Sixers NBA Draft profile: Aleksej Pokusevski

NBA Draft Combine (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
NBA Draft Combine (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Bagnall – AMA/Getty Images) /

Hear me out… what if the Sixers’ best option on draft night is another big man?

The Philadelphia 76ers are widely expected to target perimeter depth with the 21st overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. While outliers are always a possibility, few would anticipate the Sixers — fresh off a season in which frontcourt depth became a detriment — using their most valuable draft asset on another 7-footer.

Well, let me introduce you to the one 7-footer who should pique Philadelphia’s interest. In fact, this 7-footer is so good that, if the circumstances are right, he should absolutely be the pick at 21. He’s simply too good not to be.

Aleksej Pokusevski.

This is bound to confound some and intrigue others. A relative unknown from the sometimes vague waters of European hoops, even the film on Pokusevski is somewhat barren.

For Pokusevski, however, that’s hardly a red flag. He will need to prove himself against the physicality of NBA basketball, but his blend of athleticism and skill — as a 17-year-old 7-footer — is impossible to ignore. He’s 18 now, and is the youngest prospect expected to come off the board in the first round. The Sixers should have very real interest.

As someone who has bemoaned Philadelphia’s frontcourt saturation all season, it may seem odd for me to advocate for a 7-footer in a guard-heavy draft such as this one. Fair, and there are some guards who, if available, should definitely hold Philadelphia’s attention. But, when push comes to shove, talent over “fit” is normally the best route. And Pokusevski has a whole lot of talent.