The Philadelphia 76ers have made their model for rebuilding no secret. After tanking their way to a 19-63 mark in the standings and record-tying 26 consecutive losses last season, the Sixers were awarded the second-best odds of winning the first pick in the NBA Draft. They’re called ‘odds’ for a reason, though, and Philly not only lost out on the top selection but were jumped in draft order by the Cleveland Cavaliers, too. Undeterred by that turn of events, a new report says that the Sixers will do “whatever they can” to nab former Kansas wing and potential top-two pick Andrew Wiggins.
Wiggins is currently in Philadelphia working out and meeting with the 76ers front office brass. According to Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the team has made clear that Wiggins is the player they covet, even engaging the Cavaliers in trade to discussions to acquire the number one pick.
Sources have confirmed a report that the Sixers have inquired about trading for the Cavs’ first pick. The Sixers reportedly aren’t willing to give up their third and 10th picks in exchange for the No. 1 selection. They will, however, possibly give up a combination of the No. 3 pick and power forward Thaddeus Young, according to ESPN.com….
According to sources, the Sixers are trying to do whatever they can to draft him. And there’s a sense that he wants to become a Sixer.
It’s long been assumed that Wiggins was the player atop Philly’s draft board. He’s a perfect fit for coach Brett Brown’s uptempo system, fills a gaping hole on the wing in between building blocks Michael-Carter Williams and Nerlens Noel, and is likely the biggest box office draw of this class. But Wiggins is in consideration for both the Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks, too, the former of which reportedly red flagged Kansas big man Joel Embiid’s physical last week. Though rumors say the Bucks favor Duke forward Jabari Parker, Cleveland’s doubts about Embiid’s health could make Wiggins the frontrunner for the number one pick.
If that is indeed the case, Philly will need to make a deal with the Cavaliers to get its hands on Wiggins. If wheeling and dealing General Manager Sam Hinkie is really unwilling to offer both of his lottery selections to Cleveland, it’s unclear if he has the firepower to make a trade with the Cavs.
The Sixers have a stable full of assets, but most of them are draft considerations; Cleveland wants to win now. While Thaddeus Young‘s versatility and two-way worth make him a valuable player for any team, he also has two years and nearly $20 million remaining on his current contract should he exercise a player option for 2015-2016.
Plus, it’d be tough for any team to pass on a player of Wiggins’ caliber. The 19 year-old averaged 17.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in his lone season for the Jayhawks, setting a Kansas freshman scoring record and earning second-team All-American honors in the process. Though Wiggins needs to further develop his handle and jumper, his defensive prowess and natural athleticism give him a chance to make a sizable impact as a rookie. Combined with franchise player potential, it’s easy to see why he’s such a prized prospect.
After working out for Philadelphia today, Wiggins will head to Cleveland and Milwaukee for visits later this week. Here’s a glimpse of what Wiggins has in store for those teams during his auditions:
Do you think Wiggins will be a Sixer?
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