The 76ers jumped one spot from their projected 4th position on lottery night, and hold the 3rd spot in the draft that takes place 35 days from now. They can go many ways with this pick, with the first two picks looking rather certain. What potential players will be suiting up for the red, white and blue for the 2017 season?
Option 1: Hope that Markelle Fultz slides to #3. Arguably the most skilled player in the draft, he is seemingly the number one pick, and a point guard that the 76ers would love to have. The Celtics, however, hold the number one pick, and have an unbelievable talent at the point guard position in Isaiah Thomas. With Lonzo Ball to the Lakers seemingly a lock, the Celtics could surprise with taking someone else or trading the pick away. Best case scenario here.
Option 2: Trade the Pick. A package involving the #3 pick and an asset could be enough to vault the 76ers into the #1 spot to take Fultz. The Celtics seemed to have made it clear that they are open to making trades no matter what type of position they are in. The Sixers could also trade down, if they aren’t interested in a guy at #3, probably gain a pick in the process, and move down to a player that they are more inclined to see in their future plans.
Option 3: Josh Jackson (Kansas). The consensus seems to think that Josh Jackson is the 3rd most talented player in this draft. Jackson is a small forward from the University of Kansas, who averaged 16.3 points and just over 7 rebounds in his one year at Kansas. He has strange shooting stats, shooting a poor 56% from the foul line, yet shooting almost 38% from three. His athleticism is incredible, but his jumper isn’t exactly a thing of beauty. If the first two picks are as expected, Jackson will probably be ranked as the best player available come pick #3.
Option 4: De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky). If the 76ers want to pick based on need, Fox is probably the right pick. De’Aaron Fox shot up draft boards throughout the NCAA tournament, torching Lonzo Ball in a head-to-head matchup dropping 39 points. Despite the 76ers saying they will experiment with Ben Simmons at point guard, Fox could definitely get some time at the 1, and off the ball at the 2 when Simmons is in. He’s also the fastest player end-to-end in this draft, and will complement the other young players who can run.
Option 5: Malik Monk (Kentucky). Find a better shooter in this 2017 draft, you can’t. Monk averaged just under 20 points, shot the 3 pointer at 40% and shot 83% at the foul line; that’s pretty good for a freshman. Monk is a pure shooter that the 76ers are desperate to have right now. He’s a little undersized for the shooting guard position, but if he can shoot the lights out, who cares. It’s a little bit of a reach for the 76ers at #3, but totally fits a need.
Option 6: Jayson Tatum (Duke). Despite Duke’s rough time in the NCAA tournament, Jayson Tatum was a stud down the stretch in conference play. Tatum is 6 foot 8 and built to play basketball. He is a poor man’s Carmelo Anthony with his style of often taking players one on one. He’s an athlete that will continue to get better and has an offensive game that will definitely translate to the NBA.
Option 7: Wildcards. With where the 76ers are in their process, it doesn’t seem like they would take drastically reach for a player. Jonathan Isaac from Florida State would make the 76ers a lot better defensively, and Frank Nkitilina or Dennis Smith would fit the point guard role, but it doesn’t seem like the 76ers would do that in the spot they are in.