By: Steve Johnson
The Sixers conveyed their Lakers pick by landing pick #10. Here are a few options that may be available when the Sixers are on the clock.
Mikal Bridges, SG/SF Villanova
Bridges (6’7 210) is a local kid, who attended Villanova via Great Valley High School in Malvern (Chester Co). Philadelphia fans are very aware of the 2-time National Champion, as he’s probably the most coveted pick at 10. The question is, will he be there when the Sixers are on the clock? Bridges, possesses a huge 7 foot wingspan, which helps make him a great wing defender. Bridges has excellent footwork to stay in front of his man, and plays sound defense as he rarely gambles. Bridges has improved his offensive game every year at Nova, becoming one of the best two way players in this years class. He is a great spot up shooter, his length helps him get his shot off vs defenders. Bridges needs to improve his game with the ball in his hands, both from a scoring and passing perspective. He also needs a year in an NBA weight room, before he’ll tap his ceiling. Bridges may be one of the most NBA ready players in this years draft, and would fit perfectly on the wing as a 76er.
Lonnie Walker IV, SG Miami
Walker, is another local product out of Reading High (Berks Co). He spent one year at Miami and averaged an underwhelming 11.5 points per game. Walker (6’4 200), has long arms and plus athleticism. Walker is far from polished, as he needs to improve on all levels of his offensive game.He can beat defenders off the dribble and can attack the rim very well. He will need to work on his shooting, as his form is a little off and he jacked up a lot of poor shots at Miami. He has the ability to be a defensive stud, with his quick feet and length. I think Walker underperformed at Miami because of the talent around him. Miami lost one of their best players and it was all thrown on Walker’s shoulders as a Freshmen. I do think that picking Walker at 10 would be a reach, he should go somewhere around 15. With that being said, the Sixers are in need of a wing scorer, but I believe they should look elsewhere.
Miles Bridges SF Michigan St.
Miles, just like Mikal, is another 2 way wing player. Miles has the size (6’6 230), strength, and athleticism to step in and guard the opponents best players day one. Whether that be guarding the 2, 3, or 4, Bridges is up for the challenge. While he may be undersized at 6’6, with only a 6’9 wingspan to guard the 4, he has the strength (think Jae Crowder). On the offensive side, Bridges has a great first step and never shys away from contact. Bridges, is super explosive around the rim and throws down with authority. Despite only spending two years in Lansing, Bridges is built like a grown man and shouldn’t have any issues transitioning to the NBA. Miles, would be a great fit for the Sixers on the wing. Although he isn’t the spot up shooter they covet, he would make an immediate impact on defense and slashing to the rim.
Kevin Knox SF/PF Kentucky
Knox (6’9 215), spent one year at Kentucky, earning himself All-SEC and Co-Freshmen of the Year. He is a long and athletic, 3/4 tweener. His long reach (7 1/4″ wingspan) and leaping ability (36 1/2″ vert) make him a threat to jump over defenders while slashing to the hole. He is good off the dribble for his size and has a pretty good jump shot. He has the ability to beat defenders off the dribble and pull up with 1 handed floaters in the lane, very hard to stop. At Kentucky, he averaged 15.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg, and shot 44/34/77. Let’s call it what it is though, Knox is a major project. He lacks many offensive weapons and still coasts on defense and rebounding. To me, he doesn’t look fluid enough to play on the wing in the NBA. He will need a year, maybe more to put together all the pieces. He’s certainly an option at 10, possibly having the highest ceiling due to his size and athleticism, but there will almost certainly be better fits.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander G/F Kentucky
Gilgeous-Alexander, like Knox, only spent one year at Kentucky before entering the NBA Draft. Gilgeous-Alexander is listed as a PG, but I think he’s more than that. He stands at 6’6, and has a 7’0 wingspan, giving him the ceiling to be able to play on the wing as well as with the ball in his hands. He has great first step quickness and a 36″ vertical jump. He has the ability to slow the game down and set up the offense, but also play off ball. His jumper is a work in progress, as he’ll need to quicken his release, but he has the ability to develop into a good catch and shoot player. Kentucky coaches raved about his work habits, which brightens his future in the NBA. Great body control when finishing around the rim. In his only year in Kentucky, he averaged 14.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 5.1 asp, and shot 48/40/81. Gilgeous-Alexander is still somewhat of a project, but he should be a lottery pick. With Fultz still a question mark, the Sixers could hedge their bet with a player that can play both on and off ball.