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The Philadelphia 76ers now possess a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA draft after the Brooklyn Nets deferred the pick they acquired in the James Harden deal to 2023. Now that the Sixers have a pick, it is time to look at mock drafts and see what Philadelphia could get at No. 23 overall.
The Sixers, after coming up short on their playoff run, could use some help on the wings off the bench. Philadelphia’s bench was ranked 28th in scoring per StatMuse in the 2021-22 season, and it could use a bit of a lift to that unit.
In ESPN’s latest mock draft, the Sixers select Ohio State forward E.J. Liddell:
Most NBA teams operated under the assumption that the Nets would punt this selection to 2023 and gamble on the Sixers sending an even better pick next year if the wheels come off in Philadelphia. On June 1 ESPN reported the Nets would exercise that option. Philadelphia could very well look at adding a versatile big man like Liddell who can protect the rim, switch on the perimeter and has a high floor as a prospect after improving his shooting significantly as a junior. His productivity and toughness make him a solid option for a Sixers team looking to win now, one that needs to find value on rookie-scale contracts.
Liddell stands at 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds, so he can play both forward spots. He averaged 19.4 points and 7.9 rebounds while shooting 37.4% from deep, and he blocked 2.6 shots per game as a junior with the Buckeyes. He would be a big help to this team’s bench unit.