Sixers draft: 6 prospects to consider with 28th pick

Tre Mann, Jaden Springer, NBA Draft (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
Tre Mann, Jaden Springer, NBA Draft (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

With the Sixers‘ season ending sooner than expected, the focus has shifted to the offseason and ways for them to improve their roster.  A focal point of that is the NBA Draft, where the Sixers will have the 28th selection in the first round.  With plenty of weaknesses that became glaring in the playoffs, the Sixers can go plenty of different routes with this pick, including trading it away for a more ready-now kind of player.  I’ll be acting as if they keep the selection and talking about 6 players to target at pick 28.

There are plenty of players I wanted to include but assumed they’d be gone by the time we select at 28, such as Jared Butler, Sharife Cooper, and Josh Christopher.  The end of the first round is always impossible to predict, so there is a chance even none of these players are available when it’s Philly’s turn to select, or there may be multiple, in which case they’ll have some decisions to make.

Regardless, let’s begin the run down of players I believe can help the Sixers now and in the future.

Prospects for Sixers to consider with 28th pick: Jaden Springer

We’ll start off with someone who I personally view as a lottery talent but I’m only including him because mocks I’ve seen have him oddly within our range.  Jaden Springer, who will still be 18 on draft night, has a bevy of tools fit for the NBA.  He’s a master of absorbing contact, something that is invaluable for someone his size, to go along with a tight enough handle and layup package to make him a threat once he gets downhill.  He isn’t going to blow by you that often, but the rest of his driving skills more than make up for it.  He’s an encouraging defender on the other end, with a low center of gravity that allows him to stay strong through screens and be able to match smaller, crafty guards that he’ll be sure to see a lot of in the NBA.

He shot an encouraging percentage from behind the 3-point line (43.5 percent) in his lone season at Tennessee but on only a moderate amount of attempts (2.6 per game).  Some of that had to do with the sheer amount of scorers Tennessee had at their disposal, but his jumper looks viable enough to work at the next level.

The biggest concerns appear to be he didn’t show enough flashes as a lead ball handler to offset his smaller stature as a two-guard (measured 6-foot-4.25 in shoes at the combine).  Regardless, I buy into him having enough overall basketball talent to be more than serviceable at the NBA level, positional fit put to the side.

Odds are he’ll have been selected before Philly is up, but I’d have a hard time passing up the value he brings at 28, and I imagine those in the 76ers front office would feel the same.