The NBA Draft is coming up, which means The Game Haus will be doing draft profiles for each NBA team. Each day, a new team will be analyzed for their past season, their team needs and targets. Today, the Philadelphia 76ers will be evaluated.
The 76ers were one of the teams looking to take hold of the Eastern Conference with LeBron James heading out to the Western Conference. They finished the season with a 51-31 record and earned the third seed in the Eastern Conference for the playoffs. They won their first-round matchup against the Nets, but lost to the Raptors in seven games in the second round.
Philadelphia ranked highly on offense at fourth in the NBA with 115.2 points per game. They also ranked fourth in rebounds per game and fourth in assists per game. They ranked 19th in points allowed per game at 112.5. They ranked 10th in three-point shooting.
Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Johnathan Simmons, Zhaire Smith, Jonah Bolden and James Ennis are all under contract for next season. Jimmy Butler has a player option. Tobias Harris, J.J. Redick, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott, Amir Johnson, Furkan Korkmaz and T.J. McConnell are all free agents this summer.
The 76ers have five picks in the 2019 NBA Draft.
First Round: Pick No. 24
Second Round: Picks No. 33, No. 34, No. 42, No. 54
Shooting- While they ranked 10th in the league last season, if J.J. Reddick walks in free agency, they need to find a new shooter to space the floor. It is also hard to have two non-shooters on the floor at the same time in today’s NBA and Ben Simmons is showing no signs of improvement in that regard.
Perimeter Defense- The 76ers have to get better defensively to be true title contenders. Jimmy Butler is a good perimeter defender, but even if he re-signs with the team, they need more defense on the perimeter.
Bench Scorers- The starting lineup scores well, but Philadelphia ranked 27th in bench points per game.
First Round: Pick No. 24: Dylan Windler, SG/SF, Belmont
Windler has been slowly rising up draft boards and if it continues, he could be a good fit for the 76ers at pick number 24. He stretches the floor with his shooting, as he was one of the best three-point shooters in college basketball. There is a little more to his game than just that, but if the 76ers select him, that will be his main objective.
Second Round: Pick No. 33: Ty Jerome, PG, Virginia
The 76ers may lose T.J. McConnell in free agency and could use a backup point guard. Jerome can play on-ball or off-ball for the 76ers, meaning he can play with Ben Simmons or lead the charge when Simmons is on the bench. He can shoot the ball and defend well. If teams go small against Philadelphia, Jerome can guard smaller players and Simmons can guard bigger ones to help improve the defense.
Pick No. 34: Moses Brown, C, UCLA
Free agency may take away a lot of their frontcourt depth behind Joel Embiid. If they do lose some backups, they’ll need to replace them in the draft. Brown is 7-foot-2 and could earn some minutes next season as Embiid’s backup. He needs to polish his offensive game, but learning from Embiid and going up against him in practice every day will help him develop.
Pick No. 42: Adam Mokoka, SG, France
With so many picks in the second round, it is almost a certainty that the 76ers trade some or use at least one pick on a “draft and stash” player. They can select Mokoka and let him develop in France, while not having him use a roster spot next season. The 20-year-old has played three seasons in the top-tier league in France, but averages just 3.2 points per game, showing the need for more playing time before making the NBA.
Pick No. 54: Darius Bazley, G, USA
Bazley took an interesting path to be eligible for the 2019 NBA Draft. He left high school and wanted to play in the G League, but changed his mind and trained on his own in hopes of being selected in this year’s draft. He was a highly-rated, athletic player out of high school, so a team, especially one with several picks, may want to take a chance on him and send him to the G League.