Since Sam Hinkie took over as President and General Manager of the 76ers, he’s been one of the most active executives.
Especially on draft night.
Reports have been swirling – as they usually do leading up to the draft – about the Sixers potentially moving up and grabbing and second pick late in the first round to go along with their No. 3 overall pick.
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The Sixers also possess five second round picks, though that number could easily change depending on what trades transpire.
For now, let’s focus on the No. 3 selection since that’s likely to remain.
Philadelphia could take a number of different routes since the status of Joel Embiid is clearly in doubt.
Here are the options at No. 3:
- D’Angelo Russell, guard, Ohio State: Russell would be a perfect fit in coach Brett Brown’s offense. There have been rumblings that Russell would be unhappy if he’s selected by the Sixers. He has all the skills to be a highly successful player in the NBA. Russell can handle the ball and shoot from distance. Under Brown, Russell would definitely improve. The Sixers can’t go wrong with this pick. Unless Russell doesn’t want to play here.
- Emmanuel Mudiay, guard, China: Mudiay played 10 games in China after originally being a major prospect for coach Larry Brown at SMU. Since Mudiay played such a small amount of games, it’s hard to tell how good he might be. At 6-foot-5, he has excellent size for a guard. Mudiay is known as a very good rebounder from the guard spot, though his shooting needs work. But he has speed, quickness and all the skills the Sixers are looking for. This could be a very intriguing pick.
- Kristaps Porzingis, forward-center, Latvia: With Embiid’s injury slow to heal and Dario Saric staying put for at least one more season, Porzingis could make sense. He’s 7-foot-1 and has a solid shooting touch. He can work off the dribble and has a very high basketball IQ. Porzingis needs to gain strength, but a big man who can shoot would help draw the defense out and open the low post for Nerlens Noel. Porzingis is worth considering.
- Justise Winslow, guard, Duke: Winslow’s stock kept rising and went to an all-time high through the NCAA Tournament on the way to a national championship. He made big shots and became a defensive stopper. Winslow elevated his overall game when the spotlight was brightest. That says something about him. Winslow would step in immediately and make an impact with the Sixers.
- Jahlil Okafor, forward-center, Duke: Don’t expect Okafor to slip to No. 3, but you never know. If that happens, it’s a no-brainer with a player like this. Okafor needs to improve defensively and with his free throw shooting, but he’s the full package. His footwork is so advanced for such a young player. Okafor would be ideal for obvious reasons.
Of course with Hinkie, they could trade down. Or trade up. Or make other moves. Anything and everything is possible.
History proves that to be true.