For the second year in a row, the 76ers had the third overall pick in the NBA Draft. And for the second time, they were unable to draft their top choice.
The Lakers shocked many, particularly Sixers fans when they took Ohio State point guard D’Angelo Russell instead of Jalil Okafor ahead of Philly at No. 2.
Which made Okafor fall right into Philly ‘s lap. Along with Joel Embiid (whose status could be worse than we thought after yet another seven-footer was taken) and Nerlens Noel, the Sixers now boast a young trio of bigs with sky-high potential.
“I am excited,” Okafor,a Duke product, said minutes after being drafted. “It’s been my dream my entire life.”
Adrian Wojnarowski, Yahoo’s basketball savant confirmed that Sixers GM Sam Hinkie intends to keep all three big men (for now at least).
The Timberwolves picked a perfect player for Hall of Fame center Kevin Garnett to mentor in Karl-Anthony Towns. Minnesota used it’s first ever No. 1 overall pick on the Kentucky one-and-done product to open the festivities Thursday night.
The Knicks at No. 4 took another seven-footer (to the sound of echoing boos in Brooklyn) in Kristaps Porzingis from Latvia.
A second player from Eastern Europe rounded out the top five as the Magic picked up the 6-foot-8 wingman Mario Hezonja.