As part of the trade for James Harden, the Sixers sent their 1st round pick in the upcoming 2022 NBA Draft to the Brooklyn Nets as part of a kicker in the mega trade deadline deal. At the time, it was an afterthought for Sixers fans as the addition of Harden meant an all-in move to win now, but after how the season ended for Joel Embiid and company, the attention quickly shifted to this offseason. That 1st round pick in this draft suddenly looked important, but apparently not to the Brooklyn Nets. They took the option to defer that pick to 2023, which means the Sixers pick will be sent to the Nets next year, but this year’s pick returns to Philly. In a turn of events, now the 23rd overall pick becomes a focal point of the offseason. Here are 5 players the Sixers should look at as they prepare for that selection:

  • E.J. Liddell – SF, Ohio State

    Liddell looks like he could possibly fill the much needed bench wing spot for the Sixers, as the 6’7” forward has both defensive ability and the shooting acumen to space the floor at the NBA level. He averaged 19.4 points per game on 37.4% 3 point shooting at Ohio State against solid competition, and at 21 years old he is more polished than the average top draft prospect. Liddell doesn’t seem like he has a super star future, but he could certainly be a piece on a winning team, and in a spot that could really help the Sixers.

  • Jaden Hardy – SG, G League Ignite

    Hardy is a fearless 6’4” off ball guard with limitless range and an attitude to match it. There are questions about his shot selection, which certainly could be an issue at the NBA level, but after spending time in the G League with the Ignite team, he is one of the more pro-ready prospects available. There have been some people who have theorized about bringing Tyrese Maxey off the bench, and Hardy could potentially slot in to the 2 guard spot alongside James Harden to make that possible.

  • Mark Williams – C, Duke

    Williams is probably going to go off the board before the Sixers get a chance to select, but they should do their research on him either way. Williams stands 7’0” tall with a 7’7” wingspan and would represent another attempt at finding a serviceable backup big man for when Joel Embiid is off the court. Maybe the most appealing thing about Williams is his athleticism for his size, especially when finishing around the rim. He was one of the best dunkers in college last year for the Blue Devils, and would add some much needed athleticism to this Sixers team.

  • Jake LaRavia – PF, Wake Forest

    LaRavia may end up playing more of the 3 instead of the 4 in the NBA, but he would fill some needs of the Sixers at either position. He was a knock down shooter in the ACC at Wake Forest, and there is little doubt that he can carry that range to the NBA. Even better for the Sixers, LaRavia shoots very well from the corners, which would fill the void left by the Danny Green ACL injury (or if the team moves on from him this offseason). LaRavia could be a valuable wing shooter off the bench, and also handles the ball well for a 6’8” player.

  • Nikola Jovic – SF, Serbia

    Yes, you read that right. There’s a prospect in this draft named Nikola Jovic. He’s not a center like Jokic, but the 6’10” Serbian is projected to go right around the 23rd pick where the Sixers currently sit. Joel Embiid not winning the MVP this past year was so ridiculous that maybe the only way to get another MVP in Philly is to trick the voters into thinking they’re voting for Nikola Jokic but instead they’re voting for Nikola Jovic. That’s the next level thinking that the Sixers need to have a successful offseason.