Philadelphia 76ers: A look back at NBA Draft history before 2017
The Philadelphia 76ers have been a lottery regular for the past six NBA Drafts. However, a transition in “The Process” looks to change all of that.
The Philadelphia 76ers have trusted “The Process” and it’s beginning to work out for them. The Process has taken a lot of criticism the past few seasons, but the silver lining showed itself a bit this season.
The team nearly tripled its win total in 2016-17 from the year before, finishing with a 28-54 record. They went 10-72 in 2015-16 and 18-64 in 2014-15.
The 76ers currently boast the youngest roster in the NBA at 24.6 years of age. Despite their youth, they have a good core of young players that are developing into the future stars team officials hoped for.
With the third overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the 76ers look ready to start a run to the playoffs after this offseason. They just have to continue to trust The Process.
The 76ers have had nine picks in the first round of the draft dating back to 2011. This season, they have five picks in the draft, four of them coming in the second round.
Second-year center Jahlil Okafor has fallen out of the good graces of the organization but can be an asset on another NBA roster. The third overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft from the Duke Blue Devils played in 50 games this season. He averaged 11.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 22.7 minutes per game.
The team was unable to trade him before the season’s trade deadline but may still be able to do so this offseason along with a pick or two.
Rookie of the Year candidates
Current rookies center Joel Embiid and power forward Dario Saric are both finalists for the 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year award. Embiid was sidelined late in the season after suffering a torn meniscus on Jan. 20 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Embiid was the third overall selection by the 76ers in the 2014 NBA Draft out of the University of Kansas. After missing He averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.1 assists in just 31 games for Philadelphia.
Saric came on strong after the All-Star Break, averaging 17.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists in the final 25 games of the regular reason.
Assessing the draft
The Philadelphia 76ers still have some loose ends to tie up. With a good core of players in Embiid, Saric and Simmons and the third overall pick in this year’s draft, they are prime to add a wing player that should solve tons of issues in the penetration game as well as the three-point game.
This will be the fifth time in franchise history the Sixers select at third overall (Okafor in 2015, Embiid in 2014, Jerry Stackhouse in 1995 and Charles Smith in 1988). In total, Philly has enjoyed 16 top-five selections in its franchise history, many of which went on to be Hall-of-Famers:
- Ben Simmons (No. 1 overall, 2016)
- Allen Iverson (No. 1 overall, 1996)
- Doug Collins (No. 1 overall, 1973)
- Evan Turner (No. 2 overall, 2010)
- Keith Van Horn (No. 2 overall, 1997)
- Shawn Bradley (No. 2 overall, 1993)
- Marvin Barnes (No. 2 overall, 1974)
- Jahlil Okafor (No. 3 overall, 2015)
- Joel Embiid (No. 3 overall, 2014)
- Jerry Stackhouse (No. 3 overall, 1995)
- Charles Smith (No. 3 overall, 1988)
- Luke Jackson (No. 4 overall, 1964)
- Charles Barkley (No. 5 overall, 1984)
- Darryl Dawkins (No. 5 overall, 1975)
- Freddie Boyd (No. 5 overall, 1972)
- Billy Cunningham (No. 5 overall, 1965)
The Philadelphia 76ers have had a top three pick in the NBA Draft for the past four drafts including 2017. The good news is this could be their last season with a top pick of their own to use in the draft.
First overall pick of the 2016 NBA Draft, Ben Simmons (LSU Tigers), is set to make his debut in the 2017-18 season as the team’s point-forward. He sat out all of the 2016-17 season with a broken right foot.
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With tons of hype and endorsement from teammates, Simmons is expected to lead the 76ers to a brighter future. However, the future is brighter depending on who the Sixers take in this year’s draft.
Philadelphia also has the 36th, 39th, 46th and 50th picks in the 2017 NBA Draft. The 76ers have selected 36th six times before, landing four-time All-Star Maurice Cheeks there in 1978.
Excluding their time as the Syracuse Nationals, the Sixers have selected at No. 39 four times before, most recently taking Jerami Grant in 2014 and Vincent Askew in 1987. They’ve used the 46th overall pick three times, most notably on former NBA player, assistant, head coach and current Clippers general manager Dave Wohl.
Finally, Philadelphia has selected at No. 50 twice before, most recently taking Lavoy Allen in 2011 at that spot.
Considering the Sixers don’t need a big man and the draft is full of guards and athletic swingmen, Philadelphia is primed for a breakout season by the time the 2017-18 season arrives, no matter what they do with their plethora of second round selections.