The youth presence on the Philadelphia 76ers wasn't precisely strong in 2018. At least, it wasn't towards the end of the year. The Sixers were gunning for the top of the Eastern Conference this year and this year alone. So the thought of the future wasn't exactly in the heads of Head Coach Brett Brown, and General Manager, Elton Brand.

Aside from Zhaire Smith, who spent a majority of the season rehabbing from a foot injury, the Sixers played through the year with only one other rookie on board. The Sixers were moving strong with their 26th overall pick out of Wichita State, Landry Shamet. With expectations close to the floor heading into his debut season, Shamet came into Philly and blew everybody away. Most assumed the young star would eventually become JJ Redick's replacement, but the 'win-now' Sixers had other plans.

In Philly, Shamet was impressive coming off the bench. He averaged 8.3 points-per-game, shooting 40-percent from long range is just around 20 minutes. Shamet could've been a critical piece to the Sixers' playoff run, but they gambled on a riskier investment, which costed Shamet's future with the Sixers. As soon as he was beginning to hit his stride, Philly decided they would use his progress as bait, rather than holding onto him.

The Sixers ended up with Tobias Harris, Mike Scott, and Boban Marjanovic with a trade that included Shamet. Although the Sixers enjoyed watching the young rookie grow in such a short amount of time, it sure seems like he may flourish in his role with the Los Angeles Clippers.

Shamet appeared in 25 total games with the Clippers and quickly established himself as a starter. He found himself getting more minutes, more points, and shooting much better from long range. As Shamet helped the Clippers fight their way into the playoffs over in the Western Conference, his hard work from Philly and beyond did not go unnoticed this year.

In an impressive draft class, with some future stars, Shamet established himself on the NBA All-Rookie team. While he didn't end up being named as first-team, the fact that he spent more time coming off of the bench and still ended up being names second-team was quite impressive. It's unfortunate the Sixers won't have Shamet around for next season, but at least it proves their drafting during the post Bryan Colangelo era hasn't been awful thus far. Now, they have to find some other young studs in this next upcoming draft and hope for Smith to pan out in year two. The loss of Shamet stings, but it could really hurt if they struggle to replace his potential next season.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN. You can follow Justin on Twitter: @JGrasso_


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