By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
There is a lot of speculation that the Sixers will package their first-round pick in this year’s draft in a trade. With that being said, the team cannot afford to waste their second-round picks.
The Sixers will pick four times in the second round, giving them a chance to take a flier on a couple of interesting prospects. Here are three names the team should keep an eye on.
It might sound like a broken record at this point, but the Sixers need to address their lack of shooting. Since JJ Redick’s departure, the team has missed a go-to knockdown shooter on the outside. This is a role that Immanuel Quickley could fill if drafted to the Sixers.
Quickley is coming off a sophomore season at Kentucky where he averaged 16.1 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 1.9 APG. He also shot a stellar 42.8% from three on close to five attempts a game and shot 92.3% from the foul line.
Elton Brand said that moving forward he plans to complement Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid better, and this is the exact kind of player that does. Quickley is a guy that could come in and be used the same way Redick was used.
Whether it is catching and shooting on the perimeter or in the dribble handoff game with Embiid, Quickley is a great complement to the Sixers’ All-Stars. He would be a great choice with one of the early picks in the second round for the Sixers.
Riller is a name that continues to rise and fall on draft boards. Some early mock drafts had the Sixers drafting him at pick 21, and recent ones have him available in the second round.
Part of that has to do with the “four-year guy” tag he has on him that teams like to stay away from. But this could be a benefit for the Sixers as they need mature prospects as they look to compete. Drafting upperclassmen has paid off in the past for the Sixers with guys like Landry Shamet and Matisse Thybulle.
In his senior season at College of Charleston Riller averaged 21.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, and 3.9 APG. He was also effective from deep, shooting 36.2% on four attempts a game. Finding a suitable backup point guard has been a struggle in the past for the Sixers, but they might find one in Riller.
Along with being a guard who could facilitate a second unit, he could also share the floor with the Sixers’ stars. Riller’s ability to operate in the pick-and-roll could make him a good secondary ball-handler with Ben Simmons running the show. His offensive game is also strong enough where he could go off the ball and knock down shots off screens or handoffs.
Nwora is another upperclassman the Sixers should have their eyes on. He has a skill set that could transition to a very solid three-and-D player. Plus, at six foot seven and 225 lbs, he already has a frame ready to compete against NBA athletes.
This past season at Louisville Nwora averaged 18.0 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 1.3 APG, and knocked down 40.2% of his shots from deep. He is at his best when catching and shooting, knocking down 66.5% of his attempts off the catch.
His skill set and athleticism are exactly what the Sixers need off the bench. Adding guys who can knock down shots and defend on the perimeter is going to be a must for the Sixers. Nwora could be a guy that could come in and give you a lot of what Glenn Robinson III gave on both ends. He is worth taking a chance on with one of the four picks in the second round.
All three of these players bring a role or skill set that the Sixers need to fill. It will be fascinating to see what road the organization decides to take on draft night.