By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
With the NBA on a rushed timeline, it is not too soon to start talking about the NBA draft. Although the Sixers’ potential first-round pick is not set in stone, they have been mocked to draft a different player from previous mocks.
In the latest mock draft, the OKC pick does convey to the Sixers and they go on to draft Grant Riller out of Charleston. Riller is a point guard who is coming off a season where he averaged 21.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 3.9 APG.
Although most upperclassmen are looked down on in draft classes now, the Sixers showed that taking guys who spent more time in college can benefit greatly. Riller played all four years in college and was able to up his scoring numbers each season.
Riller is more of a combo-guard than a point guard but this is a non-issue for the Sixers. His ball-handling skills and scoring ability could allow him to share the floor with Ben Simmons in spurts.
Along with being a strong ball-handler who can get to the rim, he is also able to knock down shots from deep. In his four years at Charleston, Riller shot 35.6% from three on four attempts a game.
This could be a solid pick for the Sixers if this is how things were to play out. Riller could be a cheap option to slide into the backup point guard role and play that role well. Along with being able to run an offense, he can also create shots for himself off the dribble.
Riller’s player comparison is Fred Van Vleet of the Toronto Raptors and it is very accurate. At six foot three and 190 pounds, Riller’s build is very similar to Van Vleet, and their play styles are almost identical.
If Riller lives up to this comparison it would be a steal for the Sixers. Having a guy who can be a primary ball-handler in small spurts and come on the floor to space and be a secondary ball-handler is something the Sixers need.
If the Sixers do plan to make Shake Milton a starter for the future they are going to need a player like Riller to facilitate the second unit. Drafting a guard would also allow them to allocate their limited cap space to address other issues of need.