PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The percentages say that the Philadelphia 76ers aren’t going to be getting a game-changing player with the No. 24 pick in the upcoming NBA Draft on Thursday. But the Sixers could come up with a player available there that may be able to help them during the 2019-20 season.
Here’s a thumbnail look at five possibilities:
Matisse Thybulle: 6-foot-5 forward, Washington
Thybulle is a role player extraordinaire that could fit nicely into the Sixers’ needs. He’s not much of a scorer, but scouting reports say that he’s very good on defense. He had 82 blocked shots and 126 steals last season. He has a 7-foot wingspan and possesses the kind of athleticism where he can cover large areas of the court. Thybulle is a two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. He finished his college career breaking Gary Payton’s age-old record for most career steals in Pac-12 history (331).
Cameron Johnson: 6-foot-8 forward, North Carolina
Johnson appears to be mentioned as often as Thybulle at 24 for the Sixers. He’s a 6-8 shooter who uses an economy of motion to get his shots off. He can either pull up or can shoot while guarded. He not only possesses a good shot, but also a quick release. The problem the Sixers face is whether or not he’ll fall to 24.
Kevin Porter Jr.: 6-foot-6 guard, USC
He could be the most intriguing player in the first round. He also may have the most polarizing projection: Turn into a major star, or fizzle out like so many other promising talents with dubious histories. Porter has been compared to James Harden for his stepback jumper. But there is something that may keep him around for the Sixers at 24 and that’s the label of “off-court issues.” He was suspended this past season at USC for an undisclosed conduct issue. He can be an All-Star, or he can be a bust. Or, another team selecting earlier may be willing to take a chance on him.
KZ Okpala: 6-foot-8 forward, Stanford
Many mock drafts have Okpala going sooner than 24. For someone 6-foot-8, he possesses a great handle and can create his own shot. He needs work, however. His game is not complete, with added work on his outside shot and there are some questions about his defensive ability at the NBA level.
Luguentz Dort: 6-foot-4 guard, Arizona State
Canada is the basketball capital of the world these days, and Dort is more proof that hoops is a big deal up north. Actually, Dort comes from a little further up north than Toronto. The Montreal native is a bundle of energy, and he loves playing defense. He’s considered one of the better defensive guards in the draft. He has the same problem a few other Sixers have—he has no outside shot. If he’s taken by the Sixers, he may be asked to shoot. Brett Brown can give him the task of being the team’s designated shut-down defender off the bench. Dort may be available at 24.