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June 21, 2024

NBA mock draft roundup: Sixers' decision at No. 16 nearing

As the 2024 NBA Draft comes into focus, who are the Sixers planning to select at No. 16?

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Jared McCain 6.21.24 Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports

Duke sharpshooter Jared McCain could be an ideal offensive fit with the Sixers at No. 16 in next week's NBA Draft.

We are just five days away from the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft. While the Sixers' No. 16 pick could very easily be used as a trade chip -- either dealt on its own for a rotation contributor, or as part of a collection of assets for a star now.

For now, though, the Sixers do own the No. 16 pick, and a handful of potential fits loom. Let's take a look at a handful of the most recent mock draft results:

Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo, ESPN: Jared McCain, G, Duke

McCain knocked down 41.4 percent of his three-point tries in his freshman season at Duke, establishing himself as one of the elite long-range shooters in this year's draft class. It does not require a rocket scientist to figure out why that makes him an intriguing fit with Embiid and Maxey.

Woo writes: 

"McCain appears to be firmly inside the top 20 at this point, earning a green room invitation and having enjoyed a positive pre-draft process. There's interest in him from teams in the late lottery, and the Heat, 76ers and Lakers are all possibilities, creating what looks like a narrow range. 

As an excellent shooter with impressive intangibles that have bolstered his case in the short and long term, McCain is well-prepared for an NBA adjustment and could be on a faster track to making an impact than your typical freshman. His ability to play both backcourt spots intelligently and provide immediate spacing has plenty of appeal to any team in need of shooting or guard depth. 

If the 76ers keep this pick -- which they may instead use as a trade chip -- that type of skill set would make a lot of sense next to Tyrese Maxey." [ESPN]

Krysten Peek, Yahoo! Sports: Rob Dillingham, G, Kentucky

This is where things get interesting. Dillingham was expected to get looks in the top five -- and he still may -- but his stock has seemed to decline during the pre-draft process thanks in part to an injury that has limited his ability to work out for teams. Just one writer's take: the Sixers should absolutely not pass on a player with Dillingham's upside if he is available beyond the lottery.

Peek writes: 

"Dillingham has been dealing with an ankle injury since the combine and will only be able to work out for a select number of teams leading up to the draft. Offensively he is one of the best players with the ball in his hands and has that dog mentality that teams love. But what's giving teams pause is his work on the defensive end, where he has average footwork and difficulty staying in front of players." [Yahoo! Sports]

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report: Jo'Kobe Walter, G/F, Baylor

Walter appears to be considered one of the more reliable bets among mid-first-round picks, a wing who can be at least viable on both ends of the floor. Wasserman -- who compares Walter to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope -- gives an update on the status of Walter's draft stock: 

"No new updates were made to Ja'Kobe Walter's scouting report after the NBA combine. His measurements, middle-of-the-pack athletic tests and promising shotmaking sequences were all expected. 

He will get pegged with a safe label that sees a three-and-D 2-guard who can defend both wing positions. The lack of creation and playmaking may make it tougher for teams to picture upside worth a top-10 pick." [Bleacher Report]

Kevin O'Connor, The Ringer: Tristan da Silva, F, Colorado

Da Silva is already 23 years old, and selecting a player with that advanced age in the middle of the first round is not exactly conventional these days. O'Connor argues that da Silva is as close to a sure thing that there is in this region of the draft class. 

"Da Silva is one of the safer bets to find success in the NBA because of his two-way abilities, and the Sixers could use his size and versatility no matter what they end up doing in free agency." [The Ringer]

Sam Vecenie, The Athletic: Jared McCain, G, Duke

McCain's three-point shooting prowess is well-documented at this point, but Vecenie outlines other areas of his game that improved during his lone season at Duke: 

"Many league sources believe the 76ers could move their first-round pick to get immediate help. Philadelphia has cleared significant cap space to go star-hunting, so, if the right deal becomes available, this pick could be used to further that goal. Even if the Sixers believe they could potentially sign a star in free agency, filling out the roster with ready-made veterans around Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey will be critical. 

McCain was seen as a potential one-and-done lottery prospect entering the season before a slow start made evaluators pause. However, over the last two-thirds of the season, McCain was one of the best freshman scorers in high-major college basketball. Starting with Duke’s Dec. 9 game against Charlotte, McCain averaged 16.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists over his last 28 games. He made 41.6 percent of his 6.4 3-point attempts per game during that span and consistently got into the lane in transition or when driving closeouts. I also thought he improved drastically on defense over his final 15 or so games.

His fit with Tyrese Maxey is not ideal because of their size, but I don’t expect Daryl Morey to draft based on fit when the 76ers have so few players under contract next season." [The Athletic]

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