Sixers analysis

NBA mock draft roundup: If Sixers stay at No. 16, what options could they have?

Which prospects could be available for the Sixers?

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No one would be surprised if the Sixers deal away their first-round pick.

As president of basketball operations Daryl Morey said at his end-of-season press conference, “we have all options on the table.”

If the Sixers wind up staying at No. 16, what options might they have? With the lottery complete, here’s a roundup of mock drafts: 

Sam Vecenie, The Athletic 

Ja’Kobe Walter, Baylor 

Vecenie: “Walter had an up-and-down season, averaging 14.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. He was an inconsistent shooter, although teams don’t worry about his long-term upside there. His shot looks clean and he can make them from a variety of situations.

“Teams, however, worry about everything else. Walter isn’t really a lead guard because he doesn’t see the floor well as a passer. Defensively, Walter struggled at times to stay in front of players.

“Scouts are split on Walter’s upside. Most don’t see him as a star, but they disagree on whether he’s a long-term NBA starter or merely a rotation player.”

Vecenie also writes that the Sixers are “seen league-wide as a candidate to trade their pick.” The 6-foot-5 Walter recorded just 50 assists and 47 turnovers last season at Baylor. At 19 years, it’s clear he’s already comfortable finding space for jumpers off both designed and improvised movement, and he’ll shoot them unabashedly.  

Jonathan Givony and Jeremy Woo, ESPN

Devin Carter, Providence 

Givony: “Most playoff teams could use the defensive versatility, toughness and developing outside shooting Carter brings, especially on a roster with ample shot creation like the 76ers have with Tyrese Maxey and Joel Embiid. The 2023-24 Big East Player of the Year looks like a plug-and-play option at 22 years old, which will be attractive to several teams drafting in this range.” 

Krysten Peek, Yahoo Sports

Devin Carter, Providence 

Peek: “Carter is one of the best two-way guards in the draft. He can come into an established 76ers backcourt and give good minutes with the second unit. During his junior season, he averaged 19.7 points and 3.6 assists per game and capped his college career with 27 points and eight rebounds against a very talented Marquette team.” 

Multiple mock drafts have Carter going one pick earlier — to the Heat at No. 15. His dad, Anthony Carter, started his NBA career with Miami and later served on Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra’s staff. Carter’s always-hustling, competitive game and very strong rebounding for a guard (8.7 rebounds per game as a junior) could certainly appeal to the Sixers. 

Jonathan Wasserman, Bleacher Report

Kel’el Ware, Indiana 

Wasserman: “It seems like Kel'el Ware can only rise during a pre-draft process that will highlight his outstanding measurements, athleticism and comfort level shooting threes.

“Though he struggled during Indiana's finale and loss to Nebraska, he mostly had a strong last two months in terms of scoring and impact.

“Narratives that point out empty stats or low-impact production have lost steam. He delivered more consistently in one-on-one situations around the basket while also flashing bonus shotmaking touch and range that create more offensive upside.”

Ware transferred from Oregon to Indiana and then averaged 15.9 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.9 blocks his sophomore year. He didn’t shoot free throws well (63.4 percent), but the 20-year-old big man knocked down 17 of his 40 three-point shots (42.5 percent).  

Ricky O’Donnell, SB Nation

Tyler Smith, G League Ignite 

O’Donnell: “Smith was the only player on the G League Ignite roster who qualified as a pleasant surprise this year. The 6-11 forward came over from Overtime Elite and immediately proved he had deep shooting range, tough shot-making ability, and the athleticism to finish inside. … His defense is a mess, but there’s plenty of time to figure out that end of the floor when you can shoot like this.”

Smith posted 13.7 points and 5.1 rebounds per game during Ignite’s 2-32 regular season. He’s got a smooth, confident lefty jumper.

Bryan Kalbrosky, USA Today

Ron Holland II, G League Ignite 

Kalbrosky: “This is noticeably lower than the consensus projection for the former McDonald’s All-American. But after a tumultuous season with G League Ignite this year, it seems possible that the talented Holland (like Cam Whitmore did last year) could experience a bit of a slide on draft night. That doesn’t mean he won’t have success in the NBA, just that he may have to wait a bit longer to hear his name called than he would like.”

Holland is widely viewed as a top-10 prospect. He was unsurprisingly inefficient for the cellar-dwelling Ignite, but the rangy forward is a gifted defender and excellent athlete who won’t turn 19 years old until July. 

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