Mikal Bridges

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4 options for the 76ers at No. 10

Andrew Porter
May 16, 2018 - 9:15 am
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Bryan Colangelo and the Philadelphia 76ers are facing, what some are calling, the most important offseason in franchise history. When you consider the franchise's talent, cap space, and draft capital (six total picks in the 2018 draft), the statement seems logical. 

On Tuesday night, the Sixers acquired pick No. 10 (via the Lakers) in the first round of the NBA Draft on June 21st.

The last 10 players selected 10th overall: Zach Collins, Thon Maker, Justise Winslow, Elfrid Payton, C. J. McCollum, Austin Rivers, Jimmer Fredette, Paul George, Brandon Jennings, and Brook Lopez.

Do not underestimate the importance of the selection. 

Philadelphia's second-youngest roster in the NBA (age 24.69 behind only Phoenix) can certainly use a player able to contribute right away. They could also use a shot creating wing, regardless of the development of Markelle Fultz. 

Here's a look at the four names you're going to hear the most over the next month. 

4. Collin Sexton

Collin Sexton
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Pros: Sexton is a 6-2 dynamic guard with a 6-6 wingspan. He is arguably the best shot creator in the draft. In his only season at Alabama, Sexton averaged 19.2 points on decent shooting numbers (44.7 FG% / 33.6 3P% / 77.8 FT%). 

Cons: At just 19 years old, Sexton is somewhat redundant to Fultz. Drafting Sexton would likely mean the Sixers are giving up on Fultz, which doesn't seem likely. 

3. Miles Bridges

Miles Bridges
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Pros: Miles Bridges is a 6-7, 20-year-old powerful wing. Bridges has superb strength, excellent body control, confidence, and a high basketball IQ. After all, he played for two years under Tom Izzo at Michigan State averaging 17.0 points and 7.6 rebounds over the two seasons, while shooting 47% from the field, 37.5% from three, and 77.6% from the line. He will likely be able to help an NBA team right away.

Cons: Bridges could struggle creating his own shot at the next level. At 6-7, he may to be too small to play in the play consistently in the paint, something he likes to do. 

2. Michael Porter Jr. 

Michael Porter Jr.
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Pros: Other than his last name, Porter has many intriguing attributes. At 6-10, he has elite size for an NBA wing with the ability to score at all three levels. This is a composed, mature, and athletic individual with all the tools who is ready to work. 

Cons: So what's wrong? Well he only played three games during his freshman season at Missouri due to a back injury, the only reason he may slip to No. 10. He's also only 19 years old, so you wonder --- especially after what was essentially an off year --- how long it will take him to get comfortable playing in the NBA. 

1. Mikal Bridges

Mikal Bridges
Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Pro: This Bridges seems like the highest floor, safest bet for the Sixers -- something they can certainly use. Bridges, who turns 22 in August, will be able to contribute from day one as a pro. The 6-7 projected NBA three-and-D would ideally be an upgrade for Robert Covington. Bridges played three years at Villanova under Jay Wright and has become an incredibly high IQ player, something Covington is not. Bridges is the perfect Brett Brown player: long, athletic, able to knock down shots, a willing passer, and a superb defender. 

Bridges averaged 17.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.1 blocks as a junior this season at Nova. He shot 51.4% from the field, a ridiculous 43.5% from three on 6.0 attempts per game, and a strong 85.1% from the line. 

Cons: Bridges is only 210 pounds and the knock against him is, most commonly, his size and physical strength, something he can certainly improve. He's also not a great ball handler, someone who isn't going to break a defender down off the dribble, a skill the Sixers desperately need. He's definitely more comfortable as a catch and shoot player vs. off the dribble, which compliments Ben Simmons, but is redundant with guys like Covington and Dario Saric. 

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