By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Philadelphia 76ers have been wide-criticized for their rebuilding program going on under general manager Sam Hinkie. Their fans were hoping for the top pick in this year’s NBA draft; however, that went to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
As the Wolves have the top pick in the draft for the first time ever, the Sixers have to settle for the third overall pick. What they do with this pick, it will tell you a lot about their future moving forward.
Right now, the team can go so many different ways, as the smoke signals continue to change including the teams ahead of them. More so with the Los Angeles Lakers, who hold the second overall pick than the Wolves, who are expected to take Karl-Anthony Towns with the top overall pick.
The team despareately needs a point guard. However, the Lakers seem to be learning towards taking D’Angelo Russell, who is the best point guard in the draft. He may be gone, which would make Hinkie focus on plan B.
There’s already speculation that Russell would refuse to play for the Sixers, as many players and agents refuse to have players play in the City of Brotherly Love. If Russell is gone, the team would have two big man on their radar as the best available next.
Fans have to believe that Ish Smith is not the future of the Sixers at the point guard position. In the past two seasons, the Sixers have had Michael Carter-Williams, Tony Wroten, Tim Frazier, Smith, and Isaiah Canaan all play time at the point.
Jahlil Okafor and Kristaps Porzingis, who is expected to be the top foreign-born player to go in the draft, would be on the board when the team is on the clock. The team has been linked to Porzingis in many mock drafts.
If they do draft Porzingis, it would frustrate fans, because they do not know much about him. Plus, it would be they drafted big man with their top pick in back-to-back drafts, as Joel Embiid went third overall last year, as well.
Embiid is expected to miss the 2015-16 season following another set back from his injury that also cost him this past season.
The team doesn’t need another big man to be honest. Say Embiid is able to play and not miss significant time, they would already have two young bigs in Embiid and Nerlens Noel.
Hinkie has been known to take a gamble or two in his previous draft picks. Last year, the team drafted point guard Elfrid Payton with the 10th overall pick, before dealing him away to the Orlando Magic. In return, the Magic sent the rights to big man Dario Saric, who will not be playing for the Sixers next season.
The team has too many young big man, so they must go after another position and point guard would be the best available spot to target. Should Russell be off the board, the team has to go after Emmanuel Mudiay, who the New York Knicks reportedly covet. He’s the second-best point guard in this draft behind Russell.
He played 12 games in China, before suffering an ankle injury in December that cost him the final two months of his season overseas.
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