The Sixers can fall anywhere between first and seventh in the 2017 NBA draft, with as many as two top-five picks depending on whether the Lakers’ selection falls inside the protected top three.
The identities of the potential future members of the 76ers depends completely on where the pingpong balls decide Tuesday night.
Ahead of the NBA draft lottery this year, here’s a look at what the Sixers could potentially do with picks one-through-seven:
1. Markelle Fultz, Washington
With Lonzo Ball projected by many mock drafts to be the top player on the board, the Sixers at No. 1 will have their choice between the draft’s top prizes and will likely lean toward Fultz — the all-around scoring and distributing 6-foot-4 point guard — who can be the perfect compliment to Philly’s current crop of bigger players like Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
2. Markelle Fultz, Washington
If Philly lands No. 2, there is a very high chance the No. 1 pick is Ball anyway, and that the Sixers are able to get their first choice in Fultz. In the event that he is unavailable, it would be hard for them to pass up UCLA’s 6-foot-6 phenom at No. 1
3. De’Aaron Fox, Kentucky
With the top two players off the board, Philly should still address their need at point guard. Even though head coach Brett Brown seems adamant that Simmons will play point-forward, a player like Fox would be ideal on the Sixers and he’s the next best point guard available — and has shown he can take over a game with the Wildcats in college.
4. Malik Monk, Kansas
If there’s one thing the Sixers need more than anything else it’s shooters, and Monk fits the bill as a sweet-stroking two-guard from the Jayhawks. With a small forward in Josh Jackson likely to get taken at picks three or four, the Sixers should be in striking distance to take Monk both at No. 4 or No. 5.
5. Malik Monk, Kansas
Optimistically Monk could still be had at No. 5 — and if not, the Sixers could target another point guard in Dennis Smith.
6. Dennis Smith, NC State
Smith has gotten criticized for a lot during his college career but he impressed during college basketball season, single-handedly carrying NC State to a much better than projected result.
7. Jason Tatum, Duke
Tatum has perhaps the highest ceiling of any prospect but also a lot of unknowns regarding a history of injury woes. He’s also a small forward, a position not needed as badly as guard by the Sixers. However in the unlikely event that Philly is slotted seventh and Tatum is on the board he’s a no-brainer pick.