Four players Sixers will consider with No. 3 draft pick — and the one they should absolutely take
Lakers rep Magic Johnson and 76ers rep Joel Embiid share a laugh as the NBA Draft Lottery is announced on Tuesday night.
Maryland native Markelle Fultz played just one season at Pac-12 last-place finisher Washington before declaring for the NBA Draft. It is expected he will be chosen by the Boston Celtics who won the No. 1 choice in Tuesday’s lottery and team with fellow Washington alum Isaiah Thomas.
The Philadelphia 76ers obtained Sacramento’s pick in the 2017 NBA Draft two years ago, then wound up with the No.3 choice in next month’s draft via Tuesday night’s draft lottery. Now they have an interesting decision to make that very likely involves four players, all early entries from marquee college programs Duke, Kentucky and Kansas. What makes it a perplexing choice is that none of the four perfectly fit their needs for a strong defensive wing who can also bomb in threes. They will need to forget about need and simply recognize who’s the most valuable player available after the Celtics and Lakers likely choose Washington freshman Markelle Fultz and UCLA’s big point man Lonzo Ball, respectively. That’s what this analysis is about: Who’s the guy who’ll make the best pro and fill at least some of the growing Sixers’ needs.
Jayson Tatum (0) had a rough night in Duke’s NCAA tournament upset loss to South Carolina.
This guy doesn’t do any one thing exceedingly well and that’s what bothers me. If you’re spending a No. 3 overall pick, you’d better be sure about some skill or ability. Tatum has played only one college season, albeit at Duke. But frankly, I think he could use another year.
He looks like he has the ability to become a much better perimeter shooter but right now the record shows a .342 3P% on the college arc. His motion begins with too much backward slant so that he flings the ball with his entire forearm rather than flipping it with his wrist. That will make you erratic. His shot needs tweaking but not an overhaul because he gets plenty of elevation, usually rises straight and he’s a lengthy 6-8. Notably: 17-of-42 (.405) from the field in three games against North Carolina, the closest facsimile of an NBA team that Duke played, all in the season’s second half after he got his freshman feet under him.
Tatum attacks the rim in ACC game against Louisville.
His quickness is just average for his size. I’m not nuts about his first step, though his skills at using studied moves to get around defenders are very good.
He’s defensive stats are really good and he’s an active, aggressive defender. But when I’ve seen him, I’ve noticed some “handsy” tendencies. Then, you look at the numbers again – lots of fouls with 4 DQs on the season.