2017 NBA Draft preview: Philadelphia 76ers

2017 NBA Draft preview: Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid celebrates after the 76ers won an NBA basketball game against the Indiana Pacers,109-105 in overtime, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

NBA.com draft preview by Lang Whitaker

(Editor's note: This has been updated to take into account the team's trade with the Boston Celtics for the #1 overall pick)

2017 Draft picks: 1, 36, 39, 46, 50
2016-17 record: 28-54, fourth place in the Atlantic Division, did not make the Playoffs

Areas of Strength

In a NBA where dynamic young backcourt tandems have become the rage, the Sixers are going bigger with Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric leading the way. There’s more size on the horizon as Philadelphia hopes to get Ben Simmons back for 2017-18 after he missed last season with a Jones fracture in his right foot. Simmons' health and ability to play a super-sized version of point guard will affect how the Sixers approach Draft night.

Needs Work

Philadelphia has cornered the market on talented youngsters, but is it time for them to look to free agency to add some veterans to their mix? The Sixers most obviously could use some backcourt help, and adding a point guard would make a lot of sense

Two Stats That Matter

8.4 -- Philadelphia ranked third in the NBA in steals per game with 8.4 per game, one of the few stats where they ranked among the NBA's best. Coach Brett Brown's emphasis on defense clearly paid dividends here

19, 18, 10, 28 -- The Sixers' win totals over the last four years. The Philly fans have trusted the process, and after years rebuilding, perhaps they are finally moving in the right direction.

The Way to Go

“Markelle Fultz, of course. Not only is he the consensus top prospect in the draft, but the Washington point guard also fits with the plan to play Ben Simmons at the point because Fultz can play off the ball. Philly has been searching for perimeter shooting. The arrival of the No. 1 pick helps.” - Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com

2016-17 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank) 
Offensive: 100.7 (30th)
Defensive: 106.4 (17th)

Under Contract
G: Jerryd Bayless
G: Gerald Henderson
G: T.J. McConnell
G: Nik Stauskas
G/F: Justin Anderson
G/F: Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot
F: Richaun Holmes
F: Robert Covington (picked up team option)
F: Shawn Long
F: Dario Saric
F: Ben Simmons
C: Joel Embiid
C: Jahlil Okafor

Free Agents
F: Alex Poythress (unrestricted)
G: Sergio Rodriguez (unrestricted)
C: Tiago Splitter (unrestricted)

Recent Draft History

2016: Ben Simmons (1); Timothe Luwawu (24); Furkan Korkmaz (26)
2015: Jahlil Okafor (3); Willy Hernangomez (35), traded to New York; Richaun Holmes (37); Arturas Gudaitis (47); JP Tokoto (47); Luka Mitrovic (60)
2014: Joel Embiid (3); Elfrid Payton (10), traded to Orlando; KJ McDaniels (32); Jerami Grant (39); Russ Smith (47), traded to New Orleans; Vasilije Micic (52); Nemanja Dangubic (54)
2013: Michael Carter-Williams (11); Glen Rice Jr. (35), traded to Washington; Pierre Jackson (42)
2012: Maurice Harkless (15); Justin Hamilton (45), traded to Miami; Tornike Shengelia (54), traded to New Jersey

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