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051717_Fultz-Ball_AP Elaine Thompson/AP, File

Could Washington's Markelle Fultz, right, or UCLA's Lonzo Ball slip to the Sixers?

May 17, 2017

Sixers mock draft roundup, post-lottery edition

Tuesday night's NBA Draft Lottery may not have gone exactly how Sixers fans had hoped – they didn't end up getting the Lakers' top-3 protected pick – but it could've been much worse had it not been for the pick swap that allowed them to move up from No. 5, where they actually wound up, to No. 3, where the Kings were supposed to pick.

But, for better or worse, we now know where Bryan Colangelo and the Sixers will be selecting, and that can only mean one thing...

MOCK DRAFTS!

True, it seems like we've only just moved past the countless Eagles mocks leading up to the NFL Draft, but we're back. And unlike with the Birds, there are only a handful of players likely to be added to the Sixers roster. Because the Sixers pick third, it's a lot easier to identify which players will still be on the board when they go on the clock.

The general belief is that Washington point guard Markelle Fultz will go first overall to the Celtics, followed by UCLA PG Lonzo Ball to the Lakers. That would leave guys like Malik Monk (SG, Kentucky), Josh Jackson (SF, Kansas), Jayson Tatum (SF, Duke), and De'Aaron Fox (PG, Kentucky) available to the Sixers with the third pick.

But Fultz and Ball going one-two is not a certainty.

Here's a look at some of the latest mock drafts from around the country, starting with one that's sure to get Sixers fans excited.

CBS Sports

1. CELTICS: SF Jayson Tatum, Duke
2. LAKERS: PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA
3. SIXERS: PG Markelle Fultz, Washington

Fultz is one of the most dynamic offensive point guards to come out of college in a while. The prospect of Fultz and Ben Simmons trading off point guard duties is scintillating. I have my concerns about Fultz – namely, his defensive focus – but it's difficult to differentiate between what had to do with him and what had to do with his dysfunctional nine-win college team. But there's no doubting his highlight-reel talent, especially on offense. [Reid Forgrave, CBSSports.com]


RELATED: Hofmann's Sixers only mock draft, 1.0


•  MALIK MONK  •

The following outlets think the Sixers will draft Kentucky guard Malik Monk:

ESPN In$ider

1. CELTICS: PG Markelle Fultz, Washington
2. LAKERS: PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA
3. SIXERS: SG Malik Monk, Kentucky

The Sixers wanted either (Washington's Markelle) Fultz or (UCLA's Lonozo) Ball. Now the choice is tougher. But they need shooters, and Malik Monk should be there for the taking. Or they can go with the toughness of De'Aaron Fox to bolster their perimeter defense.

Coach Brett Brown plans to put the ball in Ben Simmons' hands next season, so right now Monk looks more likely. But Fox has a lot of fans in the Sixers' front office, and Brown loves gritty players. [Chad Ford, ESPN.com]

FOX Sports

1. CELTICS: PG Markelle Fultz, Washington
2. LAKERS: PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA
3. SIXERS: SG Malik Monk, Kentucky

Monk is far and away the best pure scorer on the board, and the Sixers certainly need help on that front. He's slightly small for an NBA shooting guard; ideally, Philadelphia will find a bigger point guard to play next to Monk in the backcourt, allowing the two to switch back and forth depending on matchups.  [Andrew Lynch, FOXSports.com]
 

•  JAYSON TATUM  •

These writers all prefer Duke forward Jayson Tatum at No. 3:

Sports Illustrated

1. CELTICS: PG Markelle Fultz, Washington
2. LAKERS: PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA
3. SIXERS: SF Jayson Tatum, Duke

While Sixers fans rejoiced over this pick swap from the Kings conveying, the braintrust will have a difficult choice at No. 3. With a glut of big men in the fold and Ben Simmons set to take over ballhandling duties next season, Tatum will be able to handle some minutes early on and offer the team much-needed scoring help on the wing. His potential to become a quality jump shooter and perhaps a multi-positional defender makes him a great fit with what the Sixers are building. His fit alongside Simmons stands out from the pack in that regard.  [Jeremy Woo, SI.com]

Bleacher Report

1. CELTICS: PG Markelle Fultz, Washington
2. LAKERS: PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA
3. SIXERS: SF Jayson Tatum, Duke

Duke forward Jayson Tatum has a case for being the best player available at No. 3, but there is no debate over the Philadelphia 76ers' need for a player with his skill set. He'd give the Sixers a second scorer to feature alongside Joel Embiid. 

Assuming head coach Brett Brown plays Ben Simmons at point guard, he could roll out a lineup with Tatum at the 3, Dario Saric at the 4 and Embiid at center.

Malik Monk represents the better fit at shooting guard, but if he's their preferred target, the Sixers may want to explore trading back a few spots.  [Jonathan Wassermann, bleacherreport.com]

SB Nation

1. CELTICS: PG Markelle Fultz, Washington
2. LAKERS: PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA
3. SIXERS: SF Jayson Tatum, Duke

Tatum has been bred to be a primary scorer all his life. Unlike many young scorers, Tatum already comes with a plan of attack: He knows his spots on the floor and how to get to them. There were no shortage of options on Duke last year, but by the end of the season Tatum emerged as the team’s go-to player. As long as he improves his reads as a passer, he’s going to have a long career as an excellent offensive player.  [Ricky O’Donnell, sbnation.com]


RELATED: Best moments from the RTRS Lottery Party


•  JOSH JACKSON  •

These guys think the Sixers will draft Kansas forward Josh Jackson:

CSN Philly

1. CELTICS: PG Markelle Fultz, Washington
2. LAKERS: PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA
3. SIXERS: SF Josh Jackson, Kansas

Bryan Colangelo and the 76ers' brass will ultimately decide between three players here: Jackson, Duke's Jayson Tatum and Kentucky's Malik Monk.

I would take Tatum — I think he'll end up being the best player of the three. Monk's elite shooting makes him the best fit to play alongside Ben Simmons. But in the end, the Sixers will be swayed by Jackson's athleticism, defensive ability and overall potential. He comes with his share of question marks (including a few off the court) but there is no denying he has superstar potential. Jackson reminds me of Tracy McGrady, and pairing that type of talent with Simmons, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric is too enticing to pass up. [Sean Kane, CSNPhilly.com]

Tankathon.com, NBADraft.net and DraftExpress.com all have the Sixers taking Jackson. In fact, they all have the top three playing out in the exact same way:

1. CELTICS: PG Markelle Fultz, Washington
2. LAKERS: PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA
3. SIXERS: SF Josh Jackson, Kansas
 

•  OTHER POSSIBILITIES  •

Here are two others players that could find their way to the Sixers in next month's draft:

USA Today

1. CELTICS: PG Markelle Fultz, Washington
2. LAKERS: PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA
3. SIXERS: PG De'Aaron Fox, Kentucky 

The 76ers need a new backcourt, and they more than anyone would love to land Fultz. But Fox, who measured out to be 6-3, 170 pounds, is a freakish athlete who played smart in a system that has been incredibly successful with point guards. “I feel like I’m the best (point guard in the draft),” he said at the combine. “If they drafted above me I’d be fine with it, I’d be cool with it. You still have to play basketball at the end of the day."  [Adi Joseph, USAToday.com]

Newsday

1. CELTICS: PG Markelle Fultz, Washington
2. LAKERS: SF Josh Jackson, Kansas
3. SIXERS: PG Lonzo Ball, UCLA

Ball's defense is far from a strength right now, but his offensive game is on another level. He is the best and most creative passer in this draft, with a quirky but effective jump shot that produced a 41.2 percent clip from deep. At 6-6, Ball could be a matchup problem, especially if he improves defensively. Previous pick: Jayson Tatum, wing, Duke  [Ari Kramer, Newsday.com]


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