With the number three pick, the Sixers selected Joel Embiid. Embiid would've gone #1 had he not broken a bone in his foot during (or prior to) limited workouts for the draft. He was clearly the most talented guy left at number three, he's also most likely not going to play at all this season.
Things got a little dicey when pick #10 came around. First, the Sixers pulled off a last-second deal with Orlando. Then snagged Elfrid Payton, a non-shooting PG. Then, they let their current non-shooting PG answer questions about why his team drafted another PG. Then Orlando drafted Dario Saric (who signed a multi-year deal to remain in Europe last week), finally they announced the trade. As part of the deal, I believe they re-acquired their own 1st round pick in 2017 (a pick they sent out as part of the Andrew Bynum deal), and picked up another meaningless second rounder.
It's tough to argue with either pick. Saric doesn't look like anything special to me, and if I had to put money on it, I'd say he never has an impact in the NBA, but there wasn't a whole lot of talent left at #10. The guy I wanted was Stauskus, McDermott would've been thrown to the wolves and really, once they took Embiid this season became about tanking...again. It's sad. I wish there was something the league could do about it, but whatever.
It is what it is. The NBA has written its rules from the point of view that owners would value competition and strive to put a quality product on the floor, but neglected to incentivize such behavior. When you take loose regulation (or just plain trust in a notion as simple as "if you own a sports team, you want that team to win") and add obscene amounts of money into the equation, guys like Josh Harris circle like vultures. They've made their living taking advantage of naive institutions and systems. They swoop in, exploit every loophole, make their money and get out.
The best thing about this situation is they can, and are, stripping the Sixers down to the bones under the cover of "accumulating assets." It's a plan with absolutely no risk. Field a minor-league team. Pay them the league minimum. Sign abhorrent advertising deals to supplement the income. Collect shared-revenue checks from the league and guaranteed money from TV and radio deals. The only missing piece is bottoming out fan interest, figuring out how to break your lease, then moving them to whatever city offers you the most tax credits, oh those beautiful tax credits.
So here we are, second verse, same as the first. Only this time the big man we won't be seeing for a full year has the promise of being a foundation...if he can get healthy and stay healthy. They keep kicking the can down the road, promising there will be a light at the end of the tunnel, if only we'll trust them. I trust they'll do whatever they can to squeeze the most profit out of this organization before moving and/or selling it at a huge profit. If building a competitive team somehow coincides with those plans, then great. What a happy accident.
With their first pick in the second round, they snagged K.J. McDaniels. He's a wing defender who can't shoot, so he should be fun to watch without threatening to help them win any games this year. Good work.