Who Are the Sixers’ Second-Round Options?
Basketball writer Derek Bodner is covering the NBA draft for Philadelphia magazine at Sixers Draftland.
We spend a lot of time, and deservedly so, focusing on the Sixers’ third overall pick in tonight’s draft.
It is, after all, the pick that has far and away the most drastic impact on the Sixers’ future. If the Sixers fail in their rebuilding efforts, it will be because they failed to find a real difference-maker at the top of the draft.
Still, the second round represents an opportunity to acquire cheap talent. We’re heading into an offseason where Jimmy Butler (the last pick in the first round of the 2011 draft), Draymond Green (35th in 2012), Khris Middleton (39th in 2012), and Marc Gasol (48th in 2007) are all about to receive hefty contracts in free agency.
With five (!) second-round picks tonight, who are some players the Sixers could, or should, be targeting?
Jordan Mickey, PF, LSU
LSU sophomore Jordan Mickey has been rising up draft boards of late and now has a chance to go late in the first round. Still, if Mickey does fall to the 76ers at 35, he could be an interesting option.
Mickey averaged 3.6 blocks per game for LSU and is an excellent post defender and rim protector. He measured only 6′ 8″ in shoes at the NBA Draft Combine last month, but he plays bigger than his height thanks to an excellent 8′ 10″ standing reach and a 37.5″ vertical, which was tied for the highest jump among all power forwards or centers at the combine.
It might seem unnecessary for the 76ers to select another big man considering the presence of Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid on the roster, but they really don’t have much depth beyond those two, and it’s virtually impossible to have too many athletic, shot-blocking big men, especially guys who can also move their feet on the perimeter, like Mickey can.
Joseph Young, G, Oregon
The Sixers could use some scoring and creativity from the perimeter, and few have as diverse a perimeter game as Oregon’s Joseph Young. Young can shoot off the catch and when pulling up off the dribble, is comfortable operating out of the pick-and-roll, and has incredible quickness and leaping ability to do damage in the paint. Young is undersized and a weak overall defender — which goes against much of what Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie has looked for in a point guard thus far — but his combination of three-point shooting (39% on 739 attempts during his four-year college career) and explosive athleticism might be hard to pass up in the second round.
Richaun Holmes, PF, Bowling Green
Few have improved their draft stock over the past two months more than Bowling Green senior Richaun Holmes. Holmes had a strong senior season — averaging 14.7 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game during his last year at Bowling Green — which earned him MAC’s Defensive Player of the Year Award and a spot on the All-Conference first team.
Holmes then followed that up with impressive performances at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament — where he averaged 14.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game in 25 minutes of play — and at the NBA Combine, where he averaged 4.5 blocks in 20 minutes per game. With the infrequency with which teams saw Bowling Green in person, Holmes’ strong performances were key for him.
Like with Mickey, a big man, and especially a shot-blocking big man, may not seem like a pressing need, but the Sixers’ depth up front really is thin. And, ultimately, you’re not drafting for need in the second round, but instead trying to find talent that has a legitimate chance of sticking as an NBA player. The success rate in the second round is so low that trying to target a specific need or skill is risky.
Cedi Osman, SF, Anadolu Efes
One thing we can be certain of is that Sam Hinkie has watched Cedi Osman extensively, if for no other reason than that Osman played on the same team, Anadolu Efes, as Dario Saric this past season.
The Sixers are a team that likes to play an uptempo style, and Osman plays that style very well. Osman is a plus athlete who runs the floor very hard in transition and who can also ignite the break by crashing the defensive glass and making quick outlet passes.
Osman doesn’t create a whole lot of offense for himself, but he moves well off the ball, makes strong cuts to the basket, and gives constant energy and effort, something that would be welcomed on an NBA roster.
Osman’s athleticism and high effort level make him an interesting prospect, especially if the Sixers believe that they can fix his jump shot and make that a more consistent part of his game, something that the Sixers have repeatedly mentioned is a fixable skill.
Christian Wood, PF, UNLV
Christian Wood, once thought of as a potential mid-first-round pick, has been sliding down mock drafts of late and could fall into the mid-second round. Some around the league have noted that some of Wood’s interviews with teams haven’t gone all that well, and worry about his maturity as he heads into the league.
Still, some teams’ concerns could be other teams’ opportunities, and Wood has a ton of talent for a second-round pick. Finding an athletic big man who can block shots and also flash some perimeter skill this late in the draft is incredibly tough, and the Sixers could be willing to take a gamble on his talent.
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Previously in Sixers Draftland:
• Draft Day Mock Roundup: The Experts’ Best Guesses on Who The Sixers Will Take
• Reports: Sixers Targeting Rashad Vaughn; Is Trading Down a Possibility?
• 2015 NBA Draft Big Board: The 10 Best Prospects for the Sixers
• Report: Sixers Locked In on D’Angelo Russell?
• Rumor Mill: Sixers Reportedly in Discussions to Acquire Another First-Round Pick
• Justise Winslow: A Defensive Maverick With Big “O” Questions
• Dario Saric Not Coming Over This Season
• Mario Hezonja: Is Elite Shooter Confident… or Cocky?
• Emmanuel Mudiay: The Point Guard With a Shooting Problem
• Kristaps Porzingis: International Man of Mystery
• NBA Mock Draft Roundup: Who the Experts Think the Sixers Will Take
• D’Angelo Russell: The Guy Everyone Thinks the Sixers Are Drafting
• Jahlil Okafor: One of the Best Low-Post Scorers We’ve Seen
• D’Angelo Russell to Work Out for the Sixers After All
• Karl-Anthony Towns: The Big Man the Sixers Probably Want — and Likely Can’t Get
• Does Joel Embiid’s Setback Change Sixers’ Draft Plans?
• Welcome to Sixers Draftland