Back on Sunday afternoon, Bryan Colangelo, 76ers' new President of Basketball Operations made it clear that the team would, in the coming days and months, shed itself of departed GM Sam Hinkie. And no matter how much time he spent praising Hinkie, and “The Process” it is easy to see a shift is on the horizon. Colangelo’s first opportunity to debut his new philosophy will be at the NBA Draft on June 23rd, and here is a look at what Philadelphia may do with their picks in the first round:
1. Ben Simmons (PF, LSU)
Philadelphia’s approach with this pick will likely mirror what Hinkie had planned to do. However, with Colangelo in charge, the Sixers may have less to debate. While Duke’s Brandon Ingram has overtaken Simmons in many mock drafts, Colangelo could be hesitant to over-think this decision at the beginning of his tenure. Beyond that, Simmons, who averaged 19.2 points per game, as well as 11.9 rebounds, and 4.8 assists, fits into the mold of other Colangelo picks. Much like Demar Derozan, who Colangelo drafted 9th overall in 2009 with the Raptors, Simmons has elite athleticism and excels around the basket, but needs to work on his perimeter shot.
2. Furkan Korkmaz (SG, Anadolu Efes – International)
While Colangelo may choose to package the assets that Hinkie compiled in order to move up higher in the draft, as of now they are set to have two picks in between 20 and 30. And there is still value to be had in that range. One such player who may reach the Sixers is Furkan Korkmaz, an 18-year-old shooting guard from Turkey. Sixers fans may be hesitant to see the front office select another European player, but Korkmaz, who shot 42% in the Turkish league last year, is a natural scorer who would allow Philadelphia to space the floor. Additionally, Colangelo, who has previously drafted Andrea Bargnani first overall, and Jonas Valanciunas 5th overall, has shown an affinity for drafting from Europe.
3. Brice Johnson (PF, UNC)
If the Sixers choose to stay in between 26 and 28 with their third pick, Johnson would be a good depth addition for Philadelphia. A four-year player at UNC, Johnson averaged 17 points per game, as well as 10.5 rebounds, and was one of the most efficient players in college basketball last year. Johnson, who has been projected to be drafted anywhere from 11th, to 33rd, could be a steal in this draft. Armed with an impressive blend of size, and natural scoring ability, Johnson could grow into the role of someone like Taj Gibson, who was drafted 26th in 2009, and become a valuable bench player for Philadelphia.