This Sixers draft preview covers some of the draft’s most prolific shooters. With Danny Green and Furkan Korkmaz likely to explore the free agent market, Daryl Morey will be looking at ready-now alternatives to fill the potential void. So here is how the Sixers can improve into next season and names to keep an eye on July 29th.
LOW 3 POINT VOLUME IN A GROWING 3 POINT LEAGUE
One way for Philadelphia to find additional firepower is by an increase in three-point output. Last season the Sixers finished 26th in the NBA in three-point attempts with 30 per game. While on the surface that may sound like plenty, it is tough to envision a world where Doc Rivers’ team becomes a top 5 offense without an uptick in volume.
TO UNDERSTAND WHAT I MEAN, TAKE A LOOK AT HOW THE SIXERS THREE POINT RATE STACKS AGAINST THE LEAGUE’S BEST OFFENSES
Losing Green and Korkmaz would create an even bigger gap atop the list. Last year both players combined for an impressive 561 catch and shoot attempts. While Rivers still has the sharp shooting Curry at his disposal, there is not much depth behind him. Isaiah Joe showed promise attempting 10 three pointers per 36 minutes. However, Rivers never warmed up to the idea of relying on the rookie. Can Shake Milton re-kindle the stroke that saw him shoot 43% from deep the prior season? Unlikely. Which leads us to a group of draft prospects that can transition the Sixers offense into the NBA era of long distance bombs.
THE HOME RUN SWING
WING: CHRIS DUARTE
HOW HE FITS
A team oriented player, Chris Duarte embodies everything you want from a complimentary scorer. The Oregon wing displayed tremendous floor spacing potential as one of only 12 collegiate players to shoot 40% on 140 (or more) three-point attempts. Duarte also ranked in the 95th percentile as a catch and shoot specialist, providing timely offense to the Ducks high octane offense.
Duarte’s portfolio extends far beyond the shooting. As the PAC-12 leader in steals, he understands how to defend in space and generate timely turnovers. Shooting, energy, and defense is his calling card. But will he be available at pick 28? Teams are apparently enamored with his floor spacing potential and positional versatility, two key needs for Philadelphia heading into next year.
WING: QUENTIN GRIMES
HOW HE FITS
Lost in the Kansas shuffle, Grimes collegiate career appeared at a cross roads before his arrival at Houston. This five-star high pedigree prospect turned his future around in a phenomenal senior season that saw him lead the Couguars to a Final Four appearance. Grimes brings a TON to the table, including shooting, defense and even some pick and roll playmaking.
This past season saw Grimes shoot an impressive 40% on 8.3 attempts per game. At only 21, there is a world where Grimes develops into a diverse shooting guard / small forward type. Grimes is exactly what Philadelphia looks for in a prospect. He is a seasoned collegiate player who will accept a lower usage role alongside star players. As that player he provides the ideal replacement option for Green or Korkmaz.
WING: JOE WIESKAMP
HOW HE FITS
This Duncan Robinson clone took the NBA by storm after an impressive combine performance. Known for his precise shooting prowess, Joe Wieskamp showcased to scouts that he can match with some of the draft’s most explosive athletes. At 6’6″ with a 6’11” wingspan, Wieskamp’s big frame makes him a terror to contest. And so it showed, as he finished the year averaging an elite 1.46 points per catch and shoot possession.
The appeal with Wieskamp is in how Philadelphia could deploy him in a similar fashion as Miami does its own sharpshooter. Robinson’s perimeter gravity is a big source of offense for himself (and Bam Adebayo). Envisioning a similar set-up in a 1-2 game alongside Joel Embiid is very enticing, potentially recreating some of the old Redick-Embiid magic!
WING: JOSHUA PRIMO
HOW HE FITS
Youth, projection and hints of stardom is what has gotten Joshua Primo into the first-round discussion. The Alabama product was college basketball’s youngest player last year. Primo quickly found himself starting among a seasoned Crimson Tide squad with big expectations. As a floor spacer, the Canadian wing finished the year shooting an impressive 44% on catch and shoot threes in the half court. Primo has pristine shooting mechanics and a quick trigger to complement his expanding range.
But with projection comes time. Primo is far from NBA-ready at the moment. While the fit with the Sixers may appear immediate on the court, his path in the NBA will likely come in the G-League, where he can develop into a well-rounded combo guard. At 6’5″ with a 6″9″ wingspan, teams will be salivating at his growth potential and ability to create as a ball handler. Turning Primo into one of the draft’s biggest boom or bust picks.
THE LATE BARGAIN
WING: ISAIAH LIVERS
HOW HE FITS
Looking for a seasoned prospect with a pro-ready game? Look no further than Isaiah Livers. Under Juwan Howard, Livers saw his offensive game take off. As a catch and shoot specialist, he is a deadly as they come, averaging in the 86th percentile among all collegiate players. A high release is a big source of Livers ability to hit contested shots. But Livers does it in a multitude of different ways, including coming off motion and off the pick and pop.
Livers is unlikely to follow a starter’s path in the NBA. But do not be fooled by his lower ceiling. This Michigan product is a polished defensive player, and would provide a two-way element out of the Sixers bench that Doc Rivers did not have last season. Livers also finished the year with an impressive 1.43 points per transition possession, giving Philadelphia another scoring outlet in the open court.