Jake LaRavia, Wake Forest
A ready-now upperclassman, Jake LaRavia should be on the Sixers’ radar. Again, he adheres to the size and physicality mandate. He’s a hard-working and versatile defender. At 6-foot-8, LaRavia has spent time defending all types of players at Wake Forest, from containing guards at the point of attack to using his 227-pound frame to wage battle in the post.
He’s not an elite athlete, but LaRavia hustles his tail off every night and knows where to be on the floor. With contenders drafting late in the first round, you’re generally not drafting star players. You’re looking for high-level role players who understand the game and have the ability to coexist with established stars. LaRavia is just that. He didn’t take over games for Wake Forest, but he did all the little things to help win.
Of course, LaRavia is a good spot-up shooter who can play next to Embiid. He’s also an excellent pick-and-roll partner for Harden and Maxey, with the passing instincts to find teammates on the roll, and the soft touch necessary to finish with finesse around the rim. He cuts and moves without the ball, he doesn’t have any disillusions about his talent, and he won’t take away from Philadelphia’s core four — only complement them.
If the Sixers aren’t able to cash in on some of the higher-upside athletes, then LaRavia is an excellent consolation prize. He’s the type of player who could be playing NBA basketball in year one, and he works hard enough to maybe even pique the interest of Doc Rivers (wishful thinking, I know).