The NBA Draft is coming up on October 16, 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 projected targets. Today, the Philadelphia 76ers will be evaluated.
After an extremely promising 2018-2019 season where they were one absurd Kawhi Leonard buzzer-beater away from a conference finals appearance, the Philadelphia 76ers regressed on practically every front.
Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid both continued their all-star level play, although Embiid did see some eye-opening regression, with his numbers dropping across the board. Freshly signed to a max contract, Tobias Harris had a solid regular season but disappeared in crunch time during the playoffs. He shot just 38 percent from the field in their first-round series.
The biggest contract disaster of all was Al Horford, who Philly gave a massive deal to in free agency. At 33 years old, Horford showed major signs of age, especially on the offensive end. With a further three seasons of a nearly max contract, Horford immediately became one of the worst contracts in basketball.
And the final kicker is all this money was thrown at Horford and Harris at the expense of Jimmy Butler, who the team traded to Miami for Josh Richardson and some picks. While Butler is leading Miami on a run all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Sixers have been sitting at home for some time. They got swept by Miamis conference finals opponent, the Boston Celtics, in the first round.
Philadelphia has some major problems, and its certainly going to be interesting to see what they do this offseason to turn things around.
The Philadelphia 76ers have 5 picks in the 2020 NBA Draft
First Round: Pick No.21
Second Round: Pick No.34, Pick No.36, Pick No.49, Pick No.58
Volume Outside Shooters: While the Sixers have no problem making their outside shots (they ranked 9th in the league in three-point percentage), they need players who shot from deep on the regular. Philly ranked in the bottom 10 in three-point attempts last season and they need guys who aren’t afraid to shoot the ball. Look for the Sixers to try and snag a great outside shooter to pair next to a renowned non-shooter in Ben Simmons.
Backup Bigs: Philly has good starting big men but things get a bit dicey on the bench. Mike Scott, Kyle O’Quinn and Norvell Pelle are decent, but the Sixers could definitely do better and get younger at the same time. The Sixers could find their answer in the draft, with plenty of interesting big men prospects available.
Round 1 Pick No.21: Jahmius Ramsey, SG (Texas Tech)
Jahmius Ramsey is just the guy to have beside Ben Simmons. As a 42.5% shooter from deep, the Big 12 Rookie of the Year is a consistent deep-ball threat who is also not afraid to shoot at over five attempts per game. His defensive play has earned comparison to Marcus Smart with his limitless hustle and toughness.
Where Ramsey does struggle is the passing department. He averaged only two assists per game. He also struggles to hold onto the ball at times and could have trouble with turnovers in the NBA. That being said his strengths more than make up for his weaknesses and the Sixers would be wise to take him with their first-round selection.
Round 2 Pick No.34: Jalen Smith, PF (Maryland)
Jalen Smith brings two key ingredients to the Sixers bench unit. He’s a great rebounder for his size who can consistently grab boards while Embiid sits and he has potential as a stretch four, hitting 38 percent of his deep balls last season.
Smith still needs to add some strength in the post and his poor athleticism may hinder him as a rebounder somewhat but he would be a good addition to Philadelphia’s rotation.
Round 2 Pick No.36: Udoka Azubuike, C (Kansas)
Standing 7’0” tall and weighing 275 pounds, Udoka Azubuike is a giant of a human being. What he offers for the Sixers is extra rebounding and a whole lot of rim protection. Azubuike averaged nearly three blocks per game last season at Kansas and a rim enforcer off the bench is always useful for any team.
His fit in the modern NBA is a bit shaky, he’s not very quick and has little to no shooting touch, but his raw physicality and interior presence should be enough to make him a good backup center off the bench.
Round 2 Picks 49 and 58: Trade Assets
The fact of the matter is the Sixers are most likely not going to be keeping all of these draft picks. They do not have the roster spots available to bring in five new rookies and are going to need to throw in draft picks if they want to get rid of some bad contracts (mainly Al Horford). So it’s safe to say that the Sixers will either move these two late-round draft picks or use them on g-league project players.
All stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference and NBA.com
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