A lot of things are going to change going forward after the Jimmy Butler trade. The future is no exception to these changes, and the Philadelphia 76ers will have to change their draft approach going forward.
The NBA Draft is more than 200 days away, however the Philadelphia 76ers are certainly thinking about it right now. Going into the 2018-2019 NBA season, the plan for the upcoming draft was most likely going to be taking a wing player that could either defend, create off the dribble, or hit threes (or do all three of said things). With the recent blockbuster trade, it certainly shakes up that plan.
When you break down the current 76ers roster, you can obviously see it’s full of talent. Even though it contains many talented players, there are always ways to improve a roster through the draft.
Going forward, the Sixers will most likely not need to draft a backcourt player (Point Guard/Shooting Guard). The Sixers’ current backcourt is comprised of Ben Simmons, Markelle Fultz, T.J. McConnell, Landry Shamet, J.J. Redick, Zhaire Smith and both of their two-way players in Shake Milton and Demetrius Jackson.
That is a very loaded backcourt that will have a ton of players competing for minutes as is. There’s a good chance most of those players will stick around going forward, with almost all of them being on rookie deals (excluding Redick).
So that leads us into our frontcourt players (Small Forwards, Power Forwards, and Centers).
When you compare the list of frontcourt players to backcourt players you see that their is much less depth in the front court. This is weird to say, considering the Sixers were known to have a loaded and overcrowded front court in the past.
Obviously the Jimmy Butler trade caused the Sixers to give up two great front court players in Robert Covington and Dario Saric. While Butler is obviously a better player, it does hurt our depth in that category. Saric is a great shooter for a power forward, and the Sixers should look for a shooting four in this coming draft.
Obviously you can’t predict free agency, but it is known at this time that the Sixers are almost certainly going to re-sign Butler in free agency. Chandler seems like a player that might stick around as well, for a reasonable contract.
Those two players are great forwards, and Chandler can split time between the three and four. With Chandler at the three, however, the depth of our power forward spot isn’t great. Ben Simmons is more than capable of playing power forward full time (he did his entire tenure at LSU), but you would like to see the Sixers acquire a young four who can hit threes and even play center at times.
Joel Embiid has had his fair share of health concerns, and it would be incredibly devastating to not have a decent back-up fill in for him if an injury happened (God forbid).
The Sixers will almost certainly be picking toward the end of the 2019 draft, as the Kings look like their a decent team this year and won’t be anywhere close to the No. 1 protection on the pick.
So, who are some possible targets?
It’s obviously incredibly early in the NCAA basketball year, but there are some players you should keep your eye on in the draft:
- Killian Tillie out of Gonzaga is a great stretch four, who could definitely fill in a need for the Sixers. He is a good size, at 6-foot-10 and can play either the four or five position. He is a very good shooter for his size, and knocked down nearly 50 percent of his threes while attempting more than 2.5 per game.
- P.J. Washington of Kentucky is a great young power forward. Kentucky is known for producing great NBA talents, and Washington looks to be a first-round pick so far. He’s undersized at only 6-foot-8, but has a 7-foot-3 wingspan that makes up for size at times. Washington is also very athletic and looks like he could cover multiple positions, which is a major deal in the NBA
- Jontay Porter out of Missouri is a huge sleeper pick. The younger brother of Nuggets forward Michael Porter, Jontay Porter would’ve been a first-round pick in last years draft. He decided to stay another year at Missouri, and unfortunately tore his MCL and ACL. If it weren’t for those injuries, Porter would be a potential lottery pick . There is a chance he does declare for this draft, and if he does the Sixers should take a serious look at Porter. He is a great size at 6-foot-11 and can play either power forward or center full-time. He’s a very good shooter, and if healthy could be a very good back up — or even starter.
Obviously, it’s very early to predict the draft but the Jimmy Butler trade has definitely created a much different need for the Sixers’ roster going forward.