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June 20, 2018

2018 NBA Draft: When it starts, how to watch it, and everything else Sixers fans need to know

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061818_Mikal-Bridges_usat Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports

Villanova Wildcats guard Mikal Bridges.

The 2018 NBA Draft is right around the corner, and while the Philadelphia 76ers may not be any closer to naming a full-time replacement for general manager and president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo, who resigned early this month amid a scandal involving his wife, anonymous Twitter accounts, and the sharing of privileged team information, the team is preparing to make yet another lottery pick, one of their six five total picks, on Thursday night.

After selecting first overall in each of the last two drafts, the Sixers will have to wait until the 10th overall pick this time around. But with two first round picks and four three in the second — h/t Sam Hinkie — it's going to be a busy night for Philly's still-fluid front office, which now has head coach Brett Brown running the show, albeit on an interim basis. 

Here's everything you need to know to get ready for draft night:

HOW TO WATCH THE NBA DRAFT

When: Thurs., June 21 at 7 p.m. (first pick around 7:30 p.m.) | Where: Barclays Center (Brooklyn, N.Y.) | TV: ESPN | Stream: WatchESPN | Radio: ESPN Radio

In addition to their main broadcast, which will feature Rece Davis, Chauncey Billups, Jay Bilas, and Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN will also be offering an alternative broadcast on ESPN2, called "The Jump: NBA Draft Special," as well as a third viewing option on Twitter. Here's more: 

The Jump: NBA Draft Special will document the NBA Draft on ESPN2 with a diverse array of voices, led by Rachel Nichols – host of ESPN’s daily NBA studio show, The Jump. Nichols will join a cast of ESPN NBA commentators, including Brian Windhorst, Amin Elhassan, Zach Lowe, Dave McMenamin, Tim Legler, Fran Fraschilla, Chris Haynes and more to react to the news and information coming out of the NBA Draft. ESPN2’s The Jump: NBA Draft Special will originate from ESPN’s South Street Seaport Studios in New York. Both the ESPN and the ESPN2 telecasts are available to stream via the ESPN App.

In another first, ESPN will carry a special show called On The Clock live on Twitter. David Jacoby, Ryen Russillo and Ryan Hollins will provide analysis and react to the first round NBA Draft selections.  [ESPN]

Finally, for those not interested in actually watching the draft, you'll be able to listen to it live on ESPN Radio and the ESPN app. 

WHEN DO THE SIXERS PICK?

Here's a look at when the Sixers will make each of their six picks in the 2018 NBA Draft:

RD PICK ACQUIRED
1 10 From L.A. Lakers (via Phoenix)
1 26 76ers' own pick
2 38 From Brooklyn
2 39 From New York
2 56 76ers' own pick
2 60 From Houston

[NOTE: On Wednesday night, the Sixers traded the 39th overall pick to the Lakers for a 2019 second-round pick and cash.]


MORE: Should Sixers consider trading up for Euro phenom Luka Doncic?


SOME FIRST-ROUND OPTIONS FOR THE SIXERS

In the weeks leading up to the 2018 NBA Draft, our own Kyle Neubeck has been breaking down some of the top options for the Sixers. Here's a snippet from each of his draft profiles, but I highly recommend checking out the full stories, because there's much, much more info than what you'll see below.
 

Kevin Knox, F, Kentucky

Height: 6'9" | Wingspan: 7'0" | Weight: 213 | College stats: 15.6 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, 44.5 FG%, 34.1 3P%, 77.4 FT%

The Sixers would not have brought Knox in for a second workout if there wasn't a lot of interest in adding him to their current group. He had some of the most impressive flashes of any prospect this season, and with youth on his side you could argue he has some of the highest upside in the draft.

Concerns about his motor or "love for the game" don't track for me as much as they do for others. Knox straight up took over games at points throughout the season, and I think his inconsistency was more a product of his role and some skills still in development that could be fixed over time. With a slightly better handle — Knox is more of a straight-line driver than anything at the moment — there would be a lot less questioning his approach to the game.  [MORE]


Miles Bridges, G, Michigan State

Height: 6'7" | Wingspan: 6'10" | Weight: 220 | College stats: 17 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 2.4 APG, 45.7 FG%, 37.5 3P%, 77.6 FT%

If the burner accounts tied to the Colangelo family are to be believed, Miles Bridges will absolutely be in the mix when the NBA Draft takes place this Thursday. Conceptually it's not the worst idea in the world, as he represents a combination of present-day talent and future upside that is hard to sneeze at.

A lot of the problems I can foresee with his offensive game could be mitigated by the increased space he'll have in the NBA. His handle is not a total disaster and he has the physical talent to take small windows of separation and turn them into baskets.

Unfortunately, his concerns as a pull-up shooter will likely offset that and give him a steep hill to climb to be an impact player. His size and defensive limitations sort of just are what they are, and barring a wild leap in defensive attentiveness he's probably not going to be able to close the gap. Upside is there, it's just a question of whether it's reasonably likely for him to reach his top percentile outcomes.  [MORE]


Zhaire Smith, G, Texas Tech

Height: 6'4" | Wingspan: 6'10" | Weight: 199 | College stats: 11.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.8 APG, 55.6 FG%, 45.0 3P%, 71.7 FT%

There is something to be said for having outlier athleticism and the instincts to match. Smith is a relentless player on both ends of the floor, and he has proven capable of using that to great effect already. His activity is not all dunks and highlight reel plays, either, and manifested itself at the college level in areas like screening. Smith was downright giddy to hunt down players to hit with a screen at Tech, helping to create separation and open looks without ever needing the ball in his hands.

Smith would need to take an astronomical leap forward to cut the mustard as a primary ballhandler, but that's not likely to matter as much within a Sixers context. The Sixers already have ballhandling prospects they believe in between Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz, and provided the latter rounds into shape, the Sixers simply need players who can be functional creators for themselves and others in times of need.

On that front, there's a reasonable amount of hope for Smith. There are kinks for him to work through with his handle, but he didn't look out of place when asked to take more responsibility in Tech's offense last season. He is both unselfish enough and creative enough as a passer to lend hope that it'll be part of his arsenal at the pro level.  [MORE]


RELATED: NBA Mock Draft: Could Luka Doncic slide to fourth overall?


Lonnie Walker, G, Miami (Fla.)

Height: 6'5" | Wingspan: 6'10" | Weight: 196 | College stats: 11.5 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 1.9 APG, 41.5 FG%, 34.6 3P%, 73.8 FT%

Despite all the concerns that come attached to Walker, he's a name that a lot of draftniks have connected to the Sixers in recent weeks. Some of his biggest proponents are people who have followed his career since high school, where he became a five-star recruit for obvious reasons. Belief in him didn't just emerge out of nowhere.

Your affinity for taking risks will probably inform your opinion on Walker. He has shown enough flashes to warrant some optimism for his development, and assuming you think he has a good head on his shoulders, maybe you believe he'll turn those flashes into consistent, impactful basketball. More than anything else, those underlying traits like work ethic and willingness to learn/improve helps separate the dime-a-dozen, toolsy guard prospects from the guys who put it together and deliver on their promise.

And for what it's worth, it's a lot harder for players to develop that off-the-bounce shooting Walker has shown off repeatedly than it is for someone to become a respectable and reliable player in catch-and-shoot situations. When matched with his tools, Walker's shooting utility alone is enough to lend hope for a long and productive career.  [MORE]


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, G, Kentucky

Height: 6'6" | Wingspan: 7'0" | Weight: 180 | College stats: 14.4 PPG, 5.1 APG, 4.1 RPG, 48.5 FG%, 40.4 3P%, 81.7 FT%

The Sixers absolutely have a need for players who can put it on the floor and create, but that can't come at the complete expense of shooting the basketball. It would be a very tough call to look at a player who was hesitant to shoot in college and believe he could remain a knockdown shooter at high volume at the pro level.

As the observer from the stands, it's a lot easier for me to say I believe in Gilgeous-Alexander's basketball intelligence enough that I would probably roll the dice on him. My job isn't on the line, and I can envision a future where the Sixers have high-level thinkers at several spots on the floor simultaneously, between Dario Saric, Simmons, and SGA. If you're going to play a ball-sharing, pass-heavy offense, why not lean into that identity even more?  [MORE]


Mikal Bridges, G, Villanova

Height: 6'7" | Wingspan: 7'1" | Weight: 209 | College stats: 11.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.9 APG, 52.5 FG%, 40.0 3P%, 84.5 FT%

What you see in Mikal Bridges ultimately reflects how you think about several big-picture things: what are the Sixers' most glaring needs, and what should teams be doing with good, but not great draft picks?

Were there more evidence to suggest Bridges was on the verge of transforming his handle and thus his NBA prospects, this would hardly be a conversation right now. A capable defender who can shoot the ball and score on a variety of off-ball action would be a boon for the Sixers either way, even if he doesn't hit his 99th percentile outcome.

But can the Sixers build around another player who might never be able to create his own shot at the next level? More importantly, should they use one of their last high-value picks in a while to do so? The Lakers handing Philadelphia a top-10 pick has given them a unique opportunity to take one more big swing before they (all things going to plan, of course) push their own picks into the 20's for years to come.  [MORE]


What about trading up for Luka Doncic?

Should the Sixers be interested in packing some of their six five picks and moving up, one player who could interest them is Luka Doncic. The 19-year-old Slovenian is likely to go in the first few picks, so would a trade up be worth it for the Sixers? Here's Kyle Neubeck with a little behind the scenes info on what the Sixers think of Doncic — and how the recent changes in the Sixers front office could play a big role in whether or not they make a move.

Bryan Colangelo was a big believer in Luka Doncic, based on various discussions PhillyVoice had with front office and league personnel over the last year. Doncic was not an insignificant factor in the top-one protection the Sixers placed on the Lakers pick that was part of the Markelle Fultz trade, per multiple sources briefed on the situation....

None of this will ultimately matter if the Sixers aren't willing to pay the price it will take to move up into that range. With Simmons and Embiid basically untouchable, the Sixers have a lot of interesting players but not necessarily a lot of trade headliners. Their own picks are no longer premium, and they remain gunshy about giving up too many future assets before their future begins to really crystallize.

But do not expect them to remain idle in spite of all this. There is a lot to love about Doncic alongside this Sixers core, and a more reasonable path toward acquiring him than there was at the beginning of this past season. The only shame, then, is that they have to turn to an interim GM to make these decisions instead of relying on a stable force to carry out the vision.  [MORE]

For more on what Doncic brings to the table, and why he'd fit so well with the Sixers, you should check out Kyle's full breakdown.

FULL 2018 NBA DRAFT ORDER

Here's a look at who will be making each of the 60 picks on Thursday night.

ROUND 1

1. Phoenix Suns
2. Sacramento Kings
3. Atlanta Hawks
4. Memphis Grizzlies
5. Dallas Mavericks
6. Orlando Magic
7. Chicago Bulls
8. Cleveland Cavaliers (from Brooklyn)
9. New York Knicks 
10. Philadelphia 76ers (from L.A. Lakers)
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. Los Angeles Clippers (from Detroit)
13. Los Angeles Clippers
14. Denver Nuggets
15. Washington Wizards
16. Phoenix Suns (from Miami)
17. Milwaukee Bucks
18. San Antonio Spurs
19. Atlanta Hawks (from Minnesota)
20. Minnesota Timberwolves (from Oklahoma City)
21. Utah Jazz
22. Chicago Bulls (from New Orleans)
23. Indiana Pacers
24. Portland Trail Blazers
25. Los Angeles Lakers (from Cleveland)
26. Philadelphia 76ers
27. Boston Celtics
28. Golden State Warriors
29. Brooklyn Nets
30. Atlanta Hawks (from Houston)

ROUND 2

31. Phoenix Suns
32. Memphis Grizzlies
33. Atlanta Hawks
34. Dallas Mavericks
35. Orlando Magic
36. Sacramento Kings
37. New York Knicks (from Chicago)
38. Philadelphia 76ers (from Brooklyn)
39. Philadelphia 76ers (from New York)
40. Brooklyn Nets (from L.A. Lakers)
41. Orlando Magic (from Charlotte)
42. Detroit Pistons
43. Denver Nuggets (from L.A. Clippers)
44. Washington Wizards
45. Brooklyn Nets (from Milwaukee)
46. Houston Rockets (from Miami)
47. Los Angeles Lakers (from Denver)
48. Minnesota Timberwolves
49. San Antonio Spurs
50. Indiana Pacers
51. New Orleans Pelicans
52. Utah Jazz
53. Oklahoma City Thunder
54. Dallas Mavericks (from Portland)
55. Charlotte Hornets (from Cleveland)
56. Philadelphia 76ers
57. Oklahoma City Thunder (from Boston)
58. Denver Nuggets (from Golden State)
59. Phoenix Suns (from Toronto)
60. Philadelphia 76ers (from Houston)

[NOTE: The Raptors and Heat are each without a draft pick this year.]


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