By Ray Boyd
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Sixers will draft a game-changer with the third overall pick in the NBA Draft. Karl-Anthony Towns, Jahlil Okafor, D’Angelo Russell, or Emmanuel Mudiay: one of those players will more than likely call Philadelphia their home after June 25th.READ MORE: Mayor Kenney Signs Bill To Lower City's Wage Tax, Giving Very Small Boost To Paychecks
The draft will be far from over for the Sixers when they select at No. 3. In fact, the team has five second round picks and those players could also prove to be very vital to the future success of the team.
The Sixers select at No. 35, No. 37, No. 47, No. 58 and No. 60.
The focus of the organization is on identifying and acquiring stars, but the team you put around those stars will ultimately determine whether or not this develops into a consistently winning program.
Here is a look at five names the Sixers could consider targeting when the second round begins.
Rakeem Christmas | 6’9″ PF/C Syracuse:
The Sixers have size up front when it comes to the starting unit, but depth at power forward and center is something the organization could stand to upgrade. Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid will need solid reserves and Christmas could be a prospect worth the Sixers bringing in for that purpose.
Much like K.J. McDaniels and Jerami Grant a season ago, Christmas could play right away for the Sixers.
Christmas moved to Philadelphia as a young teenager and played his high school basketball at Academy of the New Church in Bryn Athyn, Pa. before attending Syracuse.
He averaged 17.5 points per game and 9.1 rebounds as a senior. He also registered 2.5 blocks per contest.
The Sixers have drafted Syracuse players in each of the last two drafts (Grant, Michael Carter-Williams) and that trend could continue with Christmas.
Jordan Mickey | 6’8″ PF LSU:
Much like Christmas, Mickey would be a direct attempt by the team to bolster their frontcourt depth. Mickey’s main skill is shot blocking. The LSU product averaged 3.6 blocks per game. He also averaged 15.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per contest.
Production was not an issue for Mickey. He is somewhat slight of frame to pound with NBA big men, but in the era of the stretch four, that would not be an issue on a nightly basis.
If Mickey continues to develop his offensive game, he could be a real prospect for the Sixers to consider early in the second round.
J.P. Tokoto | 6’6″ SG/SF North Carolina:
J.P. Tokoto is the definition of athleticism. The Sixers covet players like Tokoto who is one of the draft’s top high-flyers. Tokoto averaged 8.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game at North Carolina during his junior season.READ MORE: Phillies' Bryce Harper To Have Thumb Surgery Wednesday, Team Hopes He'll Return This Season
Tokoto is not a finished product by any stretch of the imagination, but his elite athleticism is what makes him the perfect second round prospect. The Sixers pride themselves on development and you would have a lot to work with in Tokoto.
He needs to continue to polish his offensive game, but his solid defense will make him a player that could compete for minutes early on.
Also, he does stuff like this.
Andrew Harrison | 6’6″ PG Kentucky:
Andrew Harrison does not fill a specific need for the Sixers, especially if the team selects a point guard at No. 3. However, he is too intriguing of a prospect to completely ignore. Harrison spent two seasons at Kentucky alongside his brother Aaron.
In his sophomore season, he averaged 9.3 points, 3.6 assists and 2.2 rebounds. All of those numbers were down from his freshman season, but Harrison did fill a role for a Kentucky team trying to win a national title and that leaned on Towns who is the consensus top player in this draft.
Harrison did shoot just over 38 percent from beyond the arc, but only shot 37.8 percent on field goal attempts overall.
Harrison could be an interesting prospect to develop to run the Sixers second unit. He can defend both guard spots, which is something the Sixers value, but he has to improve on his ability to take care of the basketball.
Tyler Harvey | 6’4″ SG Eastern Washington:
The Sixers need shooting and that is no secret. Expect them to address that multiple times in the draft and Harvey could be a solid option late in the second round who could provide the team with another shooter if nothing else.
Harvey was college basketball’s leading scorer a season ago averaging just above 23 points per game. He also made 128 three pointers last season and proved to be one of the elite scorers in college basketball.
The major question for Harvey is whether or not he can continue to score at the NBA level.
Harvey is not a good facilitator and will not excel at creating for others. He is not a good defender.
His success at the next level will hinge on one thing. He has to make shots. With one of those last two picks owned by the Sixers, Harvey could be an interesting project player due to his ability to fill it up.
The second round of the draft is incredibly hard to predict. It becomes much more about team preference than taking the consensus top player, because there becomes so much difference in how teams evaluate the remaining players at that point.
The Sixers will more than likely not come away with five players that play on next season’s team. There will undeniably be some international prospects taken that can be stored away for a few seasons and some of the picks could definitely be dealt.
The five picks give Sam Hinkie flexibility and his creativity can really shine in the second round.
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