Recapping tonight’s Draft with the 76ers
Trust the process has been the motto for the 76ers the last few years. Prior to tonight’s draft, Bleacher Report’s Adam Well reported that Philadelphia was interested in Michael Porter Jr.
Philadelphia would have included Markelle Fultz, the No.10, and 26 pick in the potential trade. However, the rumors may not have been true because the team started off the night by drafting Mikal Bridges out of Villanova. Six picks later the Phoenix Suns selected Zhaire Smith out of Texas Tech.
After the Suns selected Smith, Yahoo’s Sports Shams Charania reported that the Suns and 76ers agreed to a trade. The trade sent Bridges to Phoenix and Smith to Philadelphia with a 2021 first-round pick. It’s safe to say that tonight’s draft is already off to a crazy start.
Sources: Philadelphia is trading Mikal Bridges to Phoenix for Zhaire Smith.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 22, 2018
Welcome to the City of Brotherly Love: Zhaire Smith
A lot of Philadelphia fans were excited and ready to embrace Bridges and what he would bring to the table. But needless to say, Smith is a solid pick as well. Smith averaged 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists his freshman year while shooting 55.6 percent from the field.
At first, his points per game may not stand out, but the 6-foot-5 guard is efficient from the field. He can shoot from close and mid-range. Despite shooting 45 percent from behind the arc he still needs to work on his consistency from deep. The young guard can come off the bench and contribute right away if given the chance.
Smith can also add more grit to a stingy 76ers defense. The former Texas Tech guard is a solid rebounder and is very athletic. With Ben Simmons running the point, Smith will be able to shoot the ball a bit more.
In order to improve Smith needs to work on his shooting consistency. Although the 19-year-old guard shot a high three-point percentage he often times can be a streaker shooter. Another thing he needs to work on is his playmaking ability.
Entering the 2018-19 season, Philadelphia needs players who can create offense for themselves. Simmons does an excellent job of pushing the break and Smith will probably be on the receiving end. So in order for Smith to be effective on break he has to be able to convert his free-throws when sent to the line.
With the 26 pick the Sixers Select: Landry Shamet
Landry Shamet averaged 14.9 points and 5.2 assists his junior year while shooting 48.9 percent from the field. Needless to say, the former Witcha State guard can shoot the ball from mid-range and beyond.
The 21-year-old can create offense for himself and has the ability to play on defense when focused. Shamet will be able to adjust to Simmons bringing the ball down court.
In addition to shooting, the former Shocker will be able to help the 76ers due to his ability to find the open space on offesnse. Playing three seasons at Witcha State will help him adjust to the NBA. Sixers Head Coach Brett Brown will help develop this young guard into a solid two-way player.
One weakness that the young guard needs to address is his strength. This is a solid pick up that will help the franchise move forward and push towards a consecutive postseason appearance.
Khyri Thomas with the 38 pick……… (Trade)
Pretty slick work there by the Pistons, getting a couple of solid guard prospects midway through the second round in Khryi Thomas (trade with Philly for two future seconds) and Bruce Brown (taken 42nd overall by Detroit).
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) June 22, 2018
Tonight’s draft had several trades that may not have made sense. At certain times throughout the night, it felt as if Fultz was here to stay. However, the Sixers drafted multiple guards in tonight’s draft. It’s safe to say that there will be an open competition for the shooting-guard slot this season.
With the 38 pick in the draft, the 76ers selected Khyri Thomas from Creighton. But before you get comfortable TNT’s David Aldridge reported that the Sixers will trade the rights to Thomas to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for two future second-rounders.
Opting to trade the 38 pick is a smart but risky move considering the teams need for an athletic wing. So far the team has drafted two combo guards who can play off of Simmons. However, both guards are used to playing with the ball in their hands.
After the last few picks Philly may be clearing space for LeBron James who may be opting out of his contract this summer. Personally, I don’t think the 76ers need James on there roster to win an NBA championship. Adding James to the roster will only hurt Simmons growth.
Philadelphia Selects Shake Milton with the 54 pick
Sources: Dallas has traded their No. 54 overall pick for Philadelphia's Nos. 56 and 60.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 22, 2018
In case you were wondering yesterday the Sixers traded the 39 pick to the Los Angeles Lakers who selected Isaac Bonga. In addition to trading, the 39 pick the 76ers traded their 56 and 60 pick to the Dallas Mavericks in return for their 54 pick.
Towards the end of tonight’s draft, Philadelphia finished by selecting Shake Milton out of Southern Methodist University. Like the other two Sixer selections, Milton is a combo-guard who can bring the ball up the floor, score and push the tempo. Philadelphia traded two picks to move up two slots. Milton finished his career at SMU averaging 18 points, 4.7 and rebounds, 4.4 assists.
The former SMU guard will have his work cut out for him as he attempts to crack the Sixers lineup. Throughout his college career, he shot .452 percent from the field and .427 percent from behind the arc. Brown will be able to use Milton off the bench.
Ending the draft with Milton helped the 76ers create a sense of depth. This decision will also help Philadelphia in the offseason as they try to acquire Kawhi Leonard, Paul George or even James. If the team does not land a superstar this offseason they can use the players selected tonight for the long haul.
Fultz will have his work cut out for him but he should be fine as long as he can rediscover his shot.
What did you think of tonight’s draft?
All basketball stats used for this story are from (www.basketball-reference.com)
Featured photo; Sheva Wael via Flickr.