Over the next month, our draft pundits will provide their Sixers mock drafts. Here's Paul Hudrick's first version:
First round (first overall): Ben Simmons, F, LSU, 6-10/239
No surprise here. Simmons has the ability to be a generational talent. His skill set is so rare. He's 6-10 but handles and passes like a guard. His court vision is also off the charts. Duke's Brandon Ingram will be the No. 2 pick — and rightfully so — but a choice between Simmons and Ingram is no choice at all.
There are questions of Simmons' maturity, which cracks me up. A 19-year-old with maturity issues, you don't say? The kid knew what his future held. He only went to college because the NBA said he had to. Playing against the highest level of competition could very well bring out the best in Simmons. Plus, Brett Brown knows him.
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The jump shot is a concern, but it doesn't look like a total rebuild, a la Nerlens Noel. He impacts the game in every other way possible (19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 2 steals per game).
Where Brown chooses to use him will be interesting. He has the body of an NBA four, but if he's motivated defensively, he could stick with some wing players. That'll be Brown's biggest advantage: Simmons is a matchup nightmare.
First round (24th overall): Malik Beasley, G, Florida State, 6-5/190
If the Sixers take Simmons, they need a player that can score from the outside. Enter Beasley.
Beasley can shoot the basketball and flat out score. What makes it even more impressive is how efficiently he does it. As an off guard, he shot 47 percent from the field. Impressive for a 19-year-old who averaged 15.6 points per game in the ACC. He shot 38 percent from three-point range but his 81 percent from the free-throw line makes you think he may have a high ceiling as a shooter.
He doesn't stand out physically or athletically but he could complement what this team already has. He's not great at creating his own shot, but with a guy like Simmons penetrating and facilitating, and Jahlil Okafor (and maybe Joel Embiid) drawing lots of attention down low, opportunities will arise for a player like Beasley.
First round (26th overall): Patrick McCaw, G, UNLV, 6-7/181
I wouldn't be shocked if one of the late first-round picks is moved or used on an international player the team can stash, but we'll operate as if the Sixers are going to take two players for the 2016-17 season. If they do, they'll have plenty of options.
Part of me wanted to go with St. Joe's DeAndre' Bembry here like some of my colleagues (see Kane's 1st-round mock, see Haughton's Sixers mock) but I went with McCaw. He is much more raw but has a higher ceiling than a guy like Bembry.
With his 6-10 wingspan and athleticism, McCaw flashes as an elite defender, capable of guarding point guards and wings. He was an improved offensive player in his sophomore season and showed the ability to facilitate (3.9 assists). His shot is not the smoothest but it wasn't terrible (37 percent from three). Again, his free-throw shooting (77 percent) shows he may be capable of more.
McCaw compares his game to former NBA point guard Penny Hardaway. It'll be interesting to see if McCaw can develop into a point guard at the next level. The Sixers could be a long and athletic defensive team that would be a handful for their opponents in the open floor.