The Sixers enter the 2019 NBA Draft with more picks (5) than any other team. With the team not holding a lottery pick for the first time in what seems like ages, Philadelphia will be tasked with finding some diamonds in the rough in the late 1st and 2nd round. Luckily, the 2019 class looks promising outside of the lottery.
Below is my very first mock of the 2019 draft season. Picks are based off of both need and what I expect to be the best players available at each given pick.
No.24: Nickeil Alexander-Walker, PG/SG, Virginia Tech
The Sixers have lacked depth in their backcourt for quite some time so adding a combo guard like Alexander-Walker here is exciting. At roughly 6’6ft, NAW gives you tremendous size and offensive versatility. The V-Tech product can score from just about anywhere on the floor and his ambidexterity gives him the ability to rapidly change direction with the ball in his hands.
Nickeil is a cousin of Clippers 1st round selection from last year, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
No.33: Chuma Okeke, PF, Auburn
If Chuma didn’t go down with a torn ACL in the NCAA tourney a few months ago, his name would’ve been in discussion for the Sixers 1st round pick. At Auburn, Okeke became one of the best defensive players in the country. And unlike many defensive minded prospects, Chuma can also shoot the rock, putting up a 38.9% line from deep during his collegiate career.
Some fans may be weary of drafting an already injured player but as mentioned before, the Sixers have the most picks of any team this season. They have room to work with and looking at their prior draft history, waiting a year for a prospect to get on the court should be no problem.
No.34: Daniel Gafford, C, Arkansas
Coming in at 6’11ft and a slim 240lbs, Gafford is a bouncy athletic big that should find a role right away early on in his NBA career. The Sixers struggled mightily every time Embiid left the floor last season so finding a capable backup for him is essential.
Gafford is arguably the best rim protector in this class and also excels at finishing near the basket on the offensive end. His mobility would fit in nicely with a Sixers team that likes to run on fast breaks. He’s already received early comparisons to Clint Capela, Javale McGee and the great Nerlens Noel.
No.42: Zach Norvell Jr., SG, Gonzaga
Surrounding Ben Simmons with shooters is always on the Sixers agenda come Draft time. Norvell Jr. was one of the nation’s best when it came to that category, making 37% of his 7.1 attempts from deep per game last season. At 6’6ft he offers excellent size on the wing and has shown the ability to create his own shot.
After shipping Shamet to Los Angeles last season, the Sixers could use another guy who isn’t afraid to shoot the long ball.
No.54: Shamorie Ponds, PG, St. Johns
The Sixers close out their Draft with some more guard depth in the form of Shamorie Ponds. Although he may be undersized at roughly 6ft, he possesses an innate ability to create his own shot thanks to his stellar ball handling and shiftiness.
Since arriving in the Big East as a freshman, Ponds had no trouble scoring the rock, averaging just under 20ppg during his 3yrs on the collegiate level. He could become a spark plug off the bench for a Sixers second team unit that struggled to put the ball in the basket.
Featured Image: HokieSports
Jordan is the founder of Sports Are Philly and a graduate of Misericordia University.
You can follow him on Twitter @darealjlaw.