As the Sixers’ season continues to move along, so does the college basketball season. In the upcoming draft, the Sixers will once again have multiple selections. Here is a look at the top sleeper picks for the Sixers to keep an eye on:
School: North Carolina
Size: 6-foot-1, 175 pounds
Stats: 12.7 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.3 SPG, .411 FG%, .329 3P%
The star at North Carolina is a gamer. Although he is a streaky shooter and doesn’t have ideal athleticism, Paige thrives when it matters. With years of experience as the go-to guy at one of college basketball’s powerhouses, North Carolina, Paige has the talent to be a solid NBA player. However his lack of consistency and athleticism has teams are worried that he will not be able to pan out. Paige often goes through cold spells during the season, which is concerning, because his job in the NBA would be to hit shots. For instance, after a 30 point outing against Florida State, the guard followed it up with four consecutive games of a shooting percentage of 20% or less. With that said, when Paige is feeling it, he is a great playmaker and one who has shown he get it done at the highest level. In his last two seasons at UNC, Paige has averaged more than 14 points, 4 assists, and has shot above 40% from the field. An intelligent basketball player and person, Paige is the kind of guy anyone would want on their team. If he can find himself to play more steady, the lefty will put up some major points in the NBA. Despite his athleticism, Paige has a high ceiling because of his ability to heat up, get shots off quick, and then knock them down when it matters most. The Sixers need a consistent shooter and Paige could do that for them with obvious improvement.
Size: 6-foot-7, 200 pounds
Stats: 17.4 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 4.5 APG, 2.5 SPG, .456 FG%, .380 3P%
The 6-foot-7 off guard from Syracuse has had a strong senior campaign. Highlighted by an average of 17 points per game, Gbinije has shown he is a consistent player. This year, he hasn’t had a game below 10 points, all the while enduring more than 30 minutes in each game but one. Along with a compact and quick jump shot, Gbinije is a great secondary ball handler who is more than willing to hit the open man. He’s a safe bet who doesn’t have an unbelievably high ceiling, but would fill a void the Sixers need. Gbinije looks like he could turn out to be a solid NBA role player — something he’s shown he could do, while playing next to Rakeem Christmas the last few seasons. While Gbinije may not be the most flashy, he may be more one of the more reliable in this year’s draft.
Size: 6-foot-6, 200 pounds
Stats: 16.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 1.7 APG, 1.7 SPG, .459 FG%, .346 3P%
After using 3 of his 4 years of eligibility at Drexel, Lee decided as a graduate transfer to move on elsewhere. Now, he is arguably the best player at Louisville’s top ranked basketball program. Lee has done best against the nation’s top competition, scoring 23 points and tallying 5 steals against Michigan State and then later dropping 27 points at Kentucky. The guard, who has ideal size for an NBA shooting guard, can score in a variety of ways. Not only can he attack and finish around the rim, but Lee also has a quick jump shot that could translate to the NBA. At Drexel, Lee played 38 minutes per game and had a usage percentage of 29.2%, in addition to averaging 21.4 points per game. He is used to having to play with the other team’s best defenders, which has caused him to become a well rounded offensive player that could easily translate to the NBA if he can continue to improve his jump shot. He would fill a spot where the Sixers desperately need consistency.
Size: 5-foot-9, 180 pounds
Stats: 25.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 8.7 APG, 2.0 SPG, .437 FG%, .363 3P%
The small, junior guard from Oakland has turned heads across the country with his stellar playmaking, proving himself to be one of the best at his position in the NCAA. Despite his lack of height, Felder can outright score. Not only has he put up 20 points in each of his games this season, but he has thrived against some of the best in the country. He went 10-22 from the field and scored 37 against Michigan State. Two games later he put up 30 points on 4-9 from three at Virginia. But he’s not a ball hog. He’s averaging 8.4 assists per game to give him an assist percentage of 46%, second in the entire NCAA. NBA teams obviously worry about his 5-foot-9 size, but his long wingspan and stocky, strong frame override his height. With additionally quick ball handling moves and the ability to create separation, Kay Felder is an absolute offensive gem. However, in college, he hasn’t been the strongest defender because he exerts so much energy on offense. With that said, Felder has the potential to be a pesky defender when he doesn’t have so many offensive responsibilities. The Sixers can’t afford to pass up on this guard.
School: Saint Joseph’s
Size: 6-foot-6, 210 pounds
Bembry is a great college player who will likely finish the season first team All-Atlantic 10. The forward does a great job of using his body to create separation. With an NBA ready stepback jumper and a fantastic feel for the game, Bembry is prepared for the NBA. However, scouts worry about his quickness and ability to consistently hit the three pointer. The Sixers have so many raw players, they could you use one who is smooth and has a good sense of the game. Bembry is a hard worker and leader (elected a captain as a sophomore) who could translate his game to the next level with a 6-foot-6, 210 pound frame. But this starts with the immediate improvement of his long ball and consistency. One half Bembry will look like the best player on the floor, but the next half he will completely disappear. On the other hand, the forward from Philadelphia has improved as of recently and is starting to find his niche, with two double doubles and two 20 point games in the last five outings. Bembry is one of the more well-rounded players in college basketball, but doesn’t absolutely stand out in any category. The Sixers should keep an eye on him as a possible steal.
First photo: AP
Second photo: Getty Images