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June 16, 2016

Sixers only mock draft, version 4.0

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Five is a pretty good number, right? With the 2016 NBA Draft only one week away, I figure we’ll do two more mock drafts here, this one and the one that really counts (note: not really) a week from today. This week’s mock draft contains a curve ball in the lottery and a talented prospect falling to the Sixers at 24:

•    Mock draft 1.0
•    Mock draft 2.0
•    Mock draft 3.0

Pick 1: Ben Simmons, PF, LSU (6’10”, 239 lbs.)

Yesterday, I made the case for taking Brandon Ingram No. 1 overall. Here’s the case for Simmons: Besides three-point shooting, the only thing that Ingram did demonstrably better was pick a set of teammates and coaches to play with and for in college. Simmons was a much better passer, rebounder, and a more efficient scorer than Ingram despite not shooting any three-pointers:

Pick 3: Kris Dunn, PG, Providence (6’4”, 205 lbs.)

TRADE! The Sixers strike a deal with Boston in which Jahlil Okafor is the main piece heading the other way.

There are many rumors about the Sixers coveting Dunn, who has refused to work out individually for any teams (preferring that he goes up head-to-head against other Top-10 players, which isn’t happening.) If you look at both teams, the Celtics could use a big guy more than the Sixers. Especially if Dario Saric comes over, it makes sense for the Sixers move on from a big guy because of a numbers crunch in the frontcourt.

Okafor’s value is a tricky thing, as is the value of the third pick in what is supposed to be a two-player draft. I don’t think it’s unreasonable that either side would want more in a fictional deal, because there is a lot of subjectivity in evaluating both pieces. For today, though, let’s have some fun and call the trade in.

Pick 24: Denzel Valentine, SG, Michigan State (6’6”, 210 lbs.)

Valentine reportedly has “a fairly significant knee issue,” which is causing him to plummet down mock drafts. It depends on the medical reports, but I would strongly consider taking that major risk at this point in a weak draft. The reward would be pretty high. Valentine is somebody who on talent should go in in the 6-10 range. In time, he could do wonders for the Sixers offense as a role player:

Pick 26: Malik Beasley, SG, Florida State (6’5”, 190 lbs.)

Even with Dunn in the fold, look for the Sixers to target wings and guards here, especially if they’re going to play in the NBA right away. Beasley has been injured during the pre-draft process, but there’s a lot to like about his offensive game. He scored 15.6 points per game on excellent efficiency (52-39-81 from the field), and more than anything, his playing style is efficient. Beasley attacks closeouts and is comfortable shooting a pull-up jumper or taking the ball all the way to the rim.

Shot creation and defense (he’s undersized for a 2-guard) are Beasley’s weaknesses, and they’re not small ones. Still, I can see the rationale in trying to play him at “point guard” next to Ben Simmons:

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann