Philadelphia 76ers: 5 rookies Elton Brand might regret passing on

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

1. Kevin Porter Jr., 30th overall pick

I’m of the firm belief Kevin Porter Jr. belonged in the lottery. His odd-ball season at USC sparked rightful concern, but in the end, his shot creation skills provide the foundation for a tantalizing NBA ceiling. The Sixers should have explored it.

Especially when considering Philadelphia’s current needs, Porter could have found a comfortable role. As long as you believe in his shot mechanics — I, for one, do — his ability to not only space the floor, but to score proficiently on broken plays would have brought a neat dynamic to the bench.

Porter has undeniable flaws. His shot selection at USC wavered between palatable and poor, but it doesn’t change the base skill set. At 6-foot-6, he has a strong frame, shifty handles and a quick-triggered release. He generates space with ease, using crossovers, hesitations and slick changes in speed to shake defenders.

In the modern NBA, wings who possess Porter’s size and penchant for buckets are of top value. He needs to round out his playmaking skills and become more engaged in off-ball situations, but those are feasible developments — especially in Philadelphia, where he would spend time next to bona fide NBA stars.

Concerns about Porter’s attitude are just, but there has never been any indication he’s a problematic individual. Perhaps a bit immature, but nothing a stable NBA culture can’t overcome. Brett Brown is the king of culture.

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Porter should find a quick spot in Cleveland’s rebuilding rotation, where his wing scoring will jibe nicely with John Beilein’s up-tempo offense. The Sixers might regret this one.