Five Potential First Round Picks for The Sixers
We are about a week away from the 2021 NBA. As it currently stands, the Sixers will make the 28th overall selection. Daryl Morey and company will be looking to hit another home run after nailing multiple draft selections last year.
Here are five potential prospects the Sixers could select in the first round.
Trey Murphy, Wing, Virginia
The Sixers might want to prioritize selecting a guard again in the first round, but they should still keep their eyes on talented wing players. Trey Murphy is a six-foot-nine wing coming out of Virginia. This past college season, he posted averages of 11.3 PPG, 3.4 RPG, and 1.2 APG.
Murphy has the ideal frame for a three-and-D wing in today’s NBA. Along with his height, he also has a seven-foot wingspan. This size and length will make Murphy versatile defensively at the next level.
Offensively, Murphy is at his best as a catch and shooter on the perimeter. Last season at Virginia, he shot over 43% from deep on close to five attempts per game.
Age is another factor that makes Murphy enticing for the Sixers. Having spent three years in college, he will be entering the league a more mature prospect. This added experience should allow him to be a contributor on day one.
In the modern NBA a team can never have enough wing shooting. Murphy’s potential as a lengthy three-and-D role player should land him on the Sixers’ radar.
Sharife Cooper, Guard, Auburn
Sharife Cooper might not be as day one ready compared to other prospects, but he is still someone that should be on the Sixers' list. Despite it being a small sample size in college, Cooper put up some impressive numbers.
Standing at six-foot-one size is always going to be a question mark with Cooper. The height disadvantage did not stop him from scoring over 20 points per game and dishing over eight assists per game. Cooper is an effortless passer who is at his best when getting the players around him involved.
Cooper's ability to run an offense at his size draws similar comparisons to Hawks' guard Trae Young. From a facilitation standpoint, Cooper will be able to hold his own the second he steps on an NBA court.
For years the Sixers have tried to find a suitable backup point guard. Other parts of Cooper's game will need improving at the next level, but he could be an above-average facilitator for the Sixers' second unit down the line.
Tre Mann, Guard, Florida
If there is one area the Sixers need to improve in, it's shot creation. Lack of perimeter creation has plagued the team for years and became even more apparent this postseason. One prospect that can bring that element to the Sixers is Tre Mann.
Mann is a score-first guard coming out of Florida. He is fresh off a sophomore campaign where he averaged 16.0 PPG, 5.6 RPG, and 3.5 APG. The potential first-round pick also shot 40.2% from beyond the arc and 83.1% from the free-throw line.
In terms of the prospects projected to be available around pick 28, Mann is one of the best fits for this Sixers. He is a strong ballhandler that can create for himself and score at all three levels. Mann's body control when attacking on offense can draw similar comparisons to Chris Paul.
Mann can also be considered an older prospect. He will turn 21-years-old during the first half of next season. Selecting Mann would give the Sixers a pair of promising young guards who show a lot of promise as shot creators at the NBA level.
eIsaiah Todd, Big, G-League Ignite
During his end-of-year press conference, Doc Rivers hinted at some upgrades he would like to see regarding the roster. One of those things was size off the bench, saying that he felt the lineup got small at power forward when Tobias Harris came off the floor. If the front office is looking for a cheap way to rectify that problem, Isaiah Todd might be the answer.
Todd is part of the first batch of prospects who opted to play for G-League Ignite instead of playing college basketball. In his lone season with Ignite, Todd posted averages of 12.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 0.8 APG.
Transitioning to the NBA should be somewhat easy for Todd's game. He is a floor-spacing big who can operate well in the pick-and-pop. Todd shot 36.2% from beyond the arc in the G-League on about three attempts per game. Along with his smooth outside shooting stroke, Todd can operate in the post with multiple moves to score at the rim.
Coming from the G-League might also make the jump to the next level a smooth one. Instead of being around other college players and coaches, Todd got to play alongside NBA vets and learn the lifestyle from guys freshly out of the league. That intangible should be enticing for teams looking to find day-one contributors.
Jared Butler, Guard, Baylor
It is not often that a team with a late first-round pick finds a prospect that is a near-perfect fit, but the Sixers might have found one. The majority of mock drafts have the team selecting Jared Butler out of Baylor, and for good reason.
Butler is a polished prospect, spending three seasons in college before making the jump to the NBA. He is also coming off a junior season where he scored close to 17 points per game and shot almost 42% from three on high volume.
In terms of what the Sixers need on their roster, Butler is almost the ideal archetype. He is a guard who can move on and off the ball and can create shots for himself. His ability to move without the ball and be a deadeye shooter off the catch makes him playable with just about any guard in the league.
Taking Butler in the first round would give the Sixers a trio of young guards off the bench that could give opposing teams trouble on the perimeter.
Butler is not going to be a franchise-alerting piece in any sense, but he provides a set of skills the team needs. If he is still on the board when the clock starts for the Sixers, selecting him is a no-brainer.