The Philadelphia 76ers currently own zero picks in the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft. Their first-round pick was used to acquire James Harden and their second-round pick was forfeited due to tampering violations with P.J. Tucker and Danuel House Jr., two of Harden’s old Houston-era friends.
That said, never say never on draft night. The Sixers’ scouting department has done a remarkable job of analyzing talent at every stage of the draft, with a few notable exceptions over the past decade. Daryl Morey is a thoughtful GM and understands the value of young talent affordably under team control.
No matter how the season ends, Philadelphia could find itself motivated to trade into the first round on draft night. It’s a loaded class talent-wise, and there’s no shortage of potential immediate contributors.
That, of course, begs the question: what would such a trade look like in context?
Victor Wembanyama and LaMelo Ball would form one of the most compelling young duos in the NBA. Ball elevates his teammates as well as anyone in the sport; Wemby is a do-it-all finisher, capable of setting screens and filling the lane or popping out to the 3-point line and stretching the defense thin. The 7-foot-4 Frenchman would also give the Hornets’ their long-awaited defensive anchor.
The Rockets form the most athletic backcourt in the NBA. Scoot Henderson is a fearless slasher and playmaker who would take some of the offensive burden off of Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. He potential in two-man actions with Alperen Sengun is tantalizing, and he would bring some much-needed competitive spirit to the Rockets organization.
Brandon Miller is feeling more and more like a top-3 lock. The Orlando Magic have always prized length and versatility, something the 6-foot-9 freshman would readily supply. He’s an elite floor-spacer and blossoming slasher who would be well-positioned to attack weak links in the defense while Paolo Banchero, Franz Wagner, and Markelle Fultz draw attention elsewhere.
A one-percent athlete, Amen Thompson will instantly increase the entertainment value of whichever team drafts him. He would have some adjusting to do next to another high-volume playmaker like Tyrese Haliburton, but the latter boasts a rather flexible offensive skill set and Thompson’s blend of speed, twitch, and finishing around the rim are bound to take root at the next level.
With an established backcourt of the future in Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey, the Pistons pass on some appealing guard prospects to select Cam Whitmore. An explosive, NFL-caliber athlete who can power through defenders en route to the basket, Whitmore would be well-suited to attacking closeouts off passes from Detroit’s dynamic playmakers.