The Sixers will select 23rd overall in the 2022 NBA Draft. With several holes to plug on the roster, the general expectation is that Philadelphia will target size and two-way versatility on the wing. Naturally, that makes the small forward position one to pay close attention to on draft night.
Given the natural variance between projections and outcomes on draft night, it’s hard to pin down who exactly will be available when the Sixers’ name is called. That said, this draft class is loaded with fascinating wing talent. Daryl Morey and company should have no shortage of options.
Philadelphia has drafted guards twice in a row since Morey’s arrival (Tyrese Maxey at 21, then Jaden Springer at 28). This could be the year Morey finally breaks that trend and focuses on building up defensive support around Joel Embiid.
Sixers Draft: 3 small forward prospects to consider with 23rd pick
Jalen Williams, Santa Clara
Jalen Williams has flown under the radar at Santa Clara. He is commonly projected in the 20s, sometimes even to the Sixers at 23, but he should probably be in the lottery. Santa Clara isn’t exactly a basketball hotspot, but Williams’ combination of physical tools (6-foot-6 frame, 7-foot wingspan) and skill level makes him a clear fit in the modern NBA.
He fulfills the Sixers’ present need for size and versatility on the wing. He’s an excellent defender with plus instincts and one of the draft’s most impressive motors. He doesn’t get out-worked. On offense, he blends guard skills with the perimeter shooting touch and off-ball savvy necessary to carve out a role in Philadelphia’s offense.
Williams is comfortable operating out of the pick-and-roll or DHOs and shows excellent poise as a playmaker. He doesn’t throw the ball away, and is great at using subtle hesitations and long strides to make up for his limited burst. Off the ball, he’s a willing and eager cutter who gravitates to open space and knows how to make himself available. He’s one of the best all-around offensive players currently outside the lottery conversation, so the Sixers would be quite lucky to have him.
He was über efficient at every level last season, shooting over 50 percent from the field and over 40 percent from deep. He can shoot off the catch, or wiggle into mid-range pull-ups. He needs to get better at attacking downhill and getting all the way to the rim, but Williams does the little things and quite a few of the big things. He would be a really nice get at 23.