Sixers successful in second round

Posted: June 27, 2014

IN THE second round the 76ers did grab some players who probably will be on the floor for them this season.

With the 32nd pick they selected Clemson small forward K.J. McDaniels. Though he averaged 17.1 points a game, McDaniels is viewed as a possible shut-down defender in the NBA. He led the ACC in blocked shots, though he stands just 6-6. His size, length and athleticism could allow him to cover players from point guards to power forwards.

At pick No. 39 they grabbed Syracuse small forward Jerami Grant, another defensive specialist who has a nose for the ball, but is a project more than anything. The 6-8, 214-pounder does possess nearly a 7-3 wingspan and is very good at snatching rebounds, averaging 6.8 a game for the Orange this past season. He also went for 12.1 points and shot close to 50 percent from the floor.

Diminutive guard Russ Smith (6-foot, 160 pounds) out of Louisville was taken at No. 47, but traded to New Orleans for point guard Pierre Jackson, who played in the NBA Development League last season. The Sixers finished out the night by getting 6-6 point guard Vasilije Micic, who played in the Adriatic League last season, at pick 52, and they took Serbian Namanja Dangubic, a 6-8 shooting guard, with their final pick at 54.

More Embiid

In Joel Embiid, the 76ers drafted a player now known for his fractured foot, an injury that will take at least 4 to 6 months to heal, perhaps costing him a full season of play. But there was another injury before that. Embiid missed the final six games at Kansas due to a stress fracture in his back. His college coach, Bill Self, said that shouldn't be a concern for Sixers fans.

"He hurt his back at the end of the season but that's been totally healed," Self said. "There's a natural healing process that takes place with his foot and he won't be ready when the start of the season begins."

As far as how his former big man will be able to play alongside Nerlens Noel, who sat out last season after ACL surgery, Self said: "I don't know Nerlens' game well enough, but I know [Embiid] can step away from the basket. You can have two rim protectors that can switch ball screens lat in the clock and do neat things like that. Offensively, Joel can play away from the basket that can allow guys to operate inside. I'm sure they'll play together a lot, but one will be the anchor while one is resting. What a great start to a rebuilding phase."

Trades

The Sixers and Magic weren't the only ones trading first-round picks, with the Sixers giving up Elfrid Payton for Dario Saric and two draft picks. After taking Doug McDermott at No. 11, the Denver Nuggets dealt him to the Chicago Bulls for the 16th and 19th picks. At the end of the night, the Sixers traded Dangubic to the Spurs for Jordan McRae and Cory Jefferson, who were selected at 58 and 60, respectively.

Sixers front

It hadn't been announced as of this printing, but the Sixers were expected to make general manager Sam Hinkie and their draft picks available to speak at some point today. It is doubtful Embiid will make the trip, but Saric was in New York last night and may be here.

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