The foreign flavour is only getting stronger in the NBA.
On October 17, the 2020 NBA Draft will take place. This draft will feature top prospects such as James Wisemen, Anthony Edwards and even the NBL’s own LaMelo Ball and RJ Hampton.
Despite Philadelphia’s recent collection of high draft picks, including the number one overall in 2017 and 2016 and the number three overall in 2015 and 2014, their highest pick in this year’s draft is number 21 in the first round. If the Sixers want to be contenders for next year’s season, this pick is vital.
At time of writing, the Sixers are 0:3 to Boston in the first round of the playoffs. Although Ben Simmons is injured, many other problems within the team have been playing a part in this unsuccessful playoff campaign. One of which is that the Sixers lack a 3-point shooter who doesn’t clog up the lane for guys like Joel Embiid and who can finish games off strongly.
Last season, the team had JJ Redick and Jimmy Butler who did just this. However, since their exits, no one has filled their spots as well as the team would’ve liked. Their most recent game in particular highlighted this with many players performing well, but as a collective, not nearly well enough.
In Game 3 of the series from the three-point line, Josh Richardson shot 3-11, Shake Milton got 3-9, Joel Embiid 2-5, Tobias Harris 0-5, Alec Burks 1-3 and Furkan Korkmaz 0-3. As a whole, the team shot 23.1 per cent from three and 29.5 per cent from the field.
This is compared to Boston’s 25.8 per cent from three and 41.4per cent from the field. This is why the Sixers need to aim at shooters at this year’s draft.
With the 21st pick, Philadelphia’s next highest pick is the 34th. With these two picks, I think that they should draft Tyrell Terry (Stanford University) and Sam Merrill (Utah State University).
Tyrell Terry is projected to be drafted anywhere between the 15th and the 45th places this year. Tyrell is a 19-year-old one-and-done player from Stanford University at a listed height of 1.88 metres. In the most recent season for Stanford, he averaged 3.2 assists, 32.6 minutes and 14.6 points per game.
As well as this, Tyrell averaged 89.1 per cent from free throws, 44.1 per cent from the field and 40.8 per cent from 3. These statistics earned him a spot on the 2020 Pac-12 All-Freshman Team and attention as a serious prospect in the upcoming draft.
Sam Merrill is a 1.95 metres tall 24-year-old shooting guard from Utah State University. Sam has played for Utah State for the last four years, where he averaged 9.4, 16.3, 20.9 and 19.7 points per game. Also, in his time with Utah State, he averaged 42.6per cent from three for his entire NCAA career.
On top of this, Sam is a game-closer and proved this in the Mountain West Tournament Championship Final against San Diego when he drained a three with 2.5 seconds left of the game. This shot caused his team to win 59:56 and helped him to become Mountain West Tournament MVP for the second year in a row.
Despite all this, Sam is projected to be left undrafted this year by both ESPN and NBAdraft.net.
If Philadelphia want to be a serious contender in next year’s season, drafting at least one of these two players (if not both), would help them strengthen their shooting line-up dramatically.