Examining The Sixers’ 2019 Draft

The Sixers traded up four spots for Matisse Thybulle but outside of the prospect, the team didn’t add much immediate help in this year’s draft.

To move up to No. 20, Philadelphia had to surrender No. 24 and No. 33, the latter of which became Carsen Edwards—a three-point maestro. Edwards will play for the Celtics next season and could have a role right away depending on what happens with Kyrie Irving and Terry Rozier.

The team sent the No. 42 pick to the Wizards in the Jonathon Simmons deal and dished the No. 34 pick to the Hawks for the No. 57 (later traded to the Pistons) and two future second-rounders. In total, the Sixers turned a late first-rounder and four second-rounders into Thybulle, Marial Shayok (No. 54 overall pick from Iowa State), a pair of future second-rounders and cash considerations.

Make no mistake, the draft wasn’t a trainwreck for Elton Brand, despite what Sixers’ Twitter may lead you to believe. Thybulle is a talented prospect. He’s a tremendous defender and he has the potential to be a premier wing in the league. While his ceiling is likely an ideal third-or-fourth best option, he’s the type of player that can elevate a team with established stars in place.

“When we saw him on the board, [and] a few other players in our box that we liked were gone, and he was our target,” Brand said (via Derek Bodner of The Athletic). “We had to move up to get him. Whatever it took. Dealing with whatever team. I had to get it done.”

Thybulle had long been rumored as a target for the Sixers. The wing didn’t work out for any teams leading up to the draft, signaling that he may have received a draft promise from a team.

“Philly showed interest early and we just trusted them, and decided that we were going to put our faith in them and kind of shut things down,” Thybulle said when asked about not having many workouts.

Many draft experts were able to connect the dots between the Washington prospect and the Sixers. The Celtics did the same thing, as Jonathan Givony of ESPN.com notes.

Just as former Sixers GM Sam Hinkie caught on to the Magic’s interest in Elfrid Payton back in 2014—Philly netted a first-round pick by simply implying they were also interested in the point guard and forcing Orlando to move up—the Celtics used wide-spread information against a rival team. Boston said they had interest in Thybulle and was able to bring in a second-rounder as a result.

Admittedly, Philadelphia’s use of second-round picks in this draft is puzzling. The No. 33 pick aside, there were seemingly players available who could have helped the team. Bruno Fernando (drafted at No. 34) stood out as someone whom the team could groom, with the franchise alternating minutes between the Maryland prospect and Jonah Bolden at the five on games where Joel Embiid sat out.

Philadelphia will have multiple second-round picks again next year with Atlanta’s 2020 selection coming in addition to a pick from either Brooklyn or New York (originally acquired from trading the 2015 No. 35 overall pick to the Knicks before the team made additional trades to complicate the projections) and one coming from Dallas (Nerlens Noel trade).

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16 thoughts on “Examining The Sixers’ 2019 Draft

  1. Z-A

    4 players still there when their original pick came up that I would have been happy with. Thybulle I do like. But still… the guys that went at their picks are guys you’d like on the roster as bench players…

    I mean well see. But unless they get both Jimmy and Tobias back there isn’t going to be a rush for vets to take min deals to ring chase.

    • lindle368

      They better hope they can resign jimmy .. I’m ok with Tobias walking.. I’d like to fill the bench

  2. Said the same thing on another site. Sixers always pick better players with other people’s picks. We shall wait and see what happens.

  3. x%sure

    This thing with promising players can get the promising team in hot water. Chris mentioned Peyton and Thybulle, but also this year, Atlanta shut down Deandre Hunter, enabling New Orleans to burn them in trade from their #4 spot despite the smokescreens.

    Last year, SGAlexander only worked out for the Clippers, so Charlotte picked him one spot before them and got two seconds for their effort.

    GMs have to get over the fear of other scouts seeing players they like. Other teams are more likely to take advantage of the info, than take your player after seeing a workout.

    Brand probably found another Shamet using the same evaluation process but he should get over himself.

    Fernando would need a lot of grooming but he would provide Embiid good resistance in practice, and the Hawks will def be playing him against Embiid which could have been prevented.

    • x%sure

      “This thing with promising, promising prospects…”?
      Reset. How about “This trending habit of insecure GMs making draft-position promises to favorite prospects is creating another trend of getting burned by doing so.”

      When a player stops being available for workouts, the wheels start turning as to why. It’s getting harder and harder to “hide” a player anymore and get away with it. People have fun playing detective.

      GSW “hid” Smailagic in Serbia but everyone knew they wanted him and Griffin picked him and waited for GSW’s call, getting three seconds for the effort… another example.

    • Z-A

      Norvel Pelle probably gets some run with the Sixers from their G League affiliate if I had to guess why they are ok not drafting a backup Center. Monroe is also a possibility on a vet min deal. Irony would be Nerlens returning. Boban would have to accept a min deal.

  4. Lefty_Orioles_Fan
    Lefty_Orioles_Fan

    Well if the Sixers get Kawhi Leonard, re-sign Butler and trade Ben Simmons, that would be epic. I don’t really care about Tobias really.

    • andremets

      Who would play point if Simmons was traded? What would you want for him?

    • Sadly divisions don’t matter no more, thanks to the league wanting to lose all the good traditions!

        • Z-A

          Honestly that’s a small part, but still important and an boost in a close playoff race can determine home court. Imagine if it was straight divisional tho? Like the NFL. A crap division and you get a playoff team in there. At least the 8th best team is the 8th best team in the conference.

          Everyone calling for conferenceless playoffs has no clue how travel works and what it does to players going back b forth in a series from coast to coast would be dumb it also would f up TV times prob.

  5. Black Ace57

    Drafting a project center over Paschall still amazes me. Paschall and their first pick would really help build a good bench while a project center doesn’t even fix their problem of needing an actual back up for Embiid. Btw, enough trades with the Celtics it only embarrasses the Sixers.

    • Z-A

      They drafted Thybulle and Shayok. The signed an undrafted Christ Kourmadje, a 7’4” center out of Florida State. That was a smart move. 4 year player, project yes but you cant teach size. You can teach defense and post moves. He isn’t a stiff he runs the court better than Boban. But in reality we are talking about a max 10-12 min per game player if he comes up ever.

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