Who is the Best Fit for the Sixers at No. 3?
The result of Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery turned out to be a better night than it could have been, using the pick swap with the Kings, to move from five up to three.
Owners of the fourth-best odds at the top overall pick with a floor no lower than No. 6, the Sixers would have landed at five, if not for the 2015 trade with the Kings, which gives the Sixers a little better opportunity to land a impact player.
“The pick swap came in handy and moves us up to a position to make a decision on all these players we have interests in,” Sixers President of basketball operations and general manager Bryan Colangelo said on the Sports Bash. “There’s a lot of discussion about one and two, but were sitting at three with a lot of good choice to make, so I think it is going to work out well.”
With the Boston Celtics picking first, the Los Angeles Lakers second, most draft experts think that Washington’s Markelle Fultz and UCLA’s Lonzo Ball will be off-the-board when the Sixers are finally on the clock June 22.
Colangelo talked about what his team is looking to find at No. 3.
“We think that at 3 it’s interesting dynamic in this year’s draft,” Colangelo stated.
“There is a lot of talent and some of those players with that talent fit needs for us positionally. This is a year you can literally say we will address both need and talent, while taking the best available player in the same vein. You’ll really be able to knock both of those issues out with one selection.”
While Colangelo might not have given any names that interest the team just yet, ESPN basketball insider Jeff Goodman joined the Sports Bash and discussed which players might be the best fit for the Sixers.
“I feel you’re more apt to go between Jayson Tatum, freshmen at Duke, who can score the basketball and Josh Jackson who’s kind of a power wing, really good defender, tough and passes well for his position,” Goodman said on the Sports Bash.
“I would go Tatum, that’s just me personally in terms of what they need,” Goodman continued.
“Tatum is a cross between Carmelo Anthony and Paul Pierce. Not a superb athlete but can score at all three levels. He’s got a great fade-away jumper, he can create space, step back and it’s tough for anybody to block. I don’t feel he had enough freedom at Duke to showcase what he could do.”
Tatum, a 6-foot-8 freshman from Duke, averaged 16.8 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.3 steals per game.
“You can’t go wrong with Josh Jackson either,” Goodman said. “He was much better shooting at the perimeter than anybody expected this year and he brings ultimate toughness. Either or would be a huge welcome addition to the Sixers.”
Jackson is a 6-foot-8 forward who in his lone season at Kansas last season averaged 16.3 points and 7.4 rebounds with three assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.7 steals per game.
One other guy that Goodman mentioned, Kentucky point guard De’aaron Fox, but he wondered how Fox would fit with someone like Ben Simmons, who the Sixers want to see play the point guard position in 2017 after missing all of 2016 with a foot injury.
“De’aaron Fox, fresh out of Kentucky, blazing speed, unbelievable kid, he really can guard but not a good shooter,” Goodman said. “I don’t think it works for the spacing of this team and the Ben Simmons experiment at point guard as well.”
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