The Philadelphia 76ers have been considered the wild card team in this year’s 2017 NBA Draft. There are plenty of players that the Sixers will be looking at, but it all depends on what happens in front of them. The most likely outcomes for the first two picks are the Celtics taking Markelle Fultz at No. 1 and the Lakers taking Lonzo Ball at No. 2 overall.
With the third pick, the Sixers have a lot of options. One option that has gotten some attention lately are the Sixers moving the third pick in order to acquire more picks or even a potential player.
Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo hasn’t ruled out trading the draft pick. He also revealed the team is considering six or seven players for the pick, assuming the team keeps the selection. And Colangelo added that the Sixers have already had private workouts and interviews with several top prospects at agent-run workouts on the road. He declined to disclose the names of those prospects.
“I think that should we move or if there’s a transaction that comes out that gives us a chance to perhaps increase what impact No. 3 can have in terms of its return, I think we will look at it,” Colangelo said of a potential trade. “There’s some discussions that have been fairly interesting.”
Colangelo went on to say that the Sixers are not really motivated to trade the third pick, but if they do, it could get very interesting with the potential options. Now, I think the only way that the Sixers would potentially trade the pick is if one of the first two picks are not what they are already presumed in Fultz and Ball.
Let’s take a look at some potential trade options if the Sixers really want to pull the trigger.
1. The Sacramento Kings trading the No. 5 and No. 10 picks for Philadelphia’s N0. 3:
We know that the Sacramento Kings really like De’Aron Fox. With the Kings sitting at No. 5, there is speculation that they could trade up to guarantee their pick of Fox at No. 3 with Fultz and Ball going first and second overall. The trade would include the No. 5 and No. 10 picks for the 3rd overall, and that would mean a lot of options for the Sixers because they would be obtaining two top ten picks for only moving back two slots.
For the Sixers, it could still mean they obtain a top player on their board. If Fox were to go No. 3 to Sacramento, the fourth pick would be key for the Sixers because if the Suns pick a player like Jayson Tatum, the Sixers can still go for Josh Jackson. If the Kings are really serious about this trade, the Sixers should absolutely listen. The only way the Sixers would not listen is if they are set on taking Josh Jackson at No. 3 or really want to have the option of picking Fox.
2. Philadelphia trades No. 3 pick to Orlando for No. 6, No. 25, and a 2nd round pick
This trade does not give as much juice as the Kings trading No. 5 and No. 10 would, but the Sixers also have to look at their needs. The Sixers have a need of shooting on offense, and with the Magic sitting at No. 6, they can still obtain that, with a Malik Monk. The Magic have a need for the best player available. They have a young roster with guys like Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon leading the way, so adding another young valuable player can be an option for the Magic. I think this trade, like the Kings trading to Philadelphia, would have to depend on what happens at the No. 1 and No. 2 pick. If a player like Lonzo Ball were to fall, the Sixers have to listen to offers because there are teams who value Ball a lot more than the Sixers do. Since Ball has declined to work out for the Sixers, having the option to pick him at three could also mean having the option of trading that third pick to someone who values him more. Acquiring assets is something Philadelphia has loved to do in the past and moving back only three spots to obtain another first round pick, and an early 2nd could be a move that makes sense for both sides.
I think this trade, like the Kings trading to Philadelphia, would have to depend on what happens at the No. 1 and No. 2 pick. If Lonzo Ball were to fall, the Sixers have to listen to offers because there are teams who value Ball a lot more than the Sixers do. Since Ball has declined to work out for the Sixers, having the option to pick him at three could also mean having the option of trading that third pick to someone who values him more. Acquiring assets is something Philadelphia has loved to do in the past and moving back only three spots to obtain another first round pick, and an early 2nd could be a move that makes sense for both sides.
3. (Longshot) Philadelphia trades the No. 3 pick, Dario Saric, and Jahlil Okafor for Paul George
I know many people are saying this is crazy but hear me out here. Paul George could be on the move once he hits free agency after this upcoming season. Something that people are not speaking enough about is the Pacers trying to get something in return for a player who potentially could walk on his own. The Pacers are now with a new leader in their hierarchy as Kevin Pritchard took over for Larry Bird as the Pacers GM. He wants to put his hands on this team and making a move like this could be the beginning of a new start for this regime. The Pacers could find value with this third pick with plenty of young talented options. They can obtain a growing stretch four in Dario Saric and revamp the offense game of Jahlil Okafor in the process. For Philadelphia, this could be a play where the Sixers start their push for the playoffs sooner than later. Adding a star like George to a line-up featuring Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons would be fun to imagine. It is wishful thinking that this could happen, but it is something to consider.
4. (Longshot) Philadelphia trades No. 3 pick, Dario Saric and Jahlil Okafor for Jimmy Butler
Another far fetched trade option would be for the Sixers to inquire about Jimmy Butler. Butler is not set to be a free agent until 2020, but there are some good options for each team in this trade. The Sixers are obviously obtaining a very good star and shooter with Jimmy Butler. The Sixers have their facilitating option with Ben Simmons and their big man option with Joel Embiid. Adding Butler would cure their shooting needs and would work well in an uptempo offense. For the Bulls, they are able to consider many young options at guard with a De’Aron Fox or Jayson Tatum, and could even look for a small forward with a lot of upside in Josh Jackson. Dario Saric would be a piece they can work on and off the bench as he makes strides after a solid rookie year. Adding in a guy like Okafor seems like just a bad add-on in the deal, but Chicago has shown interest in him before, so where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Even though the Bulls seem likely to keep Butler on the roster for the foreseeable future, it would be another fun trade for fans to think about.
Now, the Sixers could very well stay put with the third pick because that would be a very wise choice. In order for the Sixers to trade back, they would have to know they are still getting a player that is near the top of their draft board while acquiring other assets.