by Brendan Kilgore, ’19
On June 25, the Philadelphia 76ers hope to find the remaining player who will help them return to their glorious past. If successful, fan interest will rise, merchandise sales will go up, and Philadelphia will be a playoff contending team again.
Or will it go the other way. Will fan interest go down? Will jersey sales go down? Will Philadelphia continue their lost journey? These questions will be answered on the 25th of June, the day of the NBA Draft.
Fortunately, the 76ers maintained the spot they were expected to get which was the third pick. There have been many rumors surrounding the draft ever since the lottery ended. Will the Sixers trade up to pick one or two and get another big man? Will the Sixers stay in their assigned spot and draft an outside shooter? Will the Sixers surprise us and draft a foreign prospect?
The top prospect in the draft is Jahlil Okafor, a center out of Duke University. Every team wants him, but every team does not need him. The Lakers (who hold the No. 2 pick), need a replacement for aging guard Kobe Bryant. Although star prospects Jahlil Okafor and Karl Towns seem like appealing picks, this draft is based off of needs, not wants. If the Lakers were smart they would pick the best outside shooter in the draft, D’Angelo Russell, leaving only the No. 1 pick.
The first pick belongs to the Timberwolves, who desperately need a center to pick up rookie of the year Andrew Wiggins’ bad shots. Picking Okafor would sound pretty reasonable considering he is the best overall prospect in the draft, but Timberwolves’ GM Milt Newton is still undecided on who to pick. “There’s a reason Towns is rated above Okafor in most draft rankings, despite the hype built for the Duke star throughout the year. While Okafor could develop into an elite offensive player fairly quickly, Towns is the one with the potential to become an all-around dominant superstar,” reports ESPN.
If the situation turns out the way I think it will, Okafor will fall right into our laps at pick three. If Okafor is picked by the 76ers, the city will be ecstatic. The Sixers would have three big men in Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid, and Okafor. Sixers head coach Brett Brown said Noel could move to power forward, but then what the status of last year’s draf Joel Embiid could change. This same situation would happen if Towns fell in our laps. Who would start Embiid or Noel?
These rumors and opinions have been swarming around Philadelphia for a couple months now. Philadelphia has been waiting patiently for many years to have a playoff contending team, but nothing has been working out. Experts and scouts have been calling this draft “the draft of the decade”. Lets hope the Sixers get the player who will return team to its glorious past.