76ers Mock Draft: What Will Morey Do?
With the draft just mere hours away, it is time for my official and annual 76ers mock draft for the 2021 NBA draft. While recent reports suggest that 76ers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey will look to trade out of the first round, there are certainly a couple of exciting prospects at pick 28. On top of that, the Sixers could find a late flier to bolster the bench in the second round. So without further ado, let’s dive right into the mock.
Round 1, Pick 28: 76ers select, G Tre Mann, Florida
While it is just as likely Daryl Morey trades this pick for capital to bolster a trade involving Ben Simmons, for this mock draft, I have the Sixers selecting one of the best shot-creating guards in Florida’s Tre Mann. Listed at 6’4, 177-pounds, the Florida sophomore is coming off a campaign where he started all 24 games averaging an impressive 16 points a game. However, what really elevates his play for the Gators is his shooting splits, knocking down 40-percent of his threes on five attempts per game and a superb 83-percent free throw percentage.
Tre Mann currently sits as the draft’s ninth-best point guard, but his skillset I find is much more suited for shooting guard in the Sixers system, which is why he lands with the 76ers. Mann undeniably has one of the smoothest jump shots in this class. Pair with his unique IQ on the offensive side of the ball constantly gets him open looks all across the court, but where Mann excels is with the ball in his hands.
Mann’s bread-and-butter comes from his ability to play off screens. He plays the pick-and-roll with the big man beautifully, knocking down open threes when defenders try to cut under the screen and cutting to an open floater when defenders attempt to take away his lethal three-ball.
While Mann’s shooting stroke alone was enough to project him for this mock draft, his ability with the shot clock winding down really pushes him over the top. Playing point guard last season, the Gators routinely looked to Mann on busted offensive sets with the shot clock winding down, and Mann stepped up to the challenge with ease. In addition, Tre thrives in isolation situations, using his quickness to create separation for a step-back shot he can confidently hit from any range. Combine that with his great shooting ability, and it becomes obvious why he’s perfect for the 76ers.
While Mann is a proven threat on the offensive end, his struggles lie on the other side of the court. Mann struggles especially with on-ball defense, where he has trouble keeping his man from penetrating. Combine that with his slender size for his height, and Mann also has difficulty contesting opposing players on drives with his body. While this is a concern for a point guard, Mann has great quickness that would be useful in chasing around shooters, a defensive style he would utilize at shooting guard for the Sixers.
The offensive upside and overall fit for the Sixers make Tre Mann a great selection at pick 28. For a complete breakdown on Tre Mann outside this 76ers mock draft, check out this draft profile on Tre Mann.
Round 2, Pick 50: 76ers select, C Luka Garza, Iowa
While landing the collegiate player of the year at pick 50 seems very optimistic for the 76ers, here me out on this one. One of the biggest narratives of this year’s draft is the huge amount of talent and depth at the guard position. With guard-play becoming more and more important in the modern NBA, this Iowa center may fall right into Daryl Morey’s lap.
Luka Garza is a 6’11”, 260-pound monster center coming off his final year at Iowa. In his final year with the Hawkeyes, Garza posted an insane stat line averaging 24 points, 9 rebounds, and just over 2 blocks a game. Garza was undeniably the most dominant single player in college basketball last year, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
What really sets Luka Garza apart from the field is his ability to score in many ways. In a lot of ways, Luka Garza shares the same attributes as Joel Embiid. Before you crucify me for that comparison, hear me out. While Garza certainly doesn’t have nearly the same footwork skill as Joel Embiid, both centers share an uncanny amount of touch with the ball for big men. Pair that with a 44-percent clip from beyond on three attempts per game, and Garza looks more and more like a modern center in the NBA. Regardless, Garza is an ideal selection for the 76ers as an obvious backup to Embiid.
What is forcing the Naismith award winner is his lack of mobility that hinders him greatly on defense. While Garza’s two blocks per game show how good of a rim protector he is when pulled away from the hoop, Luka became a liability for the Hawkeyes. Garza cannot keep up with anyone on-ball outside the paint and can easily be exploited in the pick-and-roll. So anyone drafting Garza is signing up for a bit of a project to strengthen his defense away from the rim.
With the Sixers hosting Garza for a workout pre-draft, there’s no denying Morey has an interest in the center. Couple that with the fact that Philly may not have a backup center with Dwight Howard becoming a free agent, and the 76ers may have found their future backup center in this mock draft.
Mandatory Credit: Bleacher Report