While #pitifulforParker might have been a thing, #winlessforWiggins might have been the most used hashtag in the city of Philadelphia over the last calendar year, perhaps signaling how much the Sixers’ fanbase coveted the chance to land Andrew Wiggins and his superstar potential.
According to SI’s Chris Mannax’s latest mock-draft, the Sixers organization was as high on Wiggins as the fanbase was.
The Sixers covet Wiggins, according to a source.
Maybe that’s a sign that when the Sixers do call the Cleveland Cavaliers about potentially trading up to the number one pick, if they haven’t already, they aren’t doing it just because.
Still, the beauty of this year’s draft is that if you landed a top three pick, you have the chance to select one of Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Jabari Parker, all of whom would be number one picks in just about any other year.
Mannax believes that the Sixers will be more than fine with falling back on Duke’s Jabari Parker, who would immediately give them the long-term scoring option that they clearly lack.
But, they will take Parker, a prolific scoring forward who will immediately upgrade one of the NBA’s worst offenses. Teams that have seen the former Blue Devils standout haven’t been wowed by his conditioning — several executives remarked that while he wasn’t overweight, his physique lacked definition — but Parker proved at Duke that he has NBA-level scoring ability.
In his mock, Mannax has the Cavaliers selecting Joel Embiid at number one, saying that all of his sources believe that the Cavs are only deciding between him and Wiggins. At number two, Mannax says the Bucks are torn on whether they like Wiggins potential or Parker’s certainty better, but has them ultimately going with Wiggins. But that puts in perspective that it won’t necessarily take a trade up for the Sixers to land Wiggins.
With the number 10 selection, Mannax has the Sixers taking Michigan State shooting-guard Gary Harris, who would be Michael Carter-Williams‘ back-court partner for hopefully the next decade.
Nik Stauskas is a better offensive option, but Harris, a strong defender, has better two-way potential. Harris struggled with shoulder and ankle injuries at Michigan State, and a dip in his three-point shooting last season (from 41.1 percent as a freshman to 35.5 percent as a sophomore) raised some eyebrows. Still, when healthy, Harris flashed impressive potential and would solidify a strong young backcourt with reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams.
I like Harris, because I think he ends up being a very good three-point shooter, and I think as MCW and Nerlens Noel develop as defenders, this could be a very scary defensive core. Adding Andrew Wiggins’ length to that mix would only help.