With the Sixers looking more like Championship contenders by the day since LeBron’s exit from the East, they have been able to take more risks with who they select in the draft.
No longer do they need to hit on all of their picks. They can afford to take some risks on some players who will pan out in a couple of years.
The Sixers entered the draft with 6 draft picks that after trades turned into just 3 players: Zhaire Smith (No. 10), Landry Shamet (No. 26), and Shake Milton (No. 54)
With no real set role for any of these players coming into this year, let’s take a look at what we can expect from each of these players in their rookie seasons.
Of all of the players that the Sixers selected in this year’s past draft, Smith had the best chance to see the floor on a consistent basis this season but with his foot injury suffered in an off season workout, we may have to wait for that.
The Sixers drafted him because of his ceiling, freak athleticism, shooting potential, and his incredible defensive prowess. While watching him in the Summer League, it became obvious the potential that this young man has. The Kawhi Leonard comparisons are pretty fair.
That being said, Smith will need to fight hard if he wants to see consistent minutes on the floor this season in terms of not only getting healthier but refining his game as a whole.
Coming into the season buried on the bench behind J.J. Redick, Furkan Korkmaz, Robert Covington and newcomer Wilson Chandler, it will be hard for Smith to earn consistent minutes. However, whenever he is on the floor, he will make the most out of that time and flash his potential.
Prediction: 8.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.3 spg
It’s not hard to see why the Sixers selected Shamet at the end of the first round. He’s a shooter, plain and simple. In his career at Wichita State, he held a 48% field goal percentage while shooting 43.7% from three.
It’s clear that the Sixers want Shamet to fill the same role that Marco Bellinelli held towards the end of the season: a shot-maker off of the bench.
Before his unfortunate injury in the Summer League, Shamet was averaging 6 points per game while shooting 40% from three.
Once Shamet is fully healed from his injury, he should provide a great shooting compliment for Markelle Fultz off of the bench.
Prediction: 7.2ppg, 4apg, 3rpg
Of the three players that the Sixers drafted, Milton has the least chance of seeing the floor this season. He recently just signed a two-way contract with the team.
A two-way contract is an agreement between a team and player where the player agrees to spend the bulk of the season on the team’s G League affiliate, while being able to be on their NBA team for 45 days.
With that being said, Milton will not be seeing the floor much this year, barring a major injury to a point guard or shooting guard. The Sixers took him in this draft for much of the same reason that they took Shamet, he can shoot.
In his career at SMU, he shot 45.2% from the field and 42.7% from three. The Sixers probably will look to utilize him as another shooter to surround Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. However, he won’t really have much of an impact this year.
Prediction: 3ppg, 2rpg, 4apg
[Featured Image: ClutchPoints]
GMU ’19 – Trust The Process – Praying for Shake’s Back and Landry’s Ankle – follow me on Twitter: @LukeHellyer and @lukessportstak1