5 first round NBA Draft prospects the 76ers should monitor
— Dariq Whitehead, Duke, 18.6 years old
The Duke freshman entered the season widely projected as a top-10 pick. He struggled, in large part due to injury, and could tumble into the later stages of the first round as a result. If that happens, Philadelphia should be interested. Whitehead hit 42 percent of his 3s at Duke and there’s untapped scoring potential there. He’s young — and might not crack Doc Rivers’ rotation in year one as a result — but he’s a good long-term investment.
— Brandin Podziemski, Santa Clara, 20.1 years old
Brandin Podziemski appears to be fluttering in the 20-40 range right about now. He was extremely productive for small-time Santa Clara, making him a prime under-the-radar candidate for the more well-studied front offices. He would give the Sixers an infusion of shot creation and shooting in the backcourt, but he plays with a real edge that could translate to the next level (he averaged over eight rebounds per game as a guard).
— GG Jackson, South Carolina, 18.3 years old
If he tumbles into the back end of the first round, GG Jackson could be a wise upside swing for the Sixers via trade. He won’t contribute much as a rookie, but he’s the youngest player on the board and the Sixers could use a couple long-term assets under team control with the new CBA forthcoming. Jackson was originally considered a potential top-5 pick in 2024 before reclassifying; his athleticism and natural talent pops, and he was quite productive for such a young player at Carolina.
— Bilal Coulibaly, Metropolitans 92, 18.7 years old
Bilal Coulibaly could be trending too high for the Sixers, but if he declares for the draft and still falls into the 20s, Philly would be wise to consider swinging a trade for the young Frenchman. He doesn’t get the same spotlight as his teammate Victor Wembanyama, but Coulibaly is a bursty athlete on the wing with immense two-way potential. His first step and pop attacking the basket offensively is enough to make any good GM salivate. Meanwhile, some of Coulibaly’s defensive highlights need to be seen to be believed.
— Andre Jackson Jr., Connecticut, 21.4 years old
An older prospect, but one geared more toward immediate contribution, Andre Jackson would be a nice pickup for the Sixers. He may even tumble into the second round, where the trade price would be even cheaper. Jackson doesn’t score much, but he’s a high-I.Q. wing with razor-sharp passing instincts and an impressive defensive track record. Jackson leaves it all on the floor and he’s driven to win. He would do the small things to earn a role and stay on the floor.