With the NBA draft lottery in the rearview mirror, we are now in the thick of mock draft season. CSN Philly's own Sean Kane put together his mock draft 1.0 (see full story) and he's not alone around the basketball world. Most drafts have Washington's Markelle Fultz going No. 1 to the Celtics and UCLA's Lonzo Ball heading to the Lakers at No. 2. Where the Sixers go at No. 3 is where many experts tend to diverge.
Here's a roundup of who NBA draft experts have the Sixers drafting at No. 3:
Sports Illustrated's Jeremy Woo: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
Woo's take: "While Sixers fans rejoiced over this pick swap from the Kings conveying, the braintrust will have a difficult choice at No. 3. With a glut of big men in the fold and Ben Simmons set to take over ballhandling duties next season, Tatum will be able to handle some minutes early on and offer the team much-needed scoring help on the wing. His potential to become a quality jump shooter and perhaps a multi-positional defender makes him a great fit with what the Sixers are building. His fit alongside Simmons stands out from the pack in that regard."
Analysis: Woo probably won't be the first person to link Tatum to the Sixers and he's an interesting fit. The Sixers would probably prefer adding Fultz at No. 1 but assuming the dynamic PG is off the board at No. 3 or the Sixers don't trade up, there will likely be a pair of wings, Tatum and Kansas' Josh Jackson, there
for the taking. Tatum has a lot of polish to his game already with his jump shot and offensive abilities, but I'm unsure exactly how he'll fit around Simmons, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid.
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Ford's take: The Sixers wanted either Fultz or Ball. Now the choice is tougher... Coach Brett Brown plans to put the ball in Ben Simmons' hands next season, so right now Monk looks more likely. But Fox has a lot of fans in the Sixers' front office, and Brown loves gritty players.
Lynch's take: Monk is far and away the best pure scorer on the board, and the Sixers certainly need help on that front. He's slightly small for an NBA shooting guard; ideally, Philadelphia will find a bigger point guard to play next to Monk in the backcourt, allowing the two to switch back and forth depending on matchups.
Analysis: Monk is probably the most popular name to be linked with the Sixers (The Ringer also has Monk going No. 3) and it's because he can shoot the lights out. His shot made waves while he was at Kentucky and he seems like a perfect catch-and-shoot partner for Simmons next season. There are questions about his defense due to his size, but his offensive game should certainly translate to the next level. His athleticism should help him on the defensive end.
Parrish's take: Jackson didn't get the attention that some of the other freshmen got this season -- and he wasn't even the best player on his team. (That was Frank Mason.) But the 6-8 wing was tremendous while averaging 16.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.0 assists in his lone year of college. He projects as a high-level contributor on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court. He'll make the Sixers more athletic, right from the jump.
Analysis: Jackson could fit most any team right away because he can defend multiple positions. He's a menace for opposing wings and could be a two-way talent that makes the Sixers an extremely long squad in their starting lineup. His offense needs some work, but he improved his jumpshot as his lone college season went on and there's no reason to think that he won't progress on the offensive end with more reps. The Ringer compared him to Andre Iguodala in his best-case scenario and that doesn't seem too absurd.
Forgrave's take: Fultz is one of the most dynamic offensive point guards to come out of college in a while. The prospect of Fultz and Ben Simmons trading off point guard duties is scintillating. I have my concerns about Fultz -- namely, his defensive focus -- but it's difficult to differentiate between what had to do with him and what had to do with his dysfunctional nine-win college team. But there's no doubting his highlight-reel talent, especially on offense.
Analysis: This seems ludicrous as Forgrave has Tatum going No. 1 to the Celtics. I sincerely doubt the Celtics would take Tatum at first overall; They'd likely trade down and take Tatum or a wing later in the draft rather than reach at No. 1. Even if they did, the Lakers would then have to consider passing on Ball -- who's been linked non-stop to the Lakers for a while now -- to take the Washington PG. If Fultz fell into the Sixers' hands, of course they'd select him. He'd be the perfect backcourt mate for their young frontcourt and, as most mock drafts indicate, he's a surefire No. 1 talent.