Takeaways from Sixers Landing No. 3 in NBA Draft Lottery
Now that the NBA Draft lottery is set, its time to take a look at some of the Sixers options with the No. 3 overall pick.
Despite having the opportunity to grab two picks in last nights lottery, Tuesday night was still a good night for the Sixers and their fans. The Sixers moved up two spots in the NBA Draft Lottery to the No. 3 overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft, thanks to the pick swap obtained in from the Kings from a 2015 trade.
There are several takeaways from the night.
The Next Step
While the Sixers presumably won’t be landing Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball, they also have a ton of great options on the table when they select that should help take them to the next step and push towards a playoff berth.
Adding the No. 3 pick to a hopefully core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric – sprinkle in role players like Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless and others comes with the thought the the Sixers will be better than a 28-win squad next season, and challenge for a playoff spot.
Tuesday night after the lottery, Embiid talked about his expectation.
“I think we’re going to have different expectations next year,” Embiid told CSNPhilly.com. “I’m excited about that. I want to win. I want to make the playoffs, that’s a goal for me.
Jahlol Okafor’s future is more unclear than ever
With another talented player coming into the mix, comes the increasing possibility of the Sixers moving on from Jahlil Okafor.
The feeling here, is Okafor will be moved for very little return at the NBA draft on June 22. The realization that Okafor simply doesn’t fit is apparent, the Sixers took Okafor with the thought of having a plan B in the event that Embiid was unable to play – its time to move on. However, there won’t be a lot of takers, the Sixers tried to move Okafor at the trade deadline, but had little to no takers, so don’t expect the Sixers to receive much in return for the former No. 3 overall pick.
The fit of Okafor, it’s no secret, he simply is a square peg in a round hole.
Okafor looked like a great young, low-post scorer, having a great rookie season scoring 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. However, after his rookie season, knee surgery brought that to a halt to that production, as he scored just 11.8 points per game and just 4.8 rebounds – and struggled mightily on the defensive end of the floor.
Next season will be his third season, but he still doesn’t have a defined NBA role. Okafor is still just 21-years-old and might be a fine NBA player and might be a great one down the line, but it seems like Philadelphia just isn’t the right fit for his skill set.
So who is the best fit? We’ll for my money with the third pick the Sixers would should take Kansas forward Josh Jackson. Jackson is in the mold of Kawhi Leonard, a hard-working, defensive stopper on the perimeter, with the potential to be a threat offensively.
He will need to work on his shot, but if you watched him throughout his season at Kansas, he got better and better – adding a corner three to his game and already has some nice skills off the dribble.
One question will be, do the Sixers want to take a chance with Jackson, and pair him with Ben Simmons, two guys who enter the league with shooting issues. Also, he plays the same position as Robert Covington, who is a defensive stopper, something Jackson should be able to do almost right way.
Another name to watch will be Duke forward Jason Tatum. He would give the Sixers a perimeter scorer, something they really have lacked over the years and should fit in with Ben Simmons on the perimeter.