By Eric Jacinto
Last night, was the 2018 NBA Draft and the 76ers made several moves. The 76ers drafted hometown and Villanova kid, Mikal Bridges at number ten and then traded him away six picks later to the Phoenix Suns for Zhaire Smith (SG, from Texas Tech) and a 2021 First round unprotected pick via Miami. They drafted Landry Sharmet (PG/SG, from Wichita State) at number 26.
Zhaire Smith, average stat line at his only season at Texas Tech was 11.3P/5.0R/1.8A. He shot 55.6% from the field and shot 71.7% from the free throw line. He also averaged 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks per 40 minutes, he shows the ability to make plays on the ball by jumping the lanes, pickpocketing or challenging finishes above the rim; he fights very hard defensively. He has a wingspan of 6'9 3/4 and considered the best athlete in this draft that can defend ball-handlers and wings from positions 1 through 3. He is limited offensively which can be worked on with time and the upside is that he's athletic enough to get to the rim and score. Smith's floor is high and his ceiling will all depend on how much he can improve offensively (Shot making ability) and as a ball-handler. I see Smith as a possibly solid starter or a sixth man type and one of the best defenders at his position.
Landry Sharmet, career average stat line at Wichita State (three seasons; 71 games): 12.9/3.0R/4.1A shooting 48% from the field and 81.1% from the free throw line. His average stat line this past season was 14.9P/3.2R/5.2A which was his best season. He shot 44% from beyond the arc and 48.9% overall from the field. Sharmet was one of the most accurate shooters in the country however, his weakness on offense is that he lacks that bust to the basket. His defensive of game is a bit of a question mark as he lacks speed but shows signs of being smart on defense, so it's a wait and see. I believe he'll be that guy coming of the bench and jacking up shots and helping on defense as much as he can. I hope he can be a good player for the 76ers (if he's not traded this summer).
My Final thoughts on the draft:
I liked who they got in the first round as they got a really good defender and athlete in Zhaire Smith and a pretty good shooter in Landry Shamet. The trade that they made to get Smith I liked because they get a future first round pick (via Miami in 2021) which is unprotected which could be used in a trade to acquire a star player to add to this team, as possibly the missing piece. Who that star is who know time will only tell if they do make another trade or they try to sign some free agents or both. It will be a very interesting summer that's for sure.
Finally, I believe the 76ers came out winners and I give them a solid B for the picks and the trade they made.