The NBA Draft is a week away and the Sixers have a tough question to answer. Will they keep the pick, or trade it in a package deal? There are a lot of rumors surfacing that the Sixers will look to move the pick, but as of today, they still own the 23rd pick and will make the selection.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the Sixers still have some glaring holes need to fill.
One being the lack of pure shooters. Since JJ Redick left, the Sixers have failed to acquire someone who is a consistent catch and shoot option and it has hurt the Sixers at times. Another hole that must be dealt with is the lack of athleticism offensively and defensively.
With that being said, selecting Wake Forest PF Jake LaRavia could end up killing two birds with one stone. The late bloomer/high rising prospect has turn a lot of heads over the past few weeks and it’s puzzling as to why it didn’t happen sooner. Below we will go over how LaRavia fits the Sixers and how he could potentially help the core we have intact moving forward.
Jake LaRavia, Wake Forest 6’9 228 lbs, PF
By The Numbers
2021-2022 NCAA Season
- Games- 33
- PPG- 14.6
- TRB- 6.6
- AST- 3.7
- SPG- 1.7
- BPG- 1.0
- 3P%- 38.4%
- FT%- 78%
Best Games Studied
- 1/22/22 UNC
- 2/19/22 Notre Dame
- 2/26/22 Louisville
Worst Games Studied
- 12/29/21 Louisville
- 2/12/22 Miami (FL)
Fit with the Sixers
Jake LaRavia is the type of player a coach dreams of coaching. No he’s not some protege and no he’s not a freak athlete, but what LaRavia does possess is the ability to be coached and is fundamentally sound in every facet of the game. LaRavia plays with no fear and a dog like mentality. Extremely consistent ability to make catch and shoot 3’s.
It’s been a while since the Sixers had an athletic four who can run with the break, and spot up and shoot 3’s with consistency and finish at the basket with strength and aggressiveness. At 6’9 228, LaRavia moves extremely well. He is always moving and creating his own space, especially cutting to the basket. Moving without the basketball and cutting to the basket is where LaRavia is at his best. It opens up his entire offensive game.
LaRavia’s ability to catch and shoot along with his ability to understand when to cut to the basket would bode really well with an offense ran by James Harden.
He also provides a very touted play making ability as a passer. It’s never bad to have too many good passers on the floor at once. The Sixers trade to force Matisse Thybulle into being the teams slasher and it didn’t work. Drafting LaRavia could give the Sixers the slasher and shooter the team has been looking for over the years. A Harden and LaRavia slash connection could be deadly.
One part of his game that goes under the radar is his ability to play defense. Averaging 1.7 SPG and 1.0 BPG in his 21-22 campaign proved that. This kid can be tasked to guard 1-4 and actually guarded the likes of Paolo Banchero, Caleb Love, Kameron McGusty, Blake Wesley etc. LaRavia has a knack for timing passing and getting momentum changing steals. This team needs to get as many help man defenders as possible, and LaRavia certainly adds that component.
Things To Work On
- Could Improve his foot speed on defense
- Struggles to contain smaller/faster guards
- Better scoring off the pass instead of creating his own shot.
- Better off-ball defender than on-ball defender.
- Not an elite athlete, but isn’t a dud (think Tobias Harris athletically)
NBA Comparison- Joe Harris +++