On this past Tuesday, May 19th, the Sixers attained the 3rd pick of the 2015 NBA draft. Despite the hype that they could possibly get the 1st, 6th, and 11th pick, the Sixers ended up not landing the pick from the Lakers or the one from the Heat. Now the question arises, what do the Sixers do with the third overall pick? Do they trade it away or keep it?
Here are four reasons why the Sixers should hold on to this pick.
D’Angelo Russell is likely to be there
Jahlil Okafor and Karl Anthony-Towns are likely going to be the first and second overall picks of the draft. Both the Timberwolves and Lakers need big men. Last season the Wolves started Gorgui Dieng at center, who was productive, but was no Karl Towns. I see him more as an energy filled back up, than the cornerstone center the team wants.
In addition, the Lakers started Jordan Hill for most of the season at center. He is by no means a suitable starting big man in the NBA, therefore giving them the need to choose Okafor or Towns at pick two. They also have a budding superstar guard, Jordan Clarkson, making it silly to draft Russell. Therefore, the Ohio State freshman is likely to slide to third overall and that is great, because he is the Sixers’ perfect fit.
If Russell is not there, Justise Winslow would be a fine replacement
If Russell is not available, the Sixers could take a risk by choosing Duke freshman, Justise Winslow, who I think is suitable to be picked that early. Winslow was fantastic in the NCAA tournament and has one of the greatest upsides in the draft. He is so explosive and has such a quick first step, making him dominant at times in college. His length (6’10 wingspan) and quickness also give him a fantastic presence on defense. If Russell isn’t there, Winslow would be a great pick and fit for the Sixers, allowing them to really identify themselves as a defensive minded team.
Trading up does no good
If we traded up, that means we would probably be pursuing Towns or Okafor (the likely first and second overall pick). There would be no point to give up other assets or even Noel and Embiid for a position the Sixers do not need. The team is so paper thin at other positions and to waste a pick on their stellar front court would be useless.
The other reason the Sixers would consider trading up would be if another team showed interest in Russell. It would also be silly to trade up and risk other parts of the future, just to grab him. Russell is good, but he is not worth that much. Furthermore, Winslow could be a superstar in this league, and I would not be upset if we took him at third overall. I am also almost positive Winslow will be there at the Sixers pick and he will be a fine replacement if a team snatches the Ohio State guard. In other words, it isn’t worth the extra baggage to pursue Russell.
Trading down does no good either
To trade down would be silly. They are in a perfect situation to get multiple players that would fit their system instantly. I assume Russell will be there and he is their perfect fit for many reasons. If he is not there, Winslow would be a great addition, who is very likely to be around at pick number 3. In addition, the draft class thins out as it gets farther into the first round. I think there are multiple players in the top ten who could be superstars in the NBA. However, after that, the draft loses a lot of the potential and talent. By trading down, the Sixers are merely going to get mediocre players, when they have an option to get a superstar at the third overall pick. Not worth it.
First photo courtesy of www.draftexpress.com
Second photo courtesy of www.heraldsun.com