July 29, 2021
The Sixers acquired the No. 53 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft early Thursday morning, in a deal with New Orleans, the team announced on Thursday morning. Philadelphia is sending cash — $2 million, according to Shams Charania — to the Pelicans for the pick, and completed the deal after midnight the night before, according to a source familiar with the situation.
A team source told PhillyVoice the team made the move in an effort to increase their flexibility heading into draft night. Acquiring an additional second-rounder, even a late one, provides the Sixers with a slew of options to choose from on Thursday night. Pick No. 53 is not that valuable on its own, but if the Sixers decide they want to move up in the draft, move their 2021 picks for a veteran free agent, or trade picks away to pick up more future assets, they now have an extra pick in order to make that happen.
(And, it's worth noting, the Sixers have unearthed some gems late in the 2nd round in recent years, with Shake Milton at No. 54 one of their big recent success stories.)
Consistent with intel gathered last week, team personnel still believe the Sixers will move No. 28 in some form or fashion on Thursday night, though they remain open to picking at their slot if the right opportunity becomes available. As of Thursday morning, a source told PhillyVoice the Sixers were fielding a lot of incoming phone calls, though based on conversations with team personnel, nothing is imminent on a bigger move (Simmons-related or otherwise).
In years past, ownership has come under criticism for Philadelphia's habit of selling second-round picks, inspiring questions about their commitment to spend to win. Daryl Morey being empowered to spend cash in order to work the margins is a positive sign for the franchise as they seek to improve the team by any means necessary.
We will keep you updated as the Sixers look to best position themselves for a big night at the draft.
This story is developing...
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