Before we get deep into the topic at hand, let me start off by saying I’m approaching this strictly as if I were operating the Sixers front office. So if you think I’m crazy, just hear me out.
Alright, there are two interesting options here to consider with the first pick in this year’s draft. Either the Sixers make the tough choice picking between two talented players, who could possibly become stars. There’s Ben Simmons, the 6’10 forward from Louisiana State University or Brandon Ingram the standout 6’8 wing from Duke University.
If I’m running the draft for Philadelphia, we would be selecting Ben Simmons. He can come in day one and contribute right away, that’s the type of player Philadelphia needs. He’s an adept passer, can hit the glass and get a basket when needed. Simmons also boasts big time athleticism and has the body type that could stand up to the rigors of an 82-game season. With injuries to back-to-back top picks, it may be time for the team to pay more attention to potential injury risks, making a prospect’s body makeup even more important.
Simmons is slotted to play both the three & four (small forward and power forward) on the NBA level. The ability to play the three upgrades a position Philadelphia needs since they play in the Eastern conference with two of the best small forwards in the game, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. If you can get a guy who has this much ability who just needs coaching to raise his game to the next level, you take him and get to work.
That said, Ingram will be a good player, but there are capable wings on the roster even if they’re not well known. Especially when Simmons can be the type of player that lowers the need for a play-making point guard.
Now the second option would be the Sixers putting together a deal which includes trading their other first round pick and maybe one of their talented young centers being Jahlil Okafor or Nerlens Noel, in exchange for veterans who can contribute to the Sixers now in the hopes to win some more games.
The issue with that is this, Okafor in my opinion has the most upside or potential talent out of all three centers on the roster. His numbers don’t scream “superstar status” at 17.0 points with 7.0 rebounds per game, but his upside is attractive. Those rebound numbers are low for a starting center, especially considering Rookie of the year Karl Anthony-Towns was averaging a double-double with 18.3 ppg & 10.5 rpg.
Towns also also finished the whole 82 game season as a starter were as Okafor had to have knee surgery so we only got to see him for around 50 something games, but to his credit in 50 games he still put up good numbers and was on the NBA All-Rookie Rookie First Team.
Let us not forget about Philadelphia’s other injury plagued big man Joel Embid, who really doesn’t come with much trade consideration being that for the past two seasons nobody had seen him play because of knee injuries. Something no team wants to trade for no matter how good he might be in the future, if he can’t stay on the court he can’t help anyone.
In addition to those factors teams in the NBA don’t tend to make a lot of blockbuster trades involving star players let alone young players unless the return is enormous. Which would have to be more than a first round pick and a second-year player coming off an injury like Okafor or third-year player who has not yet lived up to their billing in Noel. Still, the intrigue of upside can change things.
That’s what I believe the Philadelphia 76ers should do with the first pick in this year’s draft. It’s hard for some to have faith in a franchise that has been in the top half of the lottery for the past five seasons. The question is what what would you do if you were the head person in charge? Make the pick between the two players or pull off a trade,or is there another option out there? Let me know guys thanks for reading!