Philadelphia 76ers: 15 greatest NBA Draft steals in franchise history

Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Ron Koch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Ron Koch/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Andre, Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers
Andre Iguodala, Philadelphia 76ers. (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers rank among the most storied franchises in NBA history. Here are some of the less-heralded draft picks that helped get them there.

Founded in 1946, the Syracuse Nationals — now the Philadelphia 76ers — have been drafting prospects for over half a century. The Sixers have more historic relevance than most franchises, including three championship banners in 73 years of existence.

The NBA Draft in the main talent pipeline for most successful franchises. Even if the stars aren’t drafted, it’s almost impossible to fill out a contending roster without solid draft picks. History shines a positive light on the Sixers’ draft resume.

While there are obvious highlights at the top — Allen Iverson, Ben Simmons, Doug Collins — Philadelphia has also drafted well outside the No. 1 spot. Some of the greatest players in franchise history were less-heralded prospects.

As the 2019 NBA Draft approaches, it’s worth taking a look back. Revisiting the Sixers’ NBA Draft resume in a search for steals — hidden gems who exceeded expectations. Then, with five picks on the June 20 docket, Philadelphia has an opportunity to add another name to the list later this week.

The rules are simple. ‘Steal’ is a loose term when applied to the draft, so the qualifications are therefore loose. The only stipulation I will include is this: No top overall picks. That excludes Iverson, Simmons and Collins. Those who were hyped as potential all-time greats.

Special weight is given to the best overall players, but for the purpose of this list, those drafted later — perhaps outside the lottery or in the second round — are also given more credit. Getting a Hall of Famer in the mid-30s, for example, merits extra appreciation.

Here are the top 15 NBA Draft steals in Sixers history.