Daryl Morey has radical playoff proposal to shorten NBA season

It has been two weeks since the Sixers were eliminated from the NBA Playoffs, and it’s time to get our hopes up again. That all starts with the NBA Draft. As of right now, the Sixers do not hold a first-round pick as it was given to the Nets in the acquisition of James Harden. However, the Nets have the right to defer the selection back to the Sixers, and instead take the Sixers’ 1st round pick next year. While this is a hypothetical, here are a couple of options the Sixers should look at in the 2023 NBA Draft if the pick is deferred. 


Options #1: Walker Kessler (7’1  245lb Sophomore, Auburn)

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It is no secret that the Sixers continue to struggle with Joel Embiid off the court, and even though B-Ball Paul showed flashes, the backup center spot is a concern throughout the Sixers organization. 

Walker is an elite shot-blocker who averaged a whopping 4.6 blocks per game in college, which was tied for the lead in all college basketball last season. In addition, he’s a good finisher at the rim as he shot over 60% from the field, and can contest almost any shot with his  7’4.5 wingspan.

Some of Kessler’s cons are that he doesn’t fit the mold in today’s NBA; he reminds me of Hassan Whiteside, an excellent shot-blocker that can impact the game in spurts. Over time he is out of position on defense and can’t play on the perimeter and move with guards. The Sixers this season had a 111.1 defensive rating with Embiid on the court. When Embiid was off, their defensive rating was at 115.1. Kessler can give you 10-12 minutes of quality basketball, and while he might not be a long-term fit in today’s NBA, he should get a look within the organization.


Options #2:Caleb Houstan  (6’8  205lbs Freshman, Michigan)

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Houstan has not decided whether he will keep his name in the draft yet, but the Sixers should be all over the Canadian prospect if he does. At the beginning of the college season, most scouts considered Houstan a lottery pick, but after a disappointing freshman season, he fell out of the first round in some mock drafts.

It was more a fit issue than a talent issue in his first season with the Michigan Wolverines. Juwan Howard playing a double big lineup with Mousse Diabate and Hunter Dickenson left no spacing for the sharpshooter Houstan. This left most of his looks to be either forced or highly contested, hence his poor shooting splits of 38.4% from the field and 35.5% from three. 

I have watched Houstan play too many times at Montverde academy to think that this poor shooting stint wasn’t a fluke, and he has the NBA body to become a 3-D type player eventually. This does go along with his cons that Houstan is not a good ball handler and his ability to create his own shot is zero. With Danny Green most likely retiring or out for the season, Houstan can slowly take over that role as he will have a lot more space to shoot when on the floor with Harden and Embiid. 


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