June 02, 2016
With the amount of rumors and reporting that indicate the Sixers are leaning toward taking LSU’s Ben Simmons with the No. 1 pick, the next question is whether Bryan Colangelo would try to address the roster’s big man glut by making a trade for a guard in the draft.
Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher believes there is a specific target in mind in the oft-speculated “Jahlil Okafor to Boston” scenario.
“While the Philadelphia 76ers are expected to make Simmons the No. 1 pick, they are looking to potentially move Jahlil Okafor for the No. 3 pick in order to be able to take [Providence point guard] Kris Dunn,” Bucher said.
(I wrote about Dunn back in January when Providence came to town. He has an amazing story.)
Let’s say that Simmons is the top pick. Dunn, who stands at 6’4” and is strong and athletic, would be an ideal fit defensively, bringing the Sixers closer to a team that can switch any screen from 1 to 4. Offensively, Dunn probably has a more erratic jumper than his 37 percent three-point shooting would indicate. Package that with the fact he had the ball in his hands the entire game in Ed Cooley’s offense, and he’s a tricky fit offensively with a point forward type like Simmons.
That said, the numbers crunch in the frontcourt is a real problem, and the risk runs both ways. Someone like Okafor could have an extremely tough time developing if Simmons, Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, and Dario Saric are all in the fold. But in trading Okafor for Dunn, you could also be sacrificing value if Okafor figures some of his weaknesses out.
Note: On the last edition of Sixers Beat, I asked Derek Bodner for a guess about this exact scenario (trade for 3, draft Dunn) and he estimated there was more than a 50 percent chance it happens.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann