The 2022 NBA Draft is right round the corner as it’s set to occur June 23rd at 8:00 pm ET in the Windy City (Chicago). As for the Sixers, it wasn’t entirely clear if they possessed a pick in this year’s draft in the aftermath of the James Harden trade. Philadelphia included the rights to their 2022 first round pick in their package to acquire Harden from Brooklyn.
Fast forward a few months and the Nets finally decide to defer the 2022 Draft pick in hopes of getting a better pick in the 2023 Draft. Now, the Sixers possess the 23rd overall pick in the upcoming draft. Assuming they don’t package it in a trade, Philadelphia could acquire a quality player through the NBA Draft. Here’s three prospects that the Sixers should keep their eye on.
Christian Braun is a swingman (guard/forward) heading into this year’s NBA Draft as a 21 year old junior from Kansas. He’s listed as 6’7 ft and weighed approximately 210 pounds. In his final season playing college hoops, he averaged 14.1 points per game (career-high), 6.5 rebounds per game, and shot 49.5% from the field.
Braun is a fairly complete player on both ends of the floor. His main strength is shooting, which is something the Sixers very much need. He can score from the perimeter, off the ball, off the dribble, and in a motion set. However, like all up and coming shooters, Braun is a bit streaky. One facet the Kansas guard may need to work on is his ball control and ability to finish at the rim. But, overall Braun would be a quality Philadelphia selection if drafted with their 23rd pick. He’s projected to get picked up later in the first round possibly with picks 23-30.
Important Stats to Know:
- Efficient offensive weapon: 1.15 points per jump shot (91st percentile) and 1.16 points per finishing opportunity (57 percentile).
Big time spot up shooter: averaged 1.05 PPP on spot up opportunities over his 3 years at Kansas (Moses Moody 1.06 PPP and Cam Thomas 1.04 PPP in spot up shooting efficiency the previous year).
- Shot an insane 82% at the rim.
- Thrives in the open court: 1.19 points per transition possession (77th percentile).
- Not a defensive liability: allowed 0.61 points per isolation possession (71st percentile).
EJ Liddell is coming into the draft listed as 6’7 ft and 245 pounds. He played power forward and sometimes center in all three years he spent as an Ohio State Buckeye. This past season, Liddell averaged 19.4 points per game (career-high), 7.9 rebounds per game, 2.6 blocks per game, and shot 49.0% from the field.
The Kansas bigman makes quite the impact on both sides of the ball. Offensively, he’s as versatile as it gets for a frontcourt player. Thanks to his physicality, he can score in the paint and draw contact while doing so. He shot 76.5% from the line as he attempted 6.9 free throw attempts per game last year. On top of that, Liddell is a capable perimeter shooter and off the catch. Defensively, the former Buckeye is a great rim protector who has a knack for denying shots in the restricted area. He’s also a versatile defender who can move his feet well. However, to perform at the highest level, he needs to up his conditioning, which he’s been doing during his OSU tenure. Liddell undoubtedly fits the new-age versatile big man image that NBA teams crave. He’s projected to go later in the first round to early in the second round.
Important Stats to Know:
Had a vertical jump of 35.5 inches which ranked No. 1 among all power forwards at the Combine.
- A load in the paint:1.04 points per post up possession (87th percentile) despite managing consistent double-teams from the opposition.
Improving every year: his scoring went from 6.7 points per game to 16.2 to 19.4 in his three years at OSU. His rebounding climbed from 3.8 to 6.7 to 7.9 per game. And lastly, his effective field goal percentage boosted from 47.7% to 51.5% to 54.6%.
- Improving floor spacer: averaged 1.06 points per jump shot in the half court (80th percentile).
When it comes to the draft, you typically can never go wrong with a Duke alumni and Wendell Moore is just that. Moore is entering the 2022 NBA Draft with three years of NCAA experience under his belt. He’s a swingman listed as 6’5 ft and weighing 215 pounds, but he’d most likely play as a combo guard due to his height. In his last year with the Blue Devils, Moore averaged 13.4 points per game (career-high), 5.3 rebounds per game, and 4.4 assists per game. His efficiency was just as respectable. Moore shot 50.0% from the field and 41.3% from three, albeit on a relatively low shot volume (9.6 field goals attempted per game).
Moore fits the mold of a potential 3&D NBA player and is certainly progressing towards that. The impact he makes on both sides of the ball is eye-catching. Offensively, Moore can score in a variety of ways that would benefit the 76ers or any NBA team interested in him. The Duke product is a very talented inside scorer due to his near pro-level quickness and ball handling. Moore can also score in the mid-range and operate as the ball handler in a pick-and-roll set. Not to mention, he made tremendous strides as a three-point shooter. His three-point percentage went up nearly 20% since his freshman year at Duke. Defensively, Moore is a versatile high level point of attack defender who plays with physicality. Moore has some elite positives, but he can at times be inconsistent and lacks the ability to score at will. He’s projected to get selected early in the second round.
Important Stats to Know:
- Elite catch and shoot weapon: scored 1.36 points per catch and shoot jump shot in the half court (95th percentile).
- Excellent at cutting to the basket: 1.22 points per shot around the rim in the half court (69th percentile).
- Decreased his turnover average from 2.4 down to 1.9 between his freshman and junior seasons.