NBA Mock Draft: Sixers land Beal, select rangy scorer


It's hard to believe, but we're finally just one day away from the 2021 NBA Draft. Trade buzz is so loud about current stars that we almost need to be reminded to focus on the next generation of stars who are gearing up for the biggest night of their lives.The Sixers are still trying to land a blockbuster trade for an All-Star, but they're not the only ones with a big move in mind. Can Daryl Morey win draft night?We've got some big swings and big picks:

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Ben Simmons on the move! It finally happens. President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey finds the right move and wrests Beal from a Washington team admitting defeat in its quest to avoid rebuilding.

Here's the deal:

SIXERS GET: Bradley Beal

WIZARDS GET: Ben Simmons, Matisse Thybulle, Sixers' 2022 1st Round Pick, 2024 1st Round Pick

It's not cheap, but the Sixers land their star guard in Beal and they have a Big Three of Beal, Joel Embiid, and Tobias Harris for the foreseeable future. (This trade also comes with an agreed-upon extension for Beal.) 

Giving up a guy like Thybulle hurts, and the Wiz manage to take a pair of firsts as well - but it could've been worse: you could've also lost Tyrese Maxey, or you could've been out three first-round picks instead of just two.

Simmons value feels low, but he's still an All-Star and one of the best defenders in the league. He just can't score like Beal, and for this Sixers team that scoring - and, specifically, that kind of scoring - is just too valuable.


It just makes too much sense for the Pistons to stick at No. 1 and take the consensus best talent available.


The Rockets will try to trade up and get Cunningham, but Green is an excellent consolation prize: an athletic freak who can light it up.


The Cavaliers are expected to take either Green or Mobley, depending on what Houston does. Mobley is a floor-stretching 7-footer with a sky-high ceiling. I like the Cavs betting on potential.





If Kyle Lowry is out, Suggs is in. Pairing the electric guard with Fred VanVleet gives Toronto something tangible to build around for the future as they look more and more like a rebuilding squad.


Basically everything points to Barnes being Orlando's pick here. He's a two-way threat with size who figures to immediately impact the Magic on both ends of the floor. What's not to like?


The Thunder need help basically everywhere as they build for the future, and Mitchell brings a combination of smart ball handling and high-effort defense. He was one of the more captivating players from this past spring's March Madness and he'll be fun to watch.


Kuminga is such a question mark that sending him to Golden State feels like a weird fit, but the Warriors' Big Three are all on the wrong side of 30 and even if they're gearing up for another title run, they can't forget the future exists. Plus, don't count out this pick being sent elsewhere in a deal, where Kuminga's long-term upside could be even more valuable.



I just can't escape the idea that Orlando wants to find its replacement for Nikola Vucevic. Sengün is an old-school big man, but he's so young that the sky is the limit for a guy who put up his numbers in the Turkish League.





If the Kings move Buddy Hield, Harrison Barnes, or both in some sort of swap this offseason, Kispert can provide that deadly shooting they'll need from Day 1 and provide De'Aaron Fox with a willing catch-and-shoot weapon on the wing.


A bouncy athletic type who is always disrupting opposing offenses, Johnson in a tandem with Ja Morant - flying down on fastbreaks and slamming home dunks - is too enticing to pass up. The rest of his offensive game needs work, but then the Grizzlies aren't in win-now mode yet.


I would love Moody on the Sixers, but there's no way he falls that far - the youngster's versatility on the offensive end, his willingness to shoot, and his strong jumper from beyond the arc make him an immediate spark plug-type contributor and potential long-term starter.


If DeMar DeRozan is indeed on the way out, it's officially rebuild time in San Antonio and Jones - a raw talent who was wildly efficient with Texas last year and loves blocking opponents' shots - presents a potential franchise cornerstone, and maybe a steal if he reaches his peak.


Williams' frame is the only thing keeping him out of the Top 10 or higher. He needs to work on his three, but jumpers come with time and you can't teach the way he slithers through opposing defenders towards the rim.


There's a sense among some that Bouknight could go higher come draft night, and it wouldn't be crazy. His bucket-getter mentality makes him an immediate asset on a Warriors team looking for a deep postseason run next spring.


Wagner is a delightfully versatile offensive threat who stands at 6-foot-9, basically tailor-made to become a reliable wing in the current NBA. He scores from all three levels, doesn't miss free throws, and is a top-tier passer to boot.


The Thunder buying in early on a guy like Giddey, whose game is an open book - he can do basically everything pretty well - and whose size makes him an attractive option at the wing. He can both pass and shoot with the best of 'em. I like him long-term more than a lot of guys in this class.


Speaking of playmaking offensive options, Johnson looked like a budding star for Duke before he took a leave from the team in February to focus on prepping for the draft. The free throws need work, and he needs to pull the trigger more from deep, but the blueprint is there for a real weapon.


The Thunder are loading up on potential as they build for the next 10 years. Garuba's ridiculous wingspan (7-foot-3) as a slightly undersized power forward, combined with his relatively solid jump shot, makes the 19-year-old a real potential pick. He can become a valuable two-way contributor.


The Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament from this past spring's March Madness, Butler was cleared earlier this month after initially being flagged by the NBA's fitness-to-play panel because of a heart condition he was first diagnosed with back in 2018. His ability to play off-ball makes him a useful option for anyone looking to add a reliable shooter and ball-mover.


The Hawks need more defense, and Murphy has it in spades thanks to Tony Bennett's coaching at UVA. Add in a sniper's mentality from deep to catch Trae Young's dimes and you have a perfect match in Atlanta.


The Knicks go back to the well at the guard position and add an athlete with upside in Thomas. He's not much of a producer from deep yet, and he needs to spruce up the defense, but it'll come.


The Lakers need to add affordable scoring to their roster, particularly if a Russell Westbrook trade could be in the cards, and Dosunmu's versatile game provides a lot of danger for a low price.


Cooper is a small dude, but as the Rockets look to find talent anywhere they take a swing on a guy who can straight-up play ball. He's a creator who gets his own buckets but also finds his teammates. I really like his upside.


Duarte is a little too old to go much higher - at 24 he's already older than De'Aaron Fox - but Duarte can provide the Rockets with contributions from beyond the arc right away.


A super athlete with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, Jackson will be a project for whoever lands him but he can provide depth in the front court and his ceiling is a two-way machine. I like him in the half-court with Reggie Jackson.


McBride will surely shoot the ball, and his defense is one of his calling cards. For a Nuggets team that wants to surround Nikola Jokic with as much three-and-D optionality as possible, McBride is a nice option even if his size isn't exactly encouraging at 6-foot-2.


This dude's nickname is Bones, which is truly fantastic. He's a guy who can shoot the three and can also shoot off the dribble, someone who probably would've been picked higher if VCU had played some March Madness games. As it is, Hyland would be a nice spot option for the Nets when their big guys take a seat.


Primo didn't have a star turn in college, but every time you saw him play he was contributing on offense, whether that was by knocking down a shot from deep, getting his own shot off the dribble, or moving away from the ball. He's an aggressive defender - a plus no matter what, but especially if the Sixers are losing Matisse Thybulle to the Wizards - and could provide a similar Tyrese Maxey-like jolt off the bench, but with more range. He'd immediately be in fan favorite territory.



Teams aren't really clamoring for guards who need to improve their three-point shot, particularly if those guys aren't also facilitators or slashers who carve defenses up. Christopher has speed and a willingness to attack, but his overall game needs some serious refining.


I really like Springer's upside, even though we saw just 15 starts from him last year. He showed a willingness to get to the rim while also regularly flashing defensive skills that would be helpful in Quin Snyder's system. He needs to add more weapons to his offensive game, but if he can find a next level he'll be scary.

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