NBA Draft: Guards 76ers Could Target at Pick 16

NBA Draft: Guards 76ers Could Target at Pick 16 Dallas, TX, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Jared McCain (0) controls the ball against North Carolina State Wolfpack forward Mohamed Diarra (23) in the first half in the finals of the South Regional of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at American Airline Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NBA Draft is quickly approaching. The first round of the draft begins at 8 p.m. EST on Wednesday. The Philadelphia 76ers currently possess pick Nos. 16 and 41. President of basketball operations Daryl Morey might trade their first-round pick for a veteran who can be an immediate contributor. In the case of the team remaining at 16, there are multiple talented players the Sixers should be interested in. Here are several guards the Sixers should consider taking with the 16th pick in the draft:

Devin Carter, Providence

Height (without shoes): 6-foot-2; Weight: 193 pounds

2023-24 stats: 33 games, 35.3 minutes, 19.7 points, 8.7 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.0 blocks, 1.8 steals, 47.3% from the field, 37.7% from 3-point range

Carter, the son of former NBA guard Anthony Carter, brings a bit of everything to the table. He is a hard worker, and it shows up in a variety of ways. The 22-year old, despite being just 6-foot-2, grabbed 8.7 rebounds per game last season as a junior at Providence. He also already plays NBA-level defense, using his strength, basketball IQ and 6-foot-8 wingspan to harass opponents. Carter also makes a ton of winning plays and has a nose for the basketball. NBA teams will covet someone with his mentality and defensive skillset.

On the other end of the floor, Carter made huge strides as an outside shooter last season. After shooting under 30% from beyond the arc in his first two collegiate seasons, Carter shot 37.7% from deep on 6.8 attempts per game. While the marked improvement is encouraging, it is still fair to question how his outside shooting will transition to the NBA level. Carter also is at best an average ball handler and playmaker. While he is not yet capable of running an offense, Carter has the tools necessary to be a secondary ball handler. However, his intense work ethic gives hope he can make improvements to this part of his game.

Rob Dillingham, Kentucky

Height (without shoes): 6-foot-1; Weight: 164 pounds

2023-24 stats: 32 games, 23.3 minutes, 15.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.0 steals, 47.5% from the field, 44.4% from 3-point range

Dillingham is a polarizing prospect who has been mocked anywhere from inside the top-8 to falling completely out of the lottery. He is one of this draft class’ best shot creators, using his speed, touch and craftiness to effectively finish around the rim. The freshman guard is also a strong outside shooter, able to knock jumpers down either in catch-and-shoot situations or off the dribble. When he plays away from the ball, Dillingham has the willingness to set screens and cut to the basket. He is also a capable playmaker, able to make quick decisions with the ball and play within the flow of the offense.

Most of Dillingham’s weaknesses are due to his small stature. Standing at just 6-foot-1 and 164 pounds, he will need to add weight in order to make it defensively at the NBA level. He also has just a 6-foot-3 wingspan, greatly limiting his defensive potential. There are also questions about his ability to finish through contact against NBA defenders. His small frame will undoubtedly limit what he can do, but Dillingham still has the tools to be a productive player in the NBA. If he falls to the Sixers’ pick at 16, they should take a long look at selecting the dynamic guard from Kentucky.

Jared McCain, Duke

Height (without shoes): 6-foot-2; Weight: 203 pounds

2023-24 stats: 36 games, 31.6 minutes, 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.1 steals, 46.2% from the field, 41.4% from 3-point range

McCain’s best attribute is his outside shooting ability. He shot an impressive 41.4% from 3-point range as a freshman at Duke, proving to be one collegiate basketball’s best outside shooters last season. The 20-year old has the versatility to score from anywhere on the floor. He can knock down 3-pointers at a high clip, step inside the arc to connect from the mid-range and finish around the rim. McCain is not going to be a point guard at the NBA level, but his playmaking ability is good enough to make him a secondary ball handler. He also showed immense poise for someone his age, averaging 21.0 points in the NCAA Tournament.

The California native possesses the willingness to battle defensively. His 6-foot-2 frame and 6-foot-3 wingspan will hold him back on that end of the floor. However, he makes up for his lack of size and elite athleticism through effort and intelligence. Despite that, McCain will likely go through his fair share of struggles defending at the NBA level.

McCain’s overall skillset would be a great fit on the Sixers. His outside shooting and secondary ball handler ability would work well next to Tyrese Maxey. It is easy to see given the excellent fit why he was mocked to the Sixers by ESPN’s Jeremy Woo. If McCain is available at 16, the Sixers would be hard pressed to not select him.

Isaiah Collier, USC

Height (without shoes): 6-foot-2; Weight: 204 pounds

2023-24 stats: 27 games, 29.8 minutes, 16.3 points, 2.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 49.0% from the field, 33.8% from 3-point range

Collier was at one point projected to be at the top of this year’s draft class. However, a hand injury and playing on a bad USC team tanked his draft stock. While Collier struggled at times as a freshman, both his ability to finish at the rim and his playmaking ability shined. He possesses the speed and craftiness to get to the basket. Once he gets there, he uses his strength to power through contact and finish at the rim. On the defensive end, Collier averaged 1.5 steals per game and finished last season sixth in college basketball in steal percentage. At his best, Collier can be an effective two-way guard and therefore should get a lot of interest from teams throughout the draft.

While Collier has extremely high potential, there are multiple key areas he struggled at in his lone year at USC. He lacks shooting touch, as evidenced by making just 33.8% of his 3-pointers and 67.3% of his free throws. If he does not improve as a shooter, teams are going to clog the driving lanes and dare him to shoot from outside. His playmaking ability also needs to be cleaned up. He showed flashes of being an effective playmaker, but he also committed 3.3 turnovers per game at USC. While there are significant flaws in his game, Collier’s upside is likely worth taking a swing on. The Sixers brought Collier in for a pre-draft workout, according to Kyle Neubeck of PHLY Sports.

Carlton “Bub” Carrington, Pittsburgh

Height (without shoes): 6-foot-3; Weight: 194 pounds

2023-24 stats: 33 games, 33.2 minutes, 13.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 0.6 steals, 41.2% from the field, 32.2% from 3-point range

Carrington quickly proved he is a bucket-getter while at Pittsburgh. He possesses a filthy combination of mid-range shooting, ball handling and athleticism. The Baltimore native can change speeds on a dime, helping him to attack openings in the defense. In addition to his scoring ability, Carrington also has the ability to be an elite playmaker. He has the passing ability to make difficult crosscourt passes and carving up opposing defenses in the pick-and-roll.

While Carrington was an effective mid-range scorer in college, his success did not carry over to beyond the arc. He shot just 32.2% from 3-point range at Pittsburgh. However, the smoothness of his form and success on mid-range jumpers give hope he can eventually improve his efficiency from beyond the arc. Carrington also struggled to penetrate to the basket, forcing him to often rely on his mid-range shooting ability. On the other end of the floor, Carrington will need to bulk up in order to become a solid defender. Overall, the 18-year old showed a ton of promise at Pittsburgh and would be a solid mid-round pick.

Tyler Kolek, Marquette

Height (without shoes): 6-foot-1; Weight: 196 pounds

2023-24 stats: 31 games, 33.0 minutes, 15.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 7.7 assists, 1.6 steals, 49.6% from the field, 38.8% from 3-point range

Kolek, a four-year collegiate player, possesses a multi-faceted skillset. His primary skill is his ability to efficiently run an offense. Kolek led college basketball in assists per game last season, dishing out 7.7 per contest. The 23-year old is also a strong outside shooter, making 38.8% of his attempts from long distance last season. He particularly excelled in catch-and-shoot situations, shooting 46.0% off the catch. Kolek is also not afraid of the big moment, stepping up multiple times in clutch situations for Marquette.

While Kolek is a versatile offensive player, there are a few areas he can improve on. He is a fantastic shooter off the catch, but his ability to shoot off the dribble needs work. His 6-foot-1 frame will also limit what he can do defensively. Opposing teams are likely going to spend a lot of time picking on the smaller Kolek, even though he was solid defensively in college. However, there are far more positives than negatives about Kolek’s game. He would be a solid pick for any team in need of a pure point guard.

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