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Thoughts On The NBA Draft

Markelle Fultz officially becoming a Philadelphia 76er was far from the only highlight from NBA Draft night, and much of what was occurring will have impacts on the Sixers’ outlook in the coming season.

With Jimmy Butler Out Of The East, The Sixers’ Road To The Playoffs Just Got Easier

Still have doubts that the Sixers can’t make the playoffs in 2017?

The Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Timberwolves made a major trade, sending All-Star Jimmy Butler out of Chicago (and the Eastern Conference). The Bulls, who made the playoffs as the eighth seed, are now in a full-scale rebuild with a very young roster and an aging D’Wayne Wade as their best player.

The Bulls are now unlikely to be in the mix for a playoff spot in the coming season, meaning that the improving Sixers have even better odds to make their way into the playoffs next season.

The rest of the Sixers’ competition for the eighth seed? Miami finished 41-41 last season, and while they finished much stronger than they started and have a couple of strong pieces with Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic, they’re not impossible to catch by any means.

The next two teams in the standings were the Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets, two teams stuck in NBA-purgatory of mediocrity: both teams are good enough to post win totals in the mid-30’s, but neither is good enough to make the playoffs or get to the top of the lottery. The Hornets have made a trade for Dwight Howard, but Howard is nothing more than a big name that hasn’t truly performed at a difference-making level since he left Orlando.

The only other teams with records better than the Sixers last year? Two hopeless franchises in the Knicks and Magic.

If you don’t believe the Sixers are a playoff team next year, or at the very least have an excellent chance to be there, you aren’t looking at things properly. Last season, thee Sixers improved by 18 wins from their previous campaign with a team that added Joel Embiid (for only 31 games), Dario Saric, and the continued development of other young players. Add in Fultz, Ben Simmons, and the continued development of Embiid, Saric and the others and try to convince me that the Sixers can’t reach a win total in the 40’s in this Eastern Conference.

With Jimmy Butler In The West, The Lakers’ Road Out Of The Lottery Just Got More Unlikely

The insanely competitive Western Conference got even more deeper through the Jimmy Butler trade.

Butler joins a Minnesota team that already featured Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony-Towns. The Timberwolves are a much better team, and they still aren’t necessarily a lock to make the playoffs.

The West has so many strong teams. The Nuggets, Mavericks, and Pelicans would all be contenders for the eighth seed in the East. The Timberwolves, Lakers, Kings, and Suns were the only truly bad teams in that conference that completely belonged in the lottery a year ago.

I don’t think the Lakers are a better team than what they were this season. Trading D’Angelo Russell and replacing him with Lonzo Ball isn’t an improvement, at least not this season. I think Ball is going to struggle in his rookie season, and Brook Lopez doesn’t do anything to excite me. He’s a seven-foot center that is allergic to rebounding, and has spent most his NBA career constantly nursing injuries. Unless the Lakers go out and sign someone else in free agency, which is unlikely considering all reports suggest they want to keep their cap room open to sign some of the big free agents in 2018, I think they’re going to be towards the bottom of the West for at least one more season.

This is significant for the Sixers because they’ll have a shot to land next year’s top pick if the Lakers are in fact in the lottery again, and I think the odds are very good that the Lakers will be somewhere in the top five, meaning the pick could convey to the Celtics in a weaker draft, and leave the Sixers with the Kings’ unprotected 2019 pick. on Facebook

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Posted by on Jun 23 2017. Filed under 76ers, BREAKING NEWS, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

6 Comments for “Thoughts On The NBA Draft”

  1. So what about the Draft Denny other than Markelle Fultz for the 76ers,can you comment on ?

    Do Players such as Jonah Bolden, Guards J Evans & S Brown and Mathias Lessort have a Shot to Contribute

    How about the 76ers Trading for the Rights to Center A Pasecniks with Orlando

    I believe the 76ers Signed Undrafted Free-Agent Guard M Trimble of Maryland
    Who Else have the 76ers Signed from the Undrafted List ?

    • Pasecniks sounds like a decent enough stash…seven footer that can shoot a little bit. Maybe when/if he comes over, he can be a stretch-four, bench piece. Or maybe a trade chip for down the round. Who knows if he ever plays for the sixers, but it sounds like there’s some upside there.

      Bolden sounds like he has a chance to play and contribute fairly soon, though maybe not right away. Has some rapport with Simmons already. Richaun Holmes is the first big man off the bench, bolden could surpass okafor easily enough (I don’t expect okafor to even be in the rotation if everyone else is healthy).

      Evans and brown are being traded already and lessort is another stash. Pretty much what we expected of the second round picks, a lot of guys who would either be traded or stashed, but bolden looks like he might be a nice pick. Just no roster space to keep four second rounders.

      Trimble and the other undrafted guards, we have to wait and see. Tj McConnel, Bayless, and stauskas already fighting for minutes in the rotation, and sixers may either sign another shooting guard, or exercise their option on Gerald Henderson.

      • The euro and aussie picks were excellent insurance in the case of another embiid setback and potential trade involving Okafor and/or Saric. But the sixers can’t afford to sit Okafor. He’ll definitely be in the rotation. I suspect with Simmons running the show his play will improve and make him more marketable.

  2. My boy blossomgame got drafted by the spurs 59th overall. Second to last.

    He could end up being a Isiah Thomas type player based on where he was took. 17
    Points a game at Clemson: but also had a knee injury his freshman year..

    Greg pop will be the best coach for him with those teammates. He will not have to do it all.

    Should def. get playing time also based on the spurs age

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