Morning Sixers – Friday, May 12th, 2017

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Updated: Friday, May 12, 2017 01:06 PM

“If we try to move up in the draft a few spots what lottery teams would have any interest in taking Okafor as part of a package ?”

— Bill

(Note: this is just one of three questions answered in today’s mailbag. To get thoughts the value of defense at the point guard spot and whether to consider free agency options when making draft selections, and to get a collection of Sixers content published in the last 24 hours, subscribe at Patreon.com).

I would not expect Okafor to be a significant factor in being able to move up even a few spots, no.

It would be one thing if you were talking about moving up from, say, 17th to 15th. Then, maybe, there might be a chance. But top draft picks are some of the most prized assets in the league. Moving up even a couple of spots is very tough to do.

I think we frequently bucket, say, 4-through-6 as being similar in value, but it’s really not. Over at DraftExpress, we chart the historical trend of each pick, from role (All-Star, starter, bench, etc) to EWA, PER, and other stats. The drop is pretty consistent the farther you get down in the draft.

More than probability, though, GM’s have preferences. They can get fixated on guys, and they don’t want to increase the chance that the guy they prefer isn’t available. Even if they misjudged the difference in confidence level from their preferred prospect to the rest, they still have that preference. Dropping even 2 or 3 spots in the draft can be nerve-racking for GM’s considering how their tenure could very well be defined by the outcome of this selection.



To that end, I don’t think there’s any GM in the league that has the confidence in Okafor right now to run that risk. Furthermore, considering the over-saturation of Okafor’s type in the league, there’s a likely chance they could get similar talent for cheaper. The Sixers just aren’t bargaining from a position of strength here.

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Derek Bodner

Derek Bodner covers the NBA draft for USA Today and DraftExpress.com. He was previously the 76ers Insider for Philadelphia magazine. Contact Information: derek.bodner@draftexpress.com / @DerekBodnerNBA

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