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June 20, 2016

Five burning Sixers questions heading into NBA Draft week

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The NBA is close to a 12-month league now. Only a few days after LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers ended the playoffs with an epic Game 7 win in Oakland, the NBA Draft will take place in New York City on Thursday night. The Sixers will be prominently involved in the night’s proceedings.

Heading into draft week, here are five of the most important Sixers questions. On Friday, we’ll come back and revisit with some of the answers that Bryan Colangelo and the front office came up with:

1. Are they going to take Ben Simmons No. 1 like we all expect?

After Brandon Ingram’s workout, Colangelo said that he changes his mind every day when it comes to who he’ll take first overall. Did he really mean that?

2. Do the Sixers make a trade to get back in the lottery?

Despite Jaylen Brown’s suggestion that he could be in play for the top pick, it was interesting that the Sixers were able to bring him in for a workout. Could the athletic Cal wing be a surprise target? There has been more than one report that the front office thinks highly of Kris Dunn, and while a traditional point guard wouldn’t seem to be a major need with Simmons in the fold, maybe the front office falls in love with the Providence star’s potential.

3. Are both Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel here at the end of the week?

The two big men seem like the likeliest candidates on the roster that could get moved for a lottery pick. With the potential additions of Dario Saric and Joel Embiid next season, the Sixers simply don’t seem to have enough minutes in the frontcourt.

One factor that could be play a factor is that Noel is due for an extension next year, while Okafor still has three more seasons left on his rookie contract.

4. Do the Sixers go draft-and-stash at either 24 or 26?

If the Sixers don’t want to clear out another roster spot for a rookie, maybe they look into bolstering the European pipeline. This way, big guys like Ante Zizic and Ivica Zubac are theoretically much more in play at those slots. Maybe they try to trade into the second round?

5. Do we learn anything more about Colangelo's overall philosophy from the draft?

Do the Sixers target a couple of non-shooters like Brown or DeAndre' Bembry? Do they draft a true point guard like Tyler Ulis? The only thing Colangelo has done since taking over is win the lottery. On this night three years ago, Sam Hinkie told us what he was all about with the Noel-Jrue Holiday trade. Can we learn anything about Colangelo from this draft?

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann