The Philadelphia 76ers, as all of us know, own the third pick in this years upcoming NBA Draft. That third pick will be debated between three or four players before the draft starts: Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, Dante Exum, and Joel Embiid. And as the night begins on June 26th the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks will make the decision for the 76ers shrink from four players to two, and as a lot of the draft experts suggest, it will either be Embiid or Parker for the 76ers in the third spot.
We can argue which player would fit best with the 76ers, as this is a franchise-defining moment for Philadelphia. But that is not what I am here to discuss. I am here to talk about the 76ers next draft pick, the 10th pick of the NBA Draft, which they received the rights to in the Jrue Holiday trade to the Pelicans last year. This NBA Draft is deep with a lot of talent this year, something that the NBA has not seen in quite some time. It’s not the draft of 2003, which tallied eight All-Stars in the first two rounds, headlined by LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. In that draft there were also solid veterans such as David West, Chris Kaman, Mo Williams, Kirk Hinrich, Boris Diaw. With the 51st pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, selected by the then New Jersey Nets, and his draft rights traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, Creighton Blue Jay, Kyle Korver.
Kyle Korver spent four and a half seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, before being traded to the Utah Jazz at the trade deadline of 2007-2008 season. He spent four years at Creighton University, becoming the sixth leading scorer in school history, and a Wooden Award Finalist. Kyle Korver just finished his 12th season in the league, and now owns the NBA record for making at least one three-pointer in 127 games in a row, surpassing Dana Barros record, who made a three in 89 consecutive games. With the exception of his rookie year, when he was not receiving much playing time, the following three years Korver hit 100 plus three-pointers in each season. Since his departure, the Sixers have only had three players total eclipse the 100 mark. Jodie Meeks, Dorrell Wright, and this past season James Anderson. But they haven’t had that solid go to shooter since Korver left. And it has impacted the success of this team.
The Sixers were 19th last season in three-pointers made, and dead last in three-point percentage, including the Rookie of the Year, Michael Carter-Williams, setting an NBA record for worst three-point percentage in a season of all time with at least 150 attempts. This is something that the Sixers need to take a serious look at with the 10th pick in this years draft. Having a shooter that you can go to, opens up the floor, and the lanes for Carter-Williams, and takes pressure off him as a point guard, as he clearly tried to shoot his way out of misery from three last year. If you have someone around the perimeter that can make that jumper when relied upon, it does so much for a team offensively.
The reason that I brought up Korver was not only to point out that the Sixers have not had a go to shooter since him, but also to stick with the Creighton Blue Jays that had already done so much for the Sixers behind that three line, and to really think about taking Doug McDermott with that 10th pick. If you look at the top mock drafts right now, about half of them have McDermott going to either the Sacramento Kings with the 8th pick, or the Charlotte Hornets at the 9th pick. However, if he is not taken there, the other half of the mock drafts don’t even have him in the top 15, which means if the Kings and Hornets pass on him, which is very possible, he would be there for the Sixers to take.
Now I know some of you would say that if you are going to go the route of a shooter, you would rather have Nik Stauskas from Michigan. But in his two years at Michigan, he made 80 and 92 three-pointers respectively. McDermott made 77 and 96 in his final two years at Creighton. And the other big difference between these two players is that Stauskas is just a shooter, a very pure shooter, who will spot up behind the arc, and knock down a couple of threes a game for you. McDermott can do so much more for your team.
McDermott, as I stated before a Blue Jay, who is a Wooden Award winner, and the all-time leading scorer at Creighton University. He averaged 26.7 points per game, and 7.0 rebounds per game, while making nearly three 3’s a game. He single handily brought the Creighton Blue Jays to the dance last year. He is such a versatile player that many experts have related his rugged style of play to future Hall of Famer Dirk Nowitzki. He has that arching fade on his shot, and can shoot from anywhere on the court. He can also back you down, and rebound for you. If you look at Kyle Korver’s stats at Creighton, and then Doug McDermott they are very similar, with McDermott just better in every category. In Korver’s four seasons at Creighton he averaged 14.1 points per game, 5.2 rebounds, 2.9 three-pointers per game, while shooting 45.3 percent from beyond the arc. In McDermott’s four seasons at Creighton he averaged 21.7 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game, 1.9 three-pointers per game, while shooting 45.8 percent from beyond the arc. Meaning that he made less three-pointers per game, (while also attempting more than two less per game) but also scored seven plus more points per game, meaning he can score in many other facets.
Some of you will say that his college game will not transfer to the NBA, and you might be right, initially. But he will be working with very good coaches wherever he goes, and will learn and adjust. Don’t forget he is 6-foot-8, so he is a big body. And if all does fail, their is one thing that will transfer and that is his knockdown shooting, because you do not forget how to shoot with the change from college to NBA. So he will always have that shot, which is what the Sixers should be looking at for that 10th pick.
This is exactly what the Philadelphia 76ers need. They are going to get their potential star with the third pick, whether it be Wiggins, Parker, or Embiid. And if its Embiid it is a big mistake, but that is a topic for another day. But then at 10 they need that shooter that they have not had since Korver, who can rack up rebounds, which is another area that they have struggled in at times. McDermott can turn into a star in this league just like Dirk did. And if he is passed up at eight and nine, and he is there for the taking at 10, it would be a shame, and a mistake by Sam Hinkie and the 76ers organization if they passed on Doug McDermott.