Sixers draft profile: PJ Dozier a nice fit next to Ben Simmons

Apr 1, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard PJ Dozier (15) dunks the ball against Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Zach Collins (32) during the second half in the semifinals of the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 1, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks guard PJ Dozier (15) dunks the ball against Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Zach Collins (32) during the second half in the semifinals of the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports /

The Sixers are trying to find a complementary piece next to their cornerstone rookie. They’ll find a nice puzzle piece off the bench in the second-round if they look towards South Carolina.

When talking about who the Sixers will draft on June 22nd, the name Ben Simmons comes up frequently. As it should. Simmons stands as the Sixers most prized asset next to Joel Embiid, and his ability as a floor general at close to 7-foot makes him an interesting piece to build around. Add in his weariness on the perimeter on both sides of the ball, and the criteria for finding the perfect fit next to him increases.

Truth is, it’ll be very difficult to find that piece. A guard that is an above average defender and a close-to-elite shooter is far from an easy find. But the second-round in this year’s NBA draft could give the team at least a decent fit next Simmons. Beyond the Malik Monks and Lonzo Balls of the world, the second-round is littered with potential role players that could see their game elevated next to the top prospect in 2016.

One of those prospects being South Carolina’s PJ Dozier. Dozier has gained some draft steam in the past month. Mostly due to his physical stature. Dozier is a 6’6 combo guard with a 6’11 wingspan, who’s athleticism creeps near the top of this year’s class. According to DraftExpress, Dozier recorded in the top 10 for no-step vertical, max vertical, and 3/4 court sprint. This also placed him in better than the 90th percentile historically.

Beyond the physical stature, Dozier has shown versatility on both sides of the ball for the Gamecocks. Sometimes playing the role of primary ball-handler, other times playing at the forward position, Dozier was able to adapt to most roles he was put in. Versatility is always a plus, especially in the second-round. Brett Brown has done a great job in putting tweeners in the right position for the most part, and Dozier could be the next experiment to flourish.

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Dozier’s biggest question mark comes in his shooting. He shot just under 30% from the NCAA three-point line, and struggles to hit jump shots of any type. He has a decent form that starts with a wide base, but seems to over-use his upper body to a fault. It’s obviously not an ideal fault to have next to Simmons, who could prove to be an elite drive-and-kick passer.

He also struggles in the role of primary ball-handler. He can get by perimeter defenders here and there, but hardly looks comfortable handling the ball on the perimeter. This would be relieved in a role with the Sixers, even in a non-Simmons lineup.

His shooting won’t allow for much spacing, but his energy and activity off the ball could make him a threat for Simmons’ passes. He’s smart with curling around screens, and has a quick first step towards the basket on cuts. It helps that he’s an above average contested finisher in this draft class. He finishes well on the left side of the basket, and his body control allows for highlight lay-ins and posterizing dunks.

His role with the Sixers on offense will be just similar to his in South Carolina without the ball. Be an effective screener, while doing his damage on cuts to the basket. He has the tools to do so, and would excel in the NBA at the role more so than being a floor general.


This where Dozier will make his money. And why the Sixers should be going full steam ahead in the second-round to take him. His ability on the defensive end goes far beyond his length and physical tools. He has the intangibles that give him the potential to be a lockdown perimeter defender.

His aggressiveness on the ball often causes opposing guards problems. His energy off the ball allows him to guard up to three positions. That energy follows him in the rebounding aspect of the game too. He finds ways to secure boards because of his constant movement on both ends.

He often ends up too aggressive, over committing on some plays and leaving shooters open. But more often than not, he’s locked in to his opposition.

The Sixers should be salivating at the thought of Dozier securing the perimeter next to Simmons and Robert Covington. Perimeter defense is becoming much more important as the NBA has almost completed the shift towards a three-point shooting league.

Dozier can bring a defensive versatility that is needed to compete in the NBA. Having that type of depth can only help the cause in becoming a formidable team.

Draft or Pass

Draft. And draft as soon as possible. PJ Dozier should be near the top of the Sixers’ draft board after the first-round. His ability on the defensive side is unquestioned, and could mesh well within the Sixers’ lineups. His shooting will be a work in progress, but even without a jump shot, Dozier can be a productive player on this Sixers roster.

You can hear it from Dozier himself in this Keith Pompey article:

"“I see myself fitting into their system,” Dozier said. “They have a great team. Their guard play is really good.“But I definitely feel like I can come in and definitely provide for them as well.”"

The Sixers can absolutely hit a home-run with this pick in the late round of the draft. He could be this year’s Patrick McCaw. In the sense that he can prove to be an impact right away, despite being a lesser talent than those joining him on the bench in year one.

Next: Sixers draft profile: Tyler Dorsey

Dozier could be one of those rare second-round finds, and the Sixers should do everything in their power to secure him.