Sixers: 3 prospects to consider in the NBA Draft

The NBA Draft is less than two weeks away, and while the Sixers are widely expected to trade their first-round pick, if Morey decides to sit tight and make a selection at 28th overall then these prospects should be on his radar.

Miles McBride

Guard, West Virginia

The skinny: Elite on-ball defender who pairs a balanced scoring package (pull-up, dribble-drive, off-screen, PnR) with elite catch-and-shoot potential.

The good: McBride possesses elite traits to defend on-ball at the POA. His natural quickness/mirroring ability allows him to stay in front of ball handlers and slip over screens; and long arms (6’9” wing) and instinctive hands allow for effortless deflections, steals, and shot contests. On the other side of the floor he packs a well-rounded scoring package that allows him to threaten on all three levels with or without the ball; and his ability to leverage his scoring gravity to create for others allows for steady playmaking. Potentially elite catch-and-shoot traits make him an ideal complementary guard.

The bad: McBride is only 6’3” and doesn’t possess the requisite burst or handle to consistently break down defenders. Pair that with pedestrian finishing and it’s hard to imagine him as a true point at the next level, in which case he’s an undersized combo-guard who lacks any single elite scoring trait (despite having a bag full of moves).

The bottom line: McBride has ridiculous upside as an on-ball defender in the mold of a Holiday or Thybulle, and if a team is confident in his ability to find a consistent role on offense then he’s the ideal two-way prospect for this range of the draft.

Joe Wieskamp

Wing, Iowa

The skinny: Three year starter at Iowa with a projectable skillset as a three-point specialist.

The good: Wieskamp is a high-end shooting prospect (46.3% from three) with elite spot-up potential and excellent movement/relocation skills. Good size (6’7”, 6’11” wing) and a high release allows him to get his shot off with ease over defenders, and there’s little doubt over his ability to be a Duncan Robinson/Kyle Korver type at the next level.

The bad: As is often the case with these sort of skillsets, Wieskamp is only average athletically and is mostly bad defensively. He’ll be a siv on-ball in the pros, and needs to be hidden in a strong defensive scheme. In terms of impacting on offense with the ball in his hands, he won’t be able to create for himself against NBA defenders, and he doesn’t have the vision/playmaking skills to consistently create for others.

The bottom line: Wieskamp is a one-trick pony with limited upside, but a plug-and-play shooter makes a lot of sense for contenders looking to beef up their bench in the back half of the first round.

Vrenz Bleijenbergh

Wing, Belgium

The skinny: A somewhat under the radar international prospect, his combination of size and natural skill/playmaking is rare.

The good: Vrenz’s passing ability and overall feel for the game is elite for his age, and even more impressive at his height (6’10”). He operates the pick-and-roll at a high level, and figures to be a natural point-forward if developed properly. What separates him as a prospect is his shooting potential. He boasts a high, smooth, and quick release that projects favorably; and his ability to shoot off movement or off the dribble are as natural as his standstill shot. He figures to be a strong weak-side help defender as well.

The bad: Vrenz is your typical Euro prospect in the sense that most of his flaws arise from strength/physicality concerns. In this case those complaints are fair game, and unless he properly bulks up and adjusts his style of play to embrace contact then his ceiling will be limited. His ability to hang in the paint defensively and win on the glass will make or break him in the NBA (the offensive skillset is there).

The bottom line: Vrenz is loaded with potential to be a real unicorn on the wing. Natural scorers/playmakers with his size don’t grow on trees, and despite the very obvious red flags as an international prospect, the rarity of his skillset should push him into the first round.

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