Breaking down how the Philadelphia 76ers fared in the 2024 NBA Draft

2024 NBA Draft - Round One
2024 NBA Draft - Round One / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
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The picks are in! A roster overhaul is expected and this draft has set the tone for the remainder of the off-season. It is no surprise that the 76ers are going to swing for the fences during free agency. They need to! The time to win a championship is now. Embiid is dominant, but often hobbling. Maxey is an electric counterpart to complement Embiid, but how about the draft picks that they selected? 

At this time, the roster is thin. The window to win is now. That means the incoming rookies have to contribute. Let’s evaluate their drafted and undrafted selections and see what we should expect. 

Jared MaCain is the 76ers’ newest shiny thing out of the draft

Jared McCain
Bucknell v Duke / Lance King/GettyImages

With the first pick in the 2024 NBA draft, the 76ers selected Jared McCain. Selecting McCain at 16 appears to be good value. Depending on the source, he fell right where he should have. ESPN had him at 15, CBS had him at 14, and the Ringer had him at 12. Heck, even the “NBA Draft Twitter Consensus Big Board” had him at 17.

In the words of the late Dennis Green, “they are what we thought they were!” Personally, I had him at 21, but the selection makes sense and I’ll explain why. 

McCain is a knockdown shooter. He has one of those shooting strokes that observers expect it to go in and don’t need to watch it for confirmation. His shooting mechanics are clinical and repeatable. It doesn't matter whether he shoots off the bounce, on the move, or after the catch. He warrants the greenest of green lights. He shoots the ball like we all envision ourselves doing while we practice our release lying on our beds. 

The numbers back it up. He shot 41.4% from three on 5.8 attempts per game. Don’t make him shoot for the ball, because he converts his free throws at 88.5%. He ranked 8th in the ACC in true shooting percentage and would have ranked fourth in effective field goal percentage and third in free throw percentage had he qualified. Therein lies the problem.

He is not considered an on-ball creator at this point. He demonstrates good ball handling skills but lacks the quickness and acceleration to get by his primary defender. Lack of explosiveness impacts his ability to finish in the rim which may be why he lives on the perimeter. 

And that’s okay. The 76ers need a player who reliably spaces the floor for Embiid and Maxey to attack. Expecting more of him during his rookie season would be ill-suited. He’s an off-ball guard who’s ready to fire. 

I also wouldn’t expect him to create and facilitate for others as that is another area of development. Last season he ranked seventh on his own team in assist percentage so he’ll either shoot or swing the ball.

It’s clear that the 76ers were focusing on offense and spacing with this selection. The offense will continue to depend on Embiid and Maxey to create while McCain will be there to provide spacing and be a release valve when defenses converge on the inside. 

This is his immediate impact and I expect his creation ability to improve, but I do have some questions about other prospects the 76ers passed on.