Entering the draft the Philadelphia 76ers had five picks. The first pick, of course, became Washington guard Markelle Fultz. That was a given.
The rest of the draft was a mystery as the 76ers had four second-rounders. The Sixers then acquired an additional first-round pick from the Orlando Magic, trading a 2020 protected first-rounder and a 2020 second-rounder for Anzejs Pasecniks from Latvia.
At 7-2, Pasecniks has flashed the ability to shoot the ball from three. He played with Kristaps Porzingis on some teams a few years ago. He currently plays for Gran Canaria in Spain. He’s not much of a rebounder, but his lighter frame helps him run the floor well.
With the first second-round pick, the 36th overall selection, the 76ers took Jonah Bolden from Australia. Bolden played some high school ball in America, and even spent a year at UCLA before heading to Serbia to play for the Radnicki Basket.
He’s a 6-10, 227 pounds 21 years old. Bolden averaged 12.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, one steal and one block, while shooting 41.9 percent from three in 25 games this season. He recently signed a two-year deal with his club. The 76ers ended up trading their next two second-round picks, the 39th and 46th, to the Clippers and Bucks, respectively, for cash.
With the final pick the Sixers selected a third international player. Mathias Lessort, from Martinique, is a 6-10, 250 pound big man who is 22 years old. Lessort plays in the French league for Nanterre.
His per-40 minute numbers, according to Draft Express, were 18.5 points, 13.2 rebounds, 2.2 blocks and 1.4 steals. He’s considered a high motor, energy player.
Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo said after the draft it was unlikely any of three would come over this year. The 76ers plan on signing free agents this summer, so it wasn’t a surprise that Colangelo opted to draft international players who may or may not come to the United States this season.
It’s interesting that outside of Fultz, Philadelphia drafted big men — but each big man has different skill sets. The 76ers didn’t address a knockdown shooting guard to play alongside Fultz and Ben Simmons in different lineups.
It’s anticipated Jerryd Bayless makes a difference this year, but it’s worth asking whether Colangelo has plans to sign a guard like JJ Redick or Patty Mills come July since that issue wasn’t addressed Thursday night (except of drafting Fultz).