Players the Sixers should target in undrafted free agency

Philadelphia 76ers Logo (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for PGD Global)
Philadelphia 76ers Logo (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for PGD Global) /

With no draft pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, the Sixers will need to target players in the undrafted free agency market to improve their roster. It’s a situation the organization hasn’t found itself in since 1989 when the draft went to a two-round format as they sit without a selection on draft night.

The 76ers traded their own 2023 first-round pick to the Nets when they acquired James Harden at the NBA trade deadline in 2022. They were also stripped of their second-round pick in this year’s draft after being charged with tampering in the signing of free agents PJ Tucker and Danuel House Jr.

It’s a tough situation to be in for the Sixers who don’t have many options to improve their team in the free-agency market due to being over the NBA salary cap. That could change if Harden decides not to return to Philadelphia, but right now, the ability to add talent is limited.

So, with the Sixers not being involved in the NBA Draft, what is there to do for fans on draft night?

Well for one, sit back and hope some of the talented players projected to go late in the second round, end up going undrafted. The only way for the Sixers to boost their roster this offseason is through the undrafted free-agent market.

While that doesn’t sound overly enticing, the Heat has put together two NBA Finals rosters with the help of undrafted free agents.

The main position that the Sixers should target is wing players.

New head coach Nick Nurse developed his wings exceptionally well when in Toronto and should be able to do the same in Philadelphia. The wing has also been the weakest part of the Sixers during the Joel Embiid era. They have majorly struggled against the Celtics and Raptors who are known as wing-dominant teams.

Without the ability to draft a player this year or sign a high-level free agent, the front office still needs to address the glaring need and use Nurse’s development to start getting better on the wing. Here are three players the Sixers should target if they go undrafted on Thursday.

Keyontae Johnson

At 6’4″, Johnson is a little undersized for the traditional NBA wing. However, he has a 7’0″ wingspan which will allow him to contest shots on the perimeter. Johnson is also an elite shooter, hitting 40.5% of his three-point shots and 45.2% on catch-and-shoot threes while at Kansas State last season. His versatility to play multiple roles on the wing would be a help for the Sixers if he can develop into an everyday NBA player.

Jalen Wilson

Winning pedigree isn’t talked about enough when it comes to draft prospects. Wilson has that and then some after his career at Kansas. He’s a national champion, Big 12 Player of the Year, All-American, and two-time Big 12 regular season champion as a starter. On the court, he’s a creator who average 20.1 points per game last season. He struggled with shooting in college which could limit him, but will bring a pedigree rarely found in undrafted free agents.

Ricky Council IV

When signing players who don’t get drafted, the one thing teams hope for is an upside. Council has that in bunches. He has freak athleticism in open space and can finish at the rim in traffic. His glaring weakness is his shooting. However, his athleticism and defensive prowess could eventually find him minutes on the court as he develops his jump shot.