One Prospect the Sixers Should Keep an Eye on

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

There are multiple directions the Sixers can go on draft night with their first-round pick. Multiple prospects have been linked to the Sixers with the 21st pick, but there is one in particular they should keep an eye on. 

Cole Anthony has been a name that has floated up and down draft boards all year. Before the college basketball season, Anthony was looked at as a top-five pick in this upcoming draft. But injury and lack of talent around him has caused his stock to fall. 

As his name continues to float around draft boards, Anthony is a name the Sixers should keep an eye on during the draft. There are some question marks to his game, but his talent and potential are worth taking a chance on. 

The key part of Anthony’s game is his ability to put the ball in the basket. He is a strong three-level scorer who averaged 18.3 PPG in his sole season in college. Shot creation on the perimeter is an area that Anthony could come in on day one and provide. 

Along with what he can bring to an offense, Anthony can also hold his own at the other side of the ball. At six foot three and 190 pounds he could be looked at as slightly undersized, but that didn’t stop him from grabbing close to six rebounds a game at UNC. Anthony also averaged a little over a steal per game. 

Shot choice is something that has caused Anthony’s stock to fall, but on the Sixers, he wouldn’t be forced to shoot at the volume that he did in college. If drafted to the Sixers, Anthony could be a microwave scorer for the second unit. 

Although at his best on the ball, Anthony can play off the ball as well. He could be an option to come off screens or be a spot-up shooter from three, where he shot 34.8% on 6.2 attempts at UNC. 

The biggest risk of taking Anthony is how durable he can be. Last December Anthony suffered a partial tear in his right meniscus that required surgery. 

Anthony’s ability to score the ball is something the Sixers need off the bench. With Alec Burks likely moving on in free agency, the Sixers will need to find a new sixth man. 

Drafting Anthony is a gamble that could pay off greatly for the Sixers. If he can show flashes of the prolific high-school prospect that he was, the Sixers could have a premier guard for the long term. Worst case scenario he can be a multi-tool scorer for the Sixers’ second unit. 

Recent mock drafts have had the Sixers selecting Anthony with the 21st pick. It will be fascinating to see if the team looks to take a gamble on Anthony’s potential or play it safe on draft night.

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Three Sleeper Draft Prospects for the Sixers

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

We are about a month away from the 2020 NBA draft. Whether the Sixers will make the 21st pick for themselves is still up in the air, but they still hold four picks in the second round. With multiple selections in round two, here are three sleeper prospects the Sixers should consider taking a flier on.

Malachi Flynn: G, San Diego State 

Flynn is an upperclassman guard coming out of San Diego State. This past college season Flynn averaged 17.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 5.1 APG, and 1.8 SPG. At six foot one and 185 lbs size could be brought up as an issue, but there is a lot to like about Flynn's game.

Finding a solid backup point guard has been something the Sixers have struggled to do in the past, but drafting Flynn could potentially solve that problem. His ability to facilitate and create offense for himself would be a nice boost to the Sixers' second unit.

Along with what he could do for the second unit, Flynn could fit with the starters as well. He operates well in the pick-and-roll and is a solid shooter from deep. Flynn could be a primary ball-handler when Simmons is off the ball and could be a guy to come off screens or dribble handoffs and knock down threes.

As an upperclassman, Flynn has the potential to be a guy that could come in and produce for the Sixers on day one. If on the board when the Sixers pick at 34 or 36, Flynn could be a solid pick just outside of the first round.

Isaiah Joe: G, Arkansas

One key area the Sixers need to upgrade in this offseason is perimeter shooting. Lack of shooting on the outside greatly impacted the Sixers' spacing on offense. Isaiah Joe is a prospect that could greatly upgrade the Sixers' three-point shooting.

Joe is a sharpshooting two-year guard coming out of Arkansas. He is coming off a sophomore season where he averaged 16.9 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 1.7 APG. Although he is more of an off-ball guard, Joe could be a seamless fit on the Sixers if drafted.

Having a guard who can come in and consistently knock down threes is something the team has missed since the departure of JJ Redick. This is a role Joe could come in and fill for the Sixers. In his college career, he shot 37.8% from deep on just over nine attempts a game.

Joe has a lot of potential as a floor-spacing guard, and his shot is best off the catch making him a perfect fit on the floor with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Along with what he could bring to the offense, Joe could also hold his own on the defensive side of the ball.

At six foot five and 180 pounds Joe has a frame that could allow him to defend both guard position. He also has a 6'10 wingspan that helped him average close to two steals a game in college.

Between his shooting and potential on the defensive side of the ball, Isaiah Joe could be a solid pick up for the Sixers in the second round of the draft.

Josh Hall: F, Moravian Prep

The Sixers need to focus on drafting prospects that can come in and contribute on day one. That being said, Josh Hall is a prospect that is a project but could yield huge dividends down the line.

Hall's journey to the NBA draft is different from most prospects. He will be going right from prep school to the NBA after foregoing playing in college. Skipping college could hinder how ready he is on day one, but his game should transition to the NBA nicely. 

At six foot nine with long arms Hall will be able to slide in at either forward position. He has a solid frame at 190 pounds but could afford to put on some muscle as he gears up to play at the NBA level. 

Hall is a wing that can attack the rim at will with his height and long arms, and also has a smooth stroke from beyond the arc. His build and skillset draw a lot of comparison to New Orleans Pelican's All-Star Brandon Ingram. 

With the G-League being so accessible to teams today taking a guy like Hall late in the second round is almost a no-brainer. His size and skills are tailor-made for today's game, and the G-League will help polish his skills for the next level. 

At 20 years old, Hall isn't far off from being ready for the NBA. After seeing what the Blue Coats' staff has done for the development of players like Shake Milton and Marial Shayok, there's no doubt they could turn Hall into a serviceable player for the Sixers. 

If the Sixers do intend to use any of their second-round picks this year, these three prospects are names the team needs to monitor. 

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Doc Rivers Eyeing Former Head Coach For His Staff

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Since being hired by the Sixers, Doc Rivers has been busying trying to build a top-level coaching staff to join him. Rivers had his eye on Alvin Gentry, but he would eventually accept an offer to join the Kings' staff. Now Rivers has his eye on another former head coach to join the coaching staff in Philadelphia.

Frank Isola has reported that Doc Rivers has his eyes on Dave Joerger to become an assistant coach. Joerger has six years of head coaching experience, making stops in Memphis and Sacramento.

Although Joerger is still a name on head coaching radars, adding him to the staff in Philadelphia could be a huge boost. His experience as a head coach in Memphis could help the Sixers fix one of their key problems.

During his time coaching the "grit and grind" Grizzlies, Joerger established a solid system with two big men sharing the floor. As the Sixers continue to figure out how to make Joel Embiid and Al Horford co-exist, adding a guy like Joerger could help find that solution.

He could also be a guy that could help Joel Embiid take the next step in his game. When Marc Gasol was in Memphis, he played at an elite level in Joerger's system. Bringing in a coach with experience utilizing a multi-skill center would be extremely beneficial to the growth of Joel Embiid's game.

During his introductory press conference in Philadelphia, one thing Doc Rivers mentioned was increasing the pace at which the Sixers play. This is another area that Joerger could help as he had his Kings teams playing at one of the fastest paces in the league during that time.

Bringing in as many fresh faces as possible will only benefit the Sixers. Having another coach like Joerger there to help the Sixers make the necessary changes would only be beneficial as they look to bounce back this upcoming season.

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One Sixer Who Should Thrive Under Doc Rivers

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

There is a lot to look forward to this upcoming Sixers season. Now under a new coach in Doc Rivers, we should expect to see new experiments with the roster and playstyles. Adding a Hall of Fame-caliber coach should help Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid as they head into their primes, but there is another Sixer who should take a big step this year.

Shake Milton’s emergence was one of the bigger storylines for the Sixers this past season. He showed that he can be a key piece for the Sixers moving forward. Now with Doc Rivers running the show, Milton is a guy that people should be looking at to take another step in his game.

In his time with the Clippers, Rivers got the most out of guards like Lou Williams and Jamal Crawford. Now although Milton is not at the level of those two players, there are a lot of similarities in their games.

Rivers would put Williams and Crawford in high pick-and-roll scenarios and allow them to utilize all the weapons in their offensive arsenals. Milton can be a three-level scorer in his own right and could thrive in a similar kind of situation that Doc has put combo guards in during his time in LA.

Now, this does not mean that Milton is going to become a sixth man of the year overnight. He is a Sixer that needs to be talked about taking a big step under the new coaching regime. Rivers spoke highly of Milton in his introductory press conference, giving the impression he is excited to work with him.

If Rivers can turn Milton into anything close to Williams and Crawford it would be a success for the Sixers. Milton has the confidence and skill to play at the level of those two, it all comes down to being put in the right system to thrive.

One thing the Sixers’ offense lacked was shot creation on the perimeter. If Simmons and Embiid are going to be dominant forces around the rim, the team is going to need guys who can open up the floor for those two. Establishing a strong pick-and-roll presence with those two could impact their room to work as well.

Having players outperform their small contracts is something the Sixers need with the money they have invested in their core. Growing Shake Milton in any capacity impacts the Sixers as he is under contract for multiple seasons on an extremely team-friendly contract.

There are a lot of new storylines to look at surrounding the Sixers with new coaching. Although Milton might not be the main one, it is one to keep an eye on. If Rivers can turn him into a Lou Williams-Esq super-sub, the Sixers could finally have a set sixth man for the future. It will be fascinating to see what Rivers can do with a young and hungry guard like Shake Milton moving forward.

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Draft Profile: Texas Tech's Jahmi'us Ramsey

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Jahmi'us Ramsey is a freshman out of Texas Tech that is projected to be picked just outside of the lottery. In his sole college season, he averaged 15.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 2.2 APG. There is a lot of upside to Ramsey's game on both sides of the ball, making him a name the Sixers should have on their draft board.

Alec Burks proved to be a huge trade deadline acquisition for the Sixers in the postseason. His ability to put the ball on the floor and create his own offense was vital for the Sixers' offense. Moving forward, Ramsey is the kind of player that could fill that void when Burks leaves in free agency.

Ramsey is a three-level scorer with multiple weapons in his offensive arsenal. He has no issues attacking the rim and has a smooth shot from the outside. During his one year at Texas Tech, Ramsey shot a stellar 42.6% from three on a little over five attempts a game.

Ramsey brings a lot on the offensive side of the ball, but he also has the potential to be a solid defender in the NBA as well. At six foot three and 195 pounds, he also has a build that could allow him to defend either guard position. He averaged 1.3 SPG and 0.7 BPG this year in college, showing that could become a two-way player at the next stage.

Although Ramsey is more of a scoring guard than a true point guard, he is still an ideal complement to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. His ball-handling ability makes him a suitable option as a secondary ball-handler and partner with Simmons in the pick-and-roll. Not to mention his knockdown ability on the outside gives both All-Stars and option to dish the ball out to when attacking the rim.

The only red flag with Ramsey and the Sixers is his age. At just 19 years old there is a lot of questions on if he is ready to be inserted into a contending situation from a maturity standpoint. Realistically, if drafted he might benefit most from signing a two-way contract.

A two-way deal would allow him to stay on the ball in the G-League, but also get a taste of what the action is like at the NBA level. This would be sort of a one-year investment on Ramsey, but it could benefit him and the team greatly down the line.

Ramsey checks most of the boxes for the Sixers in terms of fit and need. There is a chance that if drafted to Philadelphia, he could become the Sixers sixth man of the future. Ramsey is a name the Sixers should think long and hard about if he is still on the board when they pick at 21.

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Report: Sixers Interviewing Front Office Candidates

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

When the Sixers' season came to an end, it was abundantly clear that changes needed to be made within the organization. After the firing of former head coach Brett Brown, general manager Elton Brand said there would be a deep-dive into the front office as well.

Since Brand made that statement, there has been little follow-up to it. The team conducted an entire head coaching search without a single word of a change in front office personnel.

Now that the team has found their head coach in Doc Rivers, Brand looks to be shifting his focus. Yaron Weitzman who covered the Sixers for Bleacher Report has reported that the team is interviewing executives to work under Brand.

This news could not come sooner as the Sixers are getting ready to prepare for the NBA draft and offseason. It also looks like the organization is finally working on establishing a clear chain of command.

Having multiple people in on the decision-making process has greatly affected the Sixers. Whether it was the multiple reports of "frontrunners" emerging in the coaching race to trading Jimmy Butler and signing Al Horford, the lack of a clear leader and decision-maker has allowed members of the front office to avoid owning up to their mistakes.

Making these necessary changes is crucial for the Sixers moving forward. With a remodeled front office structure and new head coach, the Sixers are in a perfect position to change the culture on and off the floor. Hopefully, the team makes the right changes and gets the franchise back on track to compete for an NBA Championship.

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Report: Sixers Hire Doc Rivers to Coaching Deal

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

The Sixers' coaching search has come to an end, and the finish has surprised everyone. After a shocking turn of events, Doc Rivers will become the next head coach of the Sixers.

Rivers was shockingly released by the Clippers and instantly became a favorite to take the vacant coaching spot in Philadelphia. After meeting with Elton Brand earlier this week, the two sides agreed to come together.

It is not every day a team has a chance to add a Hall of Fame caliber coach, and the Sixers made the most of the opportunity. Rivers will be bringing with him 21 years of head coaching experience where he has coached in two NBA finals and won one in 2008.

In his time as a head coach, Rivers has posted a record of 943-681 and a playoff record of 91-89. Recency bias might make this move look questionable, but Rivers is a good choice to coach the Sixers.

Rivers brings a good mix of experience and success to this young Sixers' core. His ability to win in the regular season and the postseason makes him an ideal choice to be the coach to help the Sixers seriously contend for a championship.

One player that could get excited about this move is Tobias Harris. Before he was traded to the Sixers, Doc Rivers had Harris looking like an All-Star when he was on the Clippers.

Between his time with the Celtics and Clippers, Rivers has had success coaching a locker room filled with talent. After talk of accountability issues were brought up at the end of last season, bringing in a coach like Rivers could lead to a much-needed culture change.

Now that the Sixers have found their coach, it's time to shift the focus. If the Sixers are going to compete for titles moving forward, changes in the front office and roster still need to be made.

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Report: Ty Lue in Philly for Interview

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Since the Sixers have relieved Brett Brown of his head coaching duties, the main name to be his replacement has been Ty Lue. Mike D'Antoni has been a name that gained momentum recently, but there is still time for Lue.

First reported by Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Lue is in Philadelphia for an interview. The meeting is set to take place on Tuesday. 

If the Sixers are serious about bringing in Lue to be the next coach of the team, this might be their final chance to do so. After a shocking turn of events, there is a new team that is looking into hiring Lue.

With Doc Rivers out in LA, Lue could be lured to remain with the Clippers where he has spent the past season as an assistant coach. It has been clear that Lue wants to coach a contender, making the Clippers a very favorable landing spot.

Despite Mike D'Antoni gaining traction in recent reports, Lue should still be a top target for this position. His championship pedigree should not be overlooked, despite his small sample size of head coaching experience.

There should be no reason why the Sixers do not extend an offer to Lue in their meeting today. He is an ideal candidate to change the culture in the Sixers' locker room and establish accountability. His prior success makes him respectable enough for players to buy into his system.

The final domino is how the team's stars feel about Lue as their head coach. Joel Embiid has recently spoken out about his thoughts on D'Antoni. If Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid want Lue as their head coach, the Sixers' coaching hunt could end shortly.

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Report: Joel Embiid Open to D'Antoni's System

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

Reports continue to come out linking Mike D'Antoni to the Sixers' vacant head coaching position. Ty Lue was looked at as the frontrunner at the beginning of the hiring process, but it seems as if D'Antoni has passed him.

The fit of D'Antoni on the Sixers isn't exactly a perfect match, but the team looks to be open in embracing change. The front office is open to making trades to fit his style, and players seem to be okay with the change of style as well.

Joel Embiid is coming off a season where he led the league in points per post up. After looking almost unstoppable in the post this year the All-Star center has admitted he needs to do more than be a post player to dominate in today's game.

Recent reports have come out about how Embiid feels about a D'Antoni system. Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer was first to report Embiid's willingness to play D'Antoni's style of play.

According to multiple sources, Embiid is happy that he'll face the basket instead of posting up in D'Antoni's proposed five-out system.

How Embiid felt about D'Antoni's style was likely the make or break on him being a favorite for the position. Although D'Antoni is arguably the best coach for Ben Simmons, his up-tempo style doesn't match the post-play we have been accustomed to see from Joel Embiid.

After seeing one of the team's stars speak out about a candidate he has to be the new frontrunner. It will be fascinating to see the Sixers attempt to shift from size and "bully ball" to a smaller more modern NBA team in just one short offseason. If that is the direction they want to go, then D'Antoni is the guy for the job.

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Ranking Potential Trade Targets for the Sixers

By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor

It is no secret that the Sixers are going to be diving into the trade market this year. After a failed experiment of roster construction this year, the Sixers find themselves (yet again) preparing for another roster makeover.

There have been multiple names that the Sixers have been linked to in trade interest. Here is a ranking of some potential players the team could acquire via trade this offseason.

4. Chris Paul, Oklahoma City Thunder 

Chris Paul is arguably going to be the biggest name in the trade market this season. After an All-Star campaign in OKC this year, contenders are going to be calling about acquiring him.

Adding a guy like Paul is an extremely high-risk high-reward situation. If Paul can keep up his level of play he can be a huge boost, but how long can he play before he starts to lose a step? At 34 years old that decline could come at any moment.

Paul’s deal is another huge component of this high risk. Whatever team acquires him will most likely be stuck with him through the final two years of his deal. He is owed 41 and 44 million over the next two seasons, leaving very little money to fill out the rest of the roster.

Bringing in a player the caliber of Chris Paul would be a huge move both on and off the floor. This move is a huge gamble because at his age there is no certainty that the Sixers will get the return on investment on what they will have to give up to acquire him.

3. Terry Rozier, Charlotte Hornets 

Terry Rozier and Chris Paul could realistically go either way because they bring a lot of the same skills, but Rozier might have a slight edge. Rozier’s fit with the Sixers is slightly better than Paul’s which is why he gets the nod.

For starters, at 26 years old Rozier is in the perfect age range to fit the timeline of the rest of the Sixers’ core. Also, at 18.9 million dollars Rozier is a much softer hit on the team’s cap space than Paul would be.

There is also an argument that Rozier might be a better fit on the floor as well. Rozier is the perfect prototype of combo guard to complement Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. He is a guy who can run the pick-and-roll and can spot up on the outside. At 45.7% from three on catch and shoot attempts Rozier can be a reliable option on the perimeter.

The Sixers need an upgrade in shot creation and ball-handling from guards. Rozier could check a lot of boxes, and is someone the team could realistically acquire.

2. Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans 

Holiday is a name that the Sixers have been tied to recently, but the chances of acquiring him might not be as great as other players on this list. With a weak free agency class this offseason multiple teams are going to be inquiring about a player of Holiday’s caliber.

His fit alongside the Sixers all-stars isn’t perfect, but adding Holiday to the Sixers would put them closer to being serious title contenders. Holiday is one of the best two-way players in the league, and the defensive ceiling of a duo of Holiday and Simmons would be very high.

Holiday is not the greatest three-point shooter in the league but shoots at a decent enough percentage to aid the offense. In terms of shot creation, ball-handling, and playmaking Holiday would be a great guard complement to Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.

This would be a good homecoming for Holiday and the Sixers, but pulling it off is going to take a lot of luck. Realistically you aren’t getting a guy like Holiday without parting ways with one of Shake Milton or Matisse Thybulle.

1. Buddy Hield, Sacramento Kings 

Buddy Hield has been a name tied to the Sixers for a while now and for good reason, he is easily the perfect fit for what the Sixers need moving forward. Acquiring him in the offseason should be at the top of the Sixers’ list.

Hield’s game is based around the one thing the Sixers need most, three-point shooting. Last season Hield shot just under 40% from three while shooting close to ten threes a game. Having an unconscious shooter from deep is exactly what the team needs to fix its spacing issues.

Along with his fit on the court, he is a perfect fit off the court as well. Hield is 27 years old which is great for the team’s timeline. But most importantly, he is locked up for four years.

The Sixers have tried multiple times to reconstruct this roster on the fly to no avail. Turning Al Horford and assets into a guy who is a perfect fit with your stars and is locked in for multiple seasons would be an incredible move from Elton Brand.

The Sixers are very limited in what they can offer teams to acquire any of the players on this list. But acquiring any of these players could be a real step forward for the team as they look to bounce back from an unsuccessful season this year.   

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