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June 02, 2017

Sixers Mailbag: Let’s go over some potential draft-day trades

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To wrap up the week, we have a Sixers mailbag touching on a few different draft and roster questions. As always, thanks to everyone who took the time to submit a question. I might even end up doing another post with this batch:

When you get three Allen Crabbe questions, you have to answer them. Those are the rules. They were likely prompted by a report that the Blazers, who have three first-round picks, would be willing to auction one off if a team is willing to take on some of the salary that Portland spent like drunken sailors last offseason.

Let’s answer these one-by-one: Pass on Evan Turner for a million reasons, but let’s just stick with a ridiculous contract (good for Evan!), ET needing the ball 24/7, and ET not being efficient when he does have the ball. Pass on Leonard, because the Sixers already have two centers better than him. Pass on Crabbe, for reasons I’ll explain below.

(How could you be) Moe Harkless though? That’s a good young role player on a reasonable contract who mostly fits with Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. Even if Harkless might create a bit of a logjam with Simmons and Dario Saric, his defensive versatility and 35-percent three-point shooting would certainly interest me.

I don’t particularly like Crabbe’s contract, and the fact that he has a 15 percent trade kicker tacked on to $56 million (so, about $62 mil) over the next three years makes the prospect of bringing him into the fold less attractive. Crabbe is a great three-point shooter, but at that type of money, I would rather have a shooter has more of a positive effect on the offense… like J.J. Redick! The money likely wouldn’t be much different, either.

Even a Harkless trade would depend on who dropped to 15 (and if it isn’t the 15th pick, it’s probably a non-starter). If Frank Ntilikina and OG Anunoby drop, I would think pretty hard about pulling the trigger. If not, I’m not all that crazy about most of the prospects in that range.

It’s worth noting that the Sixers talked about bringing in a stretch-4 this offseason. I don’t really understand that need and Harkless hasn’t been a great three-point shooter, but he’s young and on what looks like a good contract.

I look at it other way:

1.    I really like Dario Saric and believe that he’s going to have a nice long NBA career. The Sixers should be happy to have him.

2.    He’s a little bit overrated by some Sixers fans and the local media. To continue on this point…

Tatum, fairly easily. I wouldn’t draft Tatum at No. 3 if I were the Sixers, but he has the chance to be a high-level scorer in the NBA if a few things go right. At 22 years old, Saric just shot 41 percent from the field and 31 percent from three. I expect those numbers to improve (particularly the three-point shooting), but Tatum has a much higher ceiling to go with being four years younger.

This isn’t about wanting to trade Saric, either. I honestly would like him to stick around, because he’s great with the media and the Wells Fargo Center goes absolutely nuts when he makes a good play. The Homie brings an element of skill and toughness that can be fun as hell to watch.

Part of this is our fault, throwing him into trade hypotheticals when there isn’t much else going on. But Saric projects as a good role player, even if he wins Rookie of the Year. That’s a fantastic guy to have, but let’s also be realistic about his athletic limitations.

The second round is a crapshoot, but here are five names: Bell (super versatile defense), Jawun Evans (lightning quick), Josh Hart (does a lot of things well), Devin Robinson (3-and-D), and Kostja Mushidi (Mega Leks!).

It would be tempting because I would love love love bringing in Monk’s shooting as the team’s second draft pick, but that 2019 pick could honestly be No. 1 overall. Let’s hold on to our Marvin Bagley/Zion Williamson/whoever else is good in 2019 lottery ticket:

If there is a prospect who has made a move in my mind the more that I have watched over the past month or so, it’s definitely Dennis Smith, Jr. He brings both fit and a very high upside, but there are elements of his game that would make selecting him a risk. But if he can make catch-and-shoot jumpers and clean up the mental errors in his game, his ceiling is extremely high.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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