NBA Draft 2020: Sixers-centric big board

The Sixers have plenty of options in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Tonight’s the night. After months of anticipation, the 2020 NBA Draft will finally air at 8:00 PM E.T. on ESPN. The Philadelphia 76ers hold five picks — 21, 34, 36, 48, 59 — and are rumored to be active on the trade market. The Sixers could look drastically different by night’s end.

The bulk of the focus, naturally, is on Philadelphia’s selection at 21. The Sixers need depth, and there’s a good chance whoever gets picked will immediately have a spot in Doc Rivers’ rotation. This isn’t a particularly special draft class, but the depth of talent is commendable. The Sixers can get an impact player at 21.

Here, I will offer up my tiered, Sixers-centric big board. To check out my full 60-prospect big board, click here. This board will focus solely on prospects who could feasibly be in Philadelphia’s range at 21. Therefore, the top 10 prospects according to ESPN’s mock draft have been left off. All others are fair game.

Tier 1

1. Killian Hayes, G, Ulm

In my book, Hayes is the 1B to LaMelo Ball’s 1A in this year’s class. NBA teams clearly think otherwise, and Hayes could slip out of the top-10 — or even out of the lottery — depending on how things shake out. He’d instantly improve Philadelphia’s lethargic halfcourt offense.

Tier 2

2. Kira Lewis Jr., G, Alabama
3. Tyrell Terry, G, Stanford
4. Devin Vassell, F, Florida State
5. Aleksej Pokusevski, F, Olympiacos
6. Cole Anthony, G, North Carolina

The Sixers need guard help. Both Lewis and Terry would help tremendously — for different reasons. Terry is a lightning-rod shooter with deep range and a competitive edge. Lewis blends speed and skill in a manner comparable to De’Aaron Fox.

Philadelphia would do well to bulk up the guard rotation, but Devin Vassell is an elite 3-and-D wing who fits seamlessly into any system.

With Pokusevski, the Sixers would invest in arguably the highest upside of any prospect. He wouldn’t contribute next season — in fact, he probably wouldn’t be in the U.S. — but his blend of skill and mobility as a 7-footer is uncommon.

Anthony is a certified bucket. The Sixers could use more buckets.

Tier 3

7. Desmond Bane, G, TCU
8. Aaron Nesmith, F, Vanderbilt
9. Tyrese Maxey, G, Kentucky

Bane gets the slightest edge in context of this tier because of his guard skills. He’s not an explosive athlete, but the 22-year-old is comfortable creating out of the pick-and-roll and facilitating to open teammates.

In the same bunch, Nesmith is arguably the top shooter on the board. He’s limited otherwise, but Philadelphia needs shooting, and if Nesmith tumbles to 21 he’s undoubtedly a name to watch. High-volume, quick-trigger shooters have been lacking in J.J. Redick’s absence.

Maxey is a tough-nosed guard who makes winning plays. He didn’t shoot well at Kentucky, but his mechanics should inspire confidence. He can lock up ball-handlers at the point of attack, and his shot-making talent would have instant utility in Philadelphia.

Tier 4

10. Nico Mannion, G, Arizona
11. Josh Green, F, Arizona
12. Saddiq Bey, F, Villanova

I’m still on the Mannion train. He’s more likely to be the pick at 34 or 36, but a Mannion selection at 21 would, in theory, be solid value.

His teammate Josh Green is also sure to get looks from Daryl Morey and Elton Brand. An instinctual wing with top-shelf athleticism and a dependable 3-point stroke, Green brings a lot to the 3-and-D mold.

Bey has some shot creation upside, but he too will derive most of his value from 3-and-D. He’s one of the best spot-up shooters on the board, and at 6-foot-8, Bey can comfortably defend all over the floor.

Tier 5

13. Theo Maledon, G, ASVEL
14. R.J. Hampton, G, New Zealand
15. Isaiah Joe, F, Arkansas
16. Killian Tillie, F, Gonzaga
17. Jaden McDaniels, F, Washington

Maledon and Hampton are two of the more well-regarded international guards outside the lottery. Both have different skill sets, but Philadelphia needs shot creation in the halfcourt all the same. That is priority number one.

Joe is possibly the best shooter in the draft. If not, he’s at least one of the most prolific. He attempted 10.4 per game as a sophomore, and he needs very little space to rise and fire. The rest of his skill set is unrefined, but again, quick triggers are important.

The Sixers can probably get Tillie in the second round — maybe even as late as 58. He has major injury concerns, but when healthy, Tillie is a lottery talent. Bigs who can shoot like him are rare, and he couples that with elite feel for the game.

McDaniels is a project who probably wouldn’t contribute much as a rookie. That said, 6-foot-9 wings who can create their own offense and who move as fluidly as McDaniels are hard to come by.

Tier 6

18. Cassius Winston, G, Michigan State
19. Xavier Tillman Sr., C, Michigan State
20. Precious Achiuwa, C, Memphis
21. Leandro Bolmaro, F, Barcelona
22. Malachi Flynn, G, San Diego State
23. Tre Jones, G, Duke
24. Jalen Smith, C, Maryland

Look. At this point, I’d say these are less desirable options. Fine options — certainly not worst-case scenarios — but at the end of the day, largely uninspiring. The Sixers can gladly target Winston in the second round. Jones too, if he’s available. The others, however, might not fit into Philadelphia’s plans.

For more information on tonight’s NBA Draft, you can visit our comprehensive Sixers Draft Guide.