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Sixers snag Duke sharpshooter Jared McCain with 16th pick

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CAMDEN, N.J. The Sixers snagged a shooter with the 16th overall pick in Wednesday night’s NBA draft.

The team took Duke product Jared McCain, a 20-year-old guard who posted 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals per game in his one college season. 

McCain is a high-energy, charismatic player whose standout trait is his jumper. He shot 52.1 percent on two-point shots, 41.4 percent beyond the arc, and 88.5 percent at the foul line. McCain impressed in the NCAA tournament with two 30-point outings, including an 8-for-11 performance from three-point range in Duke’s win over James Madison. 

Though outside shooting is the most impressive aspect of McCain's game, he's got plenty of other strengths offensively. The Athletic's Sam Vecenie believes McCain “uses the threat of his shot as well as any player in the country” and has a knack for getting where he wants to go as a driver. And while he presumably won't be a primary ball handler, McCain is a comfortable, capable pick-and-roll player who doesn't turn the ball over much. He also enjoys playing in the open floor and finding windows to fire his jumper.

McCain measured at 6-foot-2 without shoes and 203 pounds at the NBA draft combine. He does scrap well for rebounds, but it’s clearly valid to wonder whether he’ll be able to hold his own defensively in the NBA and how many positions he’ll be able to adequately guard.

The Sixers’ in-house All-Star guard, Tyrese Maxey, is also 6-2, but head coach Nick Nurse has historically been open to playing undersized guards together. The idea of McCain's shooting alongside Maxey and Joel Embiid obviously held serious appeal for the Sixers.

Immediately after being drafted, McCain told ESPN's Monica McNutt that he'll be, “Just somebody who wants to achieve any goal he sets out to. A hard worker. I’m going to do anything I can to bring home a championship, bring home wins in general. I’m so happy to be here.” 

McCain is the first Sixers first-round pick since they selected Jaden Springer 28th overall in 2021. The team used the 23rd selection to trade for De'Anthony Melton in 2022 and had no picks in 2023.

The Sixers still hold the 41st selection this year on Day 2 of the draft, which will begin Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.

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