, said he had a workout with the Nets.
20. Miami Cole Anthony, 6-3, PG, North Carolina. The Sixers could be eyeing this player, whose potential is greater than his freshman year production.
21. Sixers Desmond Bane, 6-6 Sr. SG, TCU. He shot 43.3% from three for his career and would give the Sixers a needed perimeter threat.
22. Denver Théo Maledon, 6-4, PG/SG, ASVEL Lyon-Villeurbanne (France). Maledon, 19, averaged 6.2 ppg. in France’s top league over the last three years and could use another year to develop.
23. Utah Josh Green, 6-6 Fr. SG/SF Arizona. A former Australian rules football standout, he is an athletic wing player who might need time to be a rotation player in Utah.
24. Milwaukee Tyrell Terry, 6-2, Fr., PG, Stanford. A player many have clinked to the Sixers, he shot 40.8% from deep and could fit in well with the Bucks' pick-and-roll game.
25. Oklahoma City Jaden McDaniels, 6-9, Fr. SF/PF, Washington. The Thunder are rebuilding and have the luxury of picking somebody like McDaniels, who at 200 pounds will need to put on some weight.
26. Boston Leandro Bolmaro, 6-6, SG/SF, FC Barcelona Lassa (Spain). Don’t expect Boston to keep all three first-rounders, and Bolmaro, 20, needs to improve his shooting and could be a draft-and-stash player.
27. New York Jahmi’us Ramsey, 6-4, Fr. SG, Texas Tech. The Big 12 freshman of the year shot 42.6% from three and would give the Knicks a perimeter option.
28. Los Angeles Lakers Cassius Winston, 6-1, Sr. PG, Michigan State. He offers experience after playing in 139 college games.
29. Toronto Zeke Nnaji, 6-11, Fr. PF/C, Arizona. He is the type of under-the-radar player (16.1 ppg. 8.6 rpg.) the Raptors have done well drafting.
30. Boston Grant Riller, 6-3, Sr. PG/SG, College of Charleston. At 23, he is old for a rookie but has value as a combo guard.