Over the next couple of weeks at the Philadelphia Metro, we will be taking a look back at the Philadelphia 76ers’ draft classes from the last five years. The 2018 NBA Draft is less than two weeks away, so it is a good time to check out the best and worst picks from the Sixers.
To begin this series, we reviewed the 2014 draft class, which produced Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. However, in this installment, we will look at the draft that gave the Sixers Jahlil Okafor and not Kristaps Porzingis.
1. Jahlil Okafor (Rd. 1, Pick 3) – For a second straight year in the NBA Draft Lottery, the Sixers landed the third overall pick. With the No. 3 overall pick, there was hope that maybe the Sixers would take either D’Angelo Russell or Porzingis.
Neither of those scenarios happened as the team took Jahlil Okafor out of Duke University.
Okafor had an amazing rookie season on a Sixers’ team, where he was the primary scorer. The 6-foot-11 big man averaged 17.5 points and 7.0 rebounds in 30 minutes per game. Fans across the league marveled at Okafor’s footwork in the post and how he could take opposing big men off the dribble.
After that outstanding rookie campaign, Okafor’s production went down the next two seasons due to disappointing play and the emergence of Joel Embiid. He became the focus of numerous trade rumors and was finally dealt this past season with Nik Stauskas to the Brooklyn Nets for Trevor Booker.
2. Richaun Holmes (Rd. 2, Pick 37) – The Sixers found tremendous value in the second round with the selection of Holmes. Philadelphia was able to get Holmes thanks to the trade of K.J. McDaniels to the Houston Rockets, which netted them guard Isaiah Canaan and a 2015 second-round pick.
Holmes has become a fan favorite in the city due to his high-energy play on both sides of the ball. Over the last two seasons, Holmes has developed his offensive game in limited minutes, while still being a good rim protector.
3. Artuaus Gudaitis (Rd. 2, Pick 47) – A draft and stash prospect out of Lithuania, who was known more for being involved in the infamous pick swap trade with the Sacramento Kings.
4. J.P. Tokoto (Rd. 2, Pick 58) – Tokoto never played in an NBA game with the Sixers as the team waived him in October 2015. But he played two seasons in the NBA G-League with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers and Oklahoma City Blue, before taking his talents overseas. This season, Tokoto played in the NBL with the Perth Wildcats.
5. Luka Mitrovic (Rd. 2, Pick 60) – Another draft and stash prospect, who was also a part of the pick swap trade with the Kings, which came to fruition in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery.