Who Should the Sixers Take with the No. 3 Pick?
Earlier on Monday, Sixers fans got the news that the 12th pick in the 2014 draft, Dario Saric, would not be playing for in Philadelphia for the 2015-2016 season. He will remain in Turkey for at least one more season, the buyout was just too much for the Sixers.
Let's hope the bad news doesn't continue.
With this year's NBA Draft just two days away, many mock drafts have Karl-Anthony Towns going to Minnesota with the top pick and the Lakers taking Duke big man Jahlil Okafor with the second overall pick.
That leaves the Sixers with a few choices for the third overall selection.
Many people think the guy they should pick is Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell. He has been described as a polished point guard, an obvious area of need for the team.
But does taking a guy with a higher ceiling make more sense for the Sixers?
One name we have been hearing a lot of over the past week-and-a-half is Kristaps Porzingis. He is an intriguing prospect who might not be as ready as Russell is for the 2015-2016 season, but the Sixers aren't concerned about winning now and he might be a better player down the road.
(Listen to Sixers beat writer Bob Cooney talk Sixers draft and trade rumors)
Many people believe Russell is a guy who can come in and help a team right away, but do the Sixers even want to take a guy who is ready to play now? Two things to consider about Russell, he has only played the point for two years and he's not a great defender at this stage. He does do a ton of things well, he scores, shoots, get to the basket and can finish.
We all know how much Sixers GM Sam Hinkie likes to gather assets and with Joel Embiid's health concerns, who knows how that will impact their selection. Do the Sixers value getting better now, or are they content on tanking again for a third straight season?
If the Sixers are banking on Embiid to be the "center of their universe" as Brett Brown has said to us on the Sports Bash, then does the team try to push forward and try to win games this season without him?
One question with Porzingis would be can he fit in with Embiid and Nerlens Noel? Can you play all three of them together?
I'm not so sure you can.
If you have all three of the big men with the intention of moving one, will other teams know that you have to move one and lessen the value you can get in a deal.
If Embiid is hurt, I think Porzingis is the pick, if the Sixers think Embiid is healthy I think they go with Russell.
The guy I would take is Emmanuel Mudiay.
Mudiay spent this season playing in China, playing 13 games, he is a 6-5 point guard who is physical and can finish. He averaged 18 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game during his stay in China.
While he is very good in the open floor and sees the floor well, he can be turnover prone and some aren't sure if he is a true point guard. He struggles a bit shooting the ball from the perimeter, while he wasn't a horrible shooter in China, it's an area he definitely needs to improve on in the NBA.
While many are more familiar with Russell, in my opinion its Mudiay that has a higher ceiling. His size and strength is a key factor and his experience playing in China tips the scale for me. He spent time playing with former NBA players, learning the professional game and learning how do be a professional player.
The Sixers have put their fans through hell the past two season winning a combined 37 games - it's time to win, it's time to move forward.
"This starts now."
We'll find out Thursday night if they want it to start now, or later.