First-round picks are coveted in the NBA, and any team looking for another should get in touch with the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers are actively buying their pick 23 in the upcoming 2022 NBA draft, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to CBS Sports. They’re willing to part with the selection alone or as part of a larger package to land established talent. Kevin O’Connor also reported that the Sixers are reviewing pre-draft day trades involving the pick and veteran forward Danny Green.
A few weeks ago, the Sixers weren’t even sure if they would have their first-round pick this year. In the trade with the Brooklyn Nets that landed them James Harden in February, the Sixers traded the Nets in either 2022 or 2023 with a first-round pick — a pick that fell to Brooklyn. Earlier this month, the Nets decided to delay the election until next year, meaning the Sixers retained their first-rounder this year. The election will be unprotected when she moves to Brooklyn next year.
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It’s not particularly surprising that the Sixers are making the choice given how they’re currently structured. The team is clearly in win-now mode, having reached the Eastern Conference semifinals in four of the last five seasons. MVP runner-up Joel Embiid is in his prime, and it’s clear the team needs to improve the roster around him to continue moving forward next season. Typically, in such situations, an established veteran is preferable to an untried rookie. After all, Philadelphia’s 2021 draft pick, Jaden Springer, only played two games for the team last season and wasn’t part of the postseason rotation.
That doesn’t mean the Sixers should be very keen on parting ways with the election, or that they should make a deal just to make one. Keeping a pool of young talent in an organization is important, and if the Sixers ultimately swap picks, they won’t have another first-round pick until 2024, so this is certainly something the organization should keep in mind . The Sixers also don’t have a second-round pick in this year’s draft. So if they move into the first round, they might not be able to make a single choice.
Ultimately it depends on what value they can get for the 23rd pick. If it gets them a useful rotating piece that fits alongside Embiid, or if it helps grease the wheels in a larger deal that returns solid value to the Sixers, then it might make sense to part with the selection. If not, sticking with it and adding more young talent to the stable might be a better option.