Nov. 13, 2018
Ranking 2017 NBA Draft prospects in order of ideality for the 76ers
1. Malik Monk
Malik Monk will be a projected lottery pick in this year's draft, mainly thanks to his ability to shoot the basketball. His 47 point eruption against North Carolina Tar Heels, truly showcased what he's capable of when he's in the zone. 3-pointers, mid-range, spot up, off the dribble, HAND IN FACE, it doesn't matter for this kid. At 6'4, small for a shooter in the NBA, he has the quick and fluid release to complement his deadeye all over the floor. He's also a crafty finisher at the rim. Reminds me a lot of Devin Booker, who's averaging 21 points in Phoenix right now. Monk would be a tremendous complement to Simmons and company, as he'd be able to space the floor and be the guy that can get his own shot on a team that needs pieces to balance out their big men.
2. Dennis Smith Jr.
Dennis Smith Jr. could turn out to be the best guard that this draft has to offer. The freshman torched Duke for 32 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds for an upset win on the road this year. You have to respect his jumper from everywhere on the floor, but know he can blow by you with an insanely quick first step and finish explosively at the rim. When the Sixers are in need for buckets, turning to a Dennis Smith pick and role game with Joel Embiid would be a tremendous luxury. There is nothing holding Dennis back from becoming the next Damian Lillard. Since the Sixers own the rights the Lakers pick and a pick swap with Sacramento, (Lakers only if they fall out of top 3), there is the possibility that they can land 2 lottery picks in this year's draft. If the lottery goes in their favor, Philly may have a roster that features Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, Dario Saric, Nerlens Noel, Dennis Smith/Fultz/Ball, Malik Monk and whatever the Sixers acquire if they decide to trade Jahlil Okafor or Richaun Holmes. That'd be a scary squad.
3. Markelle Fultz
Fultz is projected to go #1 on many draft boards, and for the right reasons. The freshman from Washington is averaging 23 points a game, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, while shooting 42% from 3-point range as well. He has the ability to take over a game because he can score in so many different ways, with the ability cause havoc defensively as well. If the Sixers get the chance to select do-it-all point guard in Fultz this summer, it would be hard to pass up.
4. Lonzo Ball
The UCLA standout has been drawing comparisons to Jason Kidd thanks to his passing ability (2nd in the nation in assists). Ball is much more than just a passer though. He does everything on both ends of the court to help a team win. Plus, Ball is not the type of player that needs the ball in his hands to be successful, thanks to his already proven NBA range 3-point ability and movement off the ball, which is good news for the Sixers, a team that will most likely feature Ben Simmons as a primary ball handler. Regardless, adding Ball gives the Sixers an elite scorer and playmaker that they didn't have before.
5. Josh Jackson
What I love most about Justin Jackson is how he allows the game to come to him. The 6'8 small forward does a great job of taking and making shots that come within the flow of an offense and does a good job of finding his spots on the floor. He'll need to work on his 3 point shooting, but is a proven adept mid-range shooter off the bounce and a explosive finisher at the rim too. His defensive awareness is decent too, as he often loves to get into passing lanes for steals, and is deadly in transition when he gets the opportunity. The Sixers may look at a guy like him to plug in at the 2 or 3 spot, positions they don't necessarily have locks on.
6. Jonathan Isaac
The sky is the limit for this 6'10 freshman forward from Florida State. Isaac has a good handle for his size, and is an excellent mid range scorer off the dribble, and can stretch out to the three as well. Really has a good understanding of how the game should be played, and great at finding his spots on the floor where he is most efficient, similar to Jackson in that aspect. Defensively, he has the agility and quickness to defend guards and small forwards out on the perimeter, adept in getting steals as well. He also has great bounce, showcased when he recorded 7 blocks against #15 ranked Notre Dame. Like Ersan Ilyasova, who is a proven complement to Joel Emiid, Isaac is a stretch power forward that wouldn't get into Embiid's way in the post, , he's much more talented on the both ends of the floor than Ersan is. The Sixers could also play him at the 3 because of his ability to defend. He might want to add more muscle for the NBA, but has already shown he has the intangibles to be effective right away. The Sixers can't go wrong with taking Isaac who would be a nice fit in their system.
7. D'aaron Fox
Monk's backcourt teammate D'aaron Fox is arguably the fastest player in college basketball. The 6'3 freshman point guard often draws comparisons to John Wall because of how fast he can get from one end of the court to the other and finish explosively at the rim. His tight handle, mid range ability, vision, and defensive awareness, complements his speed well. The Sixers would most likely play Fox and Simmons in the backcourt, which would be an experiemnt. Both love to create for their teammates, and while one is a matchup nightmare for opposing guards, the other has blazing speed and athleticism that he utilizes on offense and on defense.
8. Jayson Tatum
Freshman small forward Jayson Tatum has been instant offense for Duke this year. Since returning from a foot injury, he has been a nice addition on the offensive end averaging 15 points a game and pulling down 6 boards. He has a consistent mid-range game and uses his great footwork to orchestrate his way to the basket. He has great body awareness and a natural scoring touch inside the arc as well. While he has shown the ability to knock down the 3 ball, being more consistent would be essential, and would open up his driving and pull-up game even more.. As far as the Sixers are concerned, Tatum shows potential to develop into a all-star caliber player, but their need for a guard and wingman might overshadow a long-term commitment to Jayson Tatum. Still, he's too talented to ignore for the 76ers.
9. Frank Ntilikina
The young french point guard has a long way to go to reach his full potential, but has shown some intriguing ability already at such a young age. At 6'5, he is a well rounded shooter from just about anywhere on the floor, spot up or off the dribble, and shows that he he can attack the rim with force when given a lane. Definitely needs to improve his handle and add strength if he wants to make it as a point guard in the league, but his solid feel for the game to add to his skill at such a young age should make him a definite first round pick this summer. However, there are too many other guards that are already NBA read for Philly to settle on Ntilikina.