By: David DiPasqua, Jr.
Two decades ago, the Philadelphia 76ers’ selected Allen Iverson with the first overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft.
Iverson brought excitement, energy, and a winning attitude to the City of Brotherly Love.
Trusting “the process” has gone on long enough and this franchise must cash-in on the first selection in this year’s 2016 Draft at all costs. Fans are desperate for another icon who can take this squad to new heights.
That icon’s name is freshman, Ben Simmons out of LSU.
Simmons can do it all, considering his 6’10” stature and supreme athletic ability. In summary, this kid will put fans in the stands and give them something to cheer about. The freshman averages 19.5 points, 12.5 boards, and 5 assists. He’s the type of kid who can change a franchise, just ask Magic Johnson.
Stockpiling draft picks was clearly an objective that Sam Hinkie had in mind. However, the assets are useless unless you find a franchise player.
The first step is winning the NBA lottery for the first time since 1996 and taking Simmons. If all goes right, the Sixers can potentially have four selections. The odds are not in Philadelphia’s favor, but anything can happen:
The first is a no-brainer with the the No. 1 pick: Ben Simmons
Lakers slip to No. 4: PG, Kris Dunn, Providence
- This is the best case scenario for the Sixers, especially with multiple options at their disposal. Obtaining a talented guard is next on the wish list.
- Provides experience (Jr.) and size (6’4″) at the point guard position.
- Explosive first step to the hoop. Knocks down big shots when needed.
- Elite defender that will translate to the next level.
- Can see him being a star in the league.
Plan B: SG, Buddy Hield, Oklahoma
- Hield is another option if Dunn is off the board. Hield provides tremendous shooting ability to a team that desperate lacks anything from behind the arc.
- Can clearly shoot the lights out and instantly help this squad out by making teams pay by double-teaming Jahlil Okafor in the post.
- Best player (outside of Simmons) and shooter in the NCAA this year, which is why Oklahoma is one of the best teams in the country.
- Provides senior leadership and is 6’4″ as well.
- One area of improvement is his ability to go off the dribble.
- Can’t go wrong with either Dunn or Hield in this situation.
Heat’s Pick- No. 15-20 Range
Mid-round pick: SG/SF, Denzel Valentine, Michigan State
- Instantly brings a pair of elements that this team desires, leadership and shooting.
- Another Tom Izzo type of player as Valentine gives everything he has on the court with his fearless style of play.
- Another senior who has a winning track record during his time at MSU with experience who can instantly be plugged into the lineup.
- Good vision, touch from the perimeter, and versatility.
- He’s not the tallest at (6’6″), fastest, or strongest. Think Draymond Green.
Thunder’s Pick- No. 25-30 Range
Late-round pick: SG, Wayne Selden, Kansas
- To be honest, I see the Sixers electing to trade this pick for a variety of different reasons or selecting another “stash” player over in Europe.
- However, Selden has a vast amount of potential and could possibly be a steal here late in the first round if he can put it all together.
- Was a McDonald’s All-American with Joel Embiid at Kansas.
- Has all the tools: Size (6’5″), Wingspan (6’10”), and Weight (230 pounds)
- Capable of being a lockdown defender.
- Hit or miss offensively, but has room to improve.
1. Sixers receive the Los Angeles Lakers’ first round pick if they don’t fall in Top 3
- Currently, 11-41 record: This will be a race to the finish for freshman phenom Ben Simmons, keep your fingers crossed and hope they slip to number four.
2. Sixers receive the Miami Heat’s first round pick if they don’t fall in Top 10
- Currently, 28-22 record: It appears the Sixers will acquire this selection.
3. Sixers receive the Oklahoma City Thunder’s first round pick if not in Top 15
- Unless something drastic occurs, this is a guaranteed draft pick.
Remember, nothing is set in stone. These are all “what-if” scenarios.
The 2016 NBA Draft Lottery will occur on May 17th, while the draft is set to take place on June 23rd.