May 17, 2017

Sixers only mock draft, version 1.0

Sixers NBA

Thanks to Vivek Ranadive and Vlade Divac, the Sixers have landed the third pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. You know what that means, right? NBA mock draft season has officially kicked off!

Let’s start by doing our first Sixers only mock draft of the spring. It won’t be the last.

Pick 3: Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas (6’8”, 203 lbs.)

Well, about 6’11” with ‘fro, but you get the picture.

For our first mock, we’ll operate under the assumption that the Celtics will draft Markelle Fultz and 1 and Lakers take Lonzo Ball at 2. And man, this couldn’t have broken any better for our old pal LaVar.

The Sixers would be faced with the potential choice of going best player available vs. drafting for fit. Duke’s Jayson Tatum, Kentucky’s Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox, Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac, North Carolina State’s Dennis Smith Jr., and heck, Frenchman Frank Ntilikina could all be considered in this spot.

Jackson’s jumper is a major question in terms of not only his fit with the Sixers but also the NBA in general, but I’ll stick with the player who I initially believe is the best talent:

The good news is that unlike last year’s somewhat manufactured Ben Simmons vs. Brandon Ingram debate, at least initially there could be legit arguments for a few different players here, ones that I’ll try to make in future mock drafts.

Pick 36: Josh Hart, SG, Villanova (6’6”, 204 lbs.)

Pick 39: Dillion Brooks, SG, Oregon (6’7”, 215 lbs.)

I have no idea what the Sixers are going to do with, count ‘em, FOUR second-round picks! But for this mock draft, let’s simply focus on a couple of wings who fit the mold as well-rounded, efficient players that could fit playing off the ball with Ben Simmons.

Hart had a tough workout in Philly last year, but he was the best player in college hoops for a while this season. A contributor for good Villanova teams from the moment he stepped on campus, Hart found a way to improve every year on the Main Line. A very well-rounded player in college, I’ll be interested to see if some of his improvement as a facilitator his senior year can translate into a secondary ball-handler type of role in the pros.

And somewhat similar to Hart, Brooks was another very successful college wing (who played a lot of small-ball 4) who shot 40 percent from beyond the arc:

That’s enough for our first Sixers only mock draft of the season. I’ll try to have a few more of these as the pre-draft process kicks into gear over the next month.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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