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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 26: Jared McCain (R) shakes hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver (L) after being drafted 16th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers during the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 26, 2024 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

There was a lot of speculation about what the Sixers might do with the 16th overall pick. Most of it revolved around who they would trade the pick for. Little did we know, they planned to keep it, at least for now. They took Duke G Jared McCain, and a day later, he is still on the team.

Related: Sixers Take Duke G Jared McCain, Keep Pick For Now

Jared McCain Sticking With The Sixers?

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 24: Jared McCain #0 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts during the second half against the James Madison Dukes in the second round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March 24, 2024 in New York City.
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MARCH 24: Jared McCain #0 of the Duke Blue Devils reacts during the second half against the James Madison Dukes in the second round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at Barclays Center on March 24, 2024 in New York City.

Could they still trade him? Sure. But usually, the trades happen shortly after the original pick is made. It could happen tonight in round 2 of the draft. The Sixers have pick 41. Maybe they make that pick and package both players in a deal.

More likely, they plan to keep him at this point. Daryl Morey was effusive in his praise for Jared McCain. Talking about his shooting prowess, his work ethic, his winning attitude, and more. Fans are less thrilled. The reaction on social media afterwards was not all negative, but it certainly felt mostly negative.

It’s likely that nothing short of trading the pick for a bonafide star would have made fans angry though. Even then, they would have complained about the star. The Sixers likely won’t win fans back over until they get out of the 2nd round. Until then, any move will be met with pessimism.

Related: Dei Lynam Believes Draft Night Was Just The Beginning For Daryl Morey

DALLAS, TEXAS - MARCH 29: Jared McCain #0 of the Duke Blue Devils controls the ball during the 1st half of the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament game against the Houston Cougars at American Airlines Center on March 29, 2024 in Dallas, Texas.
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TEXAS – MARCH 29: Jared McCain #0 of the Duke Blue Devils controls the ball during the 1st half of the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament game against the Houston Cougars at American Airlines Center on March 29, 2024 in Dallas, Texas.

Sixers fans’ optimism is at an all-time low. Given the lack of post-season success, it is hard to really blame them. Once Mikal Bridges was traded, fans flew into a panic. People were ready to blow it all up. Fans were furious with Morey.

But cutting through the despair, let’s look at the pick rationally. Is Jared McCain a good fit? Did they take the right player? Are there any legitimate concerns about him transitioning to the NBA? Can he play next to Tyrese Maxey?

Here Are The Things To Like, and Dislike, About The Jared McCain Pick:

  • Like- The Kid Can Shoot

    There are plenty of guys who can “shoot” in college” but are not NBA shooters. Jimmer Fredette immediately comes to mind, McCain does not seem to be that kind of player. You watch him play, and he is a real shooter. not just spot-up 3s, though he excels at those, but he can get his own shot.

    He has a step back in his arsenal, among other moves off the dribble to create his own shots, not just rely on others to pass him open. In his lone season at Duke, he shot 41.4% from deep. at a high volume too, taking on average 5.8 3s per game.

    That is the type of guy you want around Embiid. Dudes who can not only shoot but do so without fear. It is why Reddick worked so well with him, as did Seth Curry. The goal should always be to surround Embiid with as many shooters as possible. McCain fills that need.

    97.5 The Fanatic on X (formerly Twitter): ""He has maybe the most valuable skill in the league"-Daryl Morey on Jared McCain being a high-level 3-point shooter. / X"

    "He has maybe the most valuable skill in the league"-Daryl Morey on Jared McCain being a high-level 3-point shooter.

  • Dislike- Another Small Guard Next To Maxey

    Being Small does not mean you can’t be a great player. Sixers fans know that as well as anyone between AI, and no Tyrese Maxey. But if you have 1 small guard, you probably want the other guard to be a bit bigger, just to even it out.

    Jared McCain is 6ft3 though. Maxey is 6ft2. That is a small backcourt, especially when you will be playing the Celtics who have Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum on the perimeter. Maxey has taken big strides on the defensive side of the ball. But no matter how hard you work, smaller guards will always have a physical disadvantage. Having two guys like that will make it very tough.

    McCain will come off the bench to start, so it is not like they will play 30 minutes together. But unless McCain only ever plays 12 minutes per game, they are going to be on the same court at some point. Can they function together? We will find out, but it is going to be difficult. It will put a lot of strain on the other 3 defenders, and they will likely need to find a small forward capable of guarding the perimeter.

    It is not a death sentence, but it is a genuine concern. Morey told reporters that while this was a concern, he thinks that McCain’s frame will let him be a better defender than his height would suggest. I guess we will see.

    97.5 The Fanatic on X (formerly Twitter): ""The Backcourt in a perfect world would be taller, but he has a strong frame. We think (McCain) will be a solid defender." -Daryl Morey when asked if having two smaller guards is a source of concern / X"

    "The Backcourt in a perfect world would be taller, but he has a strong frame. We think (McCain) will be a solid defender." -Daryl Morey when asked if having two smaller guards is a source of concern

  • Like- Played Great In The Tournament

    When projecting players to the next level, I love to look at how they played in great games. Can they handle the bright lights? For Jared McCain, we know he can. Duke made it all the way to the Elite 8 this past season. Thanks in large part to great play by him.

    In 4 games, he shot 50% from deep, including an 8 for 11 game in the Round of 32. In the Elite 8 game vs NC State, he scored 32 points, including going 5 for 11 from deep. Not to mention the fact he averaged 5.8 rebounds per game.

    McCain seems to be a winner. Judging by his Tournament performance, I see no reason to think he will shrink from the spotlight in the NBA. He saved his best work for the biggest moments. That is a good sign for any prospect. The fact he has played in high-level games is something Morey specifically mentioned in his Post-Draft press conference.

  • Dislike- Doesn't Help Them Right Now

    McCain could grow into a great player. But will he help them this year? We saw Tyrese Maxey was not much of a factor in his rookie season. That is often the case for rookies outside the draft lottery. it takes guys a while to adjust to the pros.

    The problem is the Sixers need help now. It is why most believed they would trade the pick. The Sixers are in full win-now mode. Every decision they make should be about maximizing the next few years with Embiid.  This pick does not exactly do that.

    Now Morey did address this. They seem to think he will be able to adjust quicker than other prospects. But it is easier said than done. According to Morey himself, a “interesting player” was offered to them for the pick. We will never know who that player was, but whether or not they should have traded the pick will be a topic of debate until we see what McCain can do.

    Adam Aaronson on X (formerly Twitter): "Morey says a "pretty interesting" player was offered to the Sixers in a deal where they'd move back from No. 16, among other offers, but McCain was in their top 10."I don't want to put any tough expectations on him, but we think this guy is going to be a 76er for a long time." / X"

    Morey says a "pretty interesting" player was offered to the Sixers in a deal where they'd move back from No. 16, among other offers, but McCain was in their top 10."I don't want to put any tough expectations on him, but we think this guy is going to be a 76er for a long time."

  • Like: Not Only A 3 Point Shooter

    The outside shooting is his best skill. But McCain is more than just a 3-point shooter. He has used the threat of the shot, and his dribble, to get open lanes to the basket. Whether that is to get a layup, or a pull-up jumper from 2, he has a few moves in his bag to score closer to the basket.

    Again his shorter size might limit that a little bit, but he doesn’t shy away from contact, at least not in College. As you would expect from a great shooter, he shot 88.5% from the FT line and averaged 2.8 FGs per game from inside the 3-point arc.

    Jared McCain (R) shakes hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver (L) after being drafted 16th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers during the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 26, 2024 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

    NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 26: Jared McCain (R) shakes hands with NBA commissioner Adam Silver (L) after being drafted 16th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers during the first round of the 2024 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 26, 2024 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

  • Disklike- Duke

    First off I, like most people, hate Duke. But I am not going to hold my hatred of Duke against McCain. That said, personal bias aside, it is not like Duke has a rich history of developing NBA players. Kentucky, another team I have little love for, does.

    It’s why when the Sixers took Tyrese Maxey, I felt good about his chances to transition to the pros. Maybe it is the leftover pain from Jahlil Okafor, but I do not have that same feeling for guys from Duke. There are certainly standout Duke players. Jayson Tatum, Zion Williams. But for a team that has done so much winning, there are a lot fewer All-Star caliber players than you would think.

    DALLAS, TEXAS - MARCH 29: Jared McCain #0 of the Duke Blue Devils controls the ball during the 1st half of the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament game against the Houston Cougars at American Airlines Center on March 29, 2024 in Dallas, Texas.

    DALLAS, TEXAS – MARCH 29: Jared McCain #0 of the Duke Blue Devils controls the ball during the 1st half of the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament game against the Houston Cougars at American Airlines Center on March 29, 2024 in Dallas, Texas.

  • Like- Work Ethic

    Everything we hear about Jared McCain is that he has an amazing work ethic. Jay Bilas, who to be fair is slightly biased because of the Duke connection, called McCain one of the hardest workers in the draft. He also seemingly has an infectious energy, the same kind Tyrese Maxey brought to the team.

    It is not just Bilas saying it either. Everyone who has been near McCain says the same thing. McCain works hard. Hard work doesn’t always equal success. But if you pair hard work with talent, the chances you will pan out go up exponentially.

    Those are the type of players I want. Guys who will go the extra mile to improve their game.

    Jay Bilas on X (formerly Twitter): "The @sixers got a winner, a leader, and one of the best shooters in this entire draft class with Jared McCain... pic.twitter.com/2VKXPA2Uuo / X"

    The @sixers got a winner, a leader, and one of the best shooters in this entire draft class with Jared McCain... pic.twitter.com/2VKXPA2Uuo

     

  • Things I Absolutely To Not Care About- The Fingernails or His TikToks

    I am just going to get this out there. No one should care if he is on TikTok, or paints his nails. Those things have literally nothing to do with his ability to play basketball. Were they a distraction, it would be different. but as we already discussed, everyone who knows the kid lauds his work ethic.

    You can have passions outside of the game. Athletes do not need to be robots who only care about Basketball, and never leave the gym. These guys are allowed to have a life outside of basketball. What is the difference between this, and Trent Cole liking to hunt? Literally nothing. The only reason this becomes a thing is because it is foreign to fans of a certain age. They don’t get TikTok, so for them, it isn’t just a normal hobby, it is a distraction.

    But stop yelling at clouds, and realize this is what this generation does. As long as he is a good player, what he does when he isn’t playing is his business. Stop complaining, it makes you sound out of touch.

    Overtime on X (formerly Twitter): "Jared McCain's first NBA TikTok 🔥 @J_mccain_24 (via @sixers) pic.twitter.com/EWuCcGCxc6 / X"

    Jared McCain's first NBA TikTok 🔥 @J_mccain_24 (via @sixers) pic.twitter.com/EWuCcGCxc6

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