Superstition be damned. The Sixers moved up from #24 to #20 to select Matisse Thybulle from the University of Washington. The move up 4 spots cost the Sixers the first of their four second round picks, #33. In Thybulle the Sixers get another defensive minded wing who averaged 6.7 steals and 4.4 blocks per 100 possessions. 

The parallels to Markelle Fultz are situational, but a better comparison is probably Zhaire Smith. Thybulle is not a dangerous scorer, having averaged just 9.2 points per game in college. But as TPL’s Jack Connell states

Matisse is probably one of the best 3 and D prospects remaining in this part of the draft and has a lot of upside to his game. Standing at 6 foot 5, he is incredible on the defensive side of the ball and was a major threat in college on that end. He has great length, as evidenced by a 7 foot wingspan, and a 41 inch vertical to add to that, so his potential on defense is very high.

Thybulle averaged 35.8% from three in four seasons at Washington, but his 78.2% free throw percentage should give reason for optimism. 

Thybulle Introductory Conference Call

Key Quotes

“They are a talented group with great coaching.”

On his 3 point shooting

“With teams you gotta sacrifice. For my team, I had to sacrifice a little bit on the scoring end in order for us to be successful, to make all the parts work together.”

On the Sixers showing interest

“The Sixers showed interest really, really early in the draft process. They continued to show interest, and my family and my agents and I were really excited about that because of how talented a team and how well run a franchise they are.”

“I actually didn’t work out for anyone. Philly showed interest really early, and we just trusted them, and we decided we were going to put our faith in them and just shut things down and see what happened on draft night. They stayed true to their word, and the rest is history.” 

On his path to contributing at the NBA level

“Defense translates… if you look back, I still led the Pac-12 in steals when I played for coach Romar, and we were playing man and we switched everything, so I can do it in all facets. I played man all my life.”

“I definitely plan on coming in and contributing, and I don’t see why not. Defense translates, and for me defense is effort, and I can bring effort day in and day out. Three point shooting is something that comes naturally for me, and I think that will be a big asset with all of the talented scorers they have, to just surround them with shooters.”

“For me, the way I look at defense is just effort. I was blessed with God given ability with just my athleticism and size. From an early age, my dad kind of instilled in me that defense was a big part of the game and was going to be a big part of my success.”

“I dont think it’s really set in yet. When I get a chance to settle in with my family and recap the night, I think it will settle in.”

On his plan to improve

I feel like offensively I’m trying to be as much a threat as possible from playmaking, scoring, passing, and just trying to continue to grow in that aspect.”

Elton Brand After the Draft