Sixers expected to select best player available over need with No. 3 pick in 2015 NBA draft

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The Sixers had the slimmest of chances of obtaining as many as three lottery picks in the June 25 NBA Draft, but the ping pong balls bounced unfavorably, and they ended up with only the third overall selection.

That’s still expected to yield a player capable of making an immediate impact, though there are projected to be four or five guys who could do so.

No matter who’s left when it’s Philadelphia’s turn, however, the team is expected to take the best player available — even if that duplicates a skill set that’s already considered to be strong on the Sixers roster.

From Keith Pompey of Philly.com:

It’s hard to build around a cornerstone if you’re not completely certain he’s the cornerstone you want to build around.

That’s the reason why they’ll prefer the best player available over need in the June 25 NBA draft. …

From CSN Philly.com:

“Let’s see how things go,” Hinkie said. “Not only us, but I suspect the Lakers and the Timberwolves and the Knicks, they will do what we all do — spend a lot of time trying to analyze the players that are likely to be available to them. That time may yield different results than what the prognosticators are saying so far.”

If things go as expected, with Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns going in some order to the Timberwolves and the Lakers with the first two picks, then Philadelphia could accomplish both filling a need and selecting one of the best players left by taking D’Angelo Russell or Emmanuel Mudiay. But if one of the bigs remains on the board, then the Sixers would have a more difficult decision to make.

Philadelphia, remember, bailed on their Rookie of the Year point guard in Michael Carter-Williams, mainly because GM Sam Hinkie couldn’t pass up the opportunity to snag another high lottery pick, but also because Carter-Williams couldn’t shoot from three-point distance, and regressed from beyond the arc in his second season with the franchise.

It’s worth noting that Philadelphia, much like the Lakers, plans to use its lottery pick as opposed to trading it to someone else.

“I find that hard to believe,” Hinkie said when asked if the pick could be more valuable to another team than it is to the Sixers. “We are clearly building through the draft. We are trying to find star players that we can move forward with. There may be other teams out there more interested and more committed and interested in that sort of thing, but I doubt it.”