HERE’S WHY SIXERS TOOK JARED MCCAIN, NOT DALTON KNECHT!

By Tommy Matthews

Our last mock draft projected the Sixers taking Duke’s Jared McCain, and we were right!

Here’s what The Athletic thinks:

16. Sixers

Jared McCain | 6-2 guard | 19 years old | Duke

Vecenie’s ranking: 14

The guys who have tended to exceed their draft position offensively in recent years have tended to either be elite in terms of creativity or be great shooters who can play through contact.

Jared McCain is absolutely the latter, and his production at his age is not something to be ignored. He has a strong 200-pound frame, and the intel on McCain isn’t just good; it’s elite.

He ticks every single box from a character perspective and is known to be excellent in terms of work ethic — both in the gym and in the weight room. There’s every reason to buy into him continuing to grow from this already strong starting point.

At the very least, you’re getting a great shooter whom you know will come in and make 3s. He also has more scoring ability beyond that, too. He’s a sneaky bet to average 20 points per game in the NBA at some point. He has more juice than someone like Seth Curry, to whom he is often compared. I also like his defensive tape more than many of the smaller guards in this class. I have McCain as a lottery pick, and I’d imagine that I’ll be higher on him than most in this class.

Hollinger’s analysis: McCain doesn’t scream upside but definitely fills a role in Philadelphia with his perimeter shooting; the hope is that he can develop enough playmaking that he can be a full-time point guard and not an undersized 2.

The more interesting part of this pick, obviously, is who Philadelphia didn’t take – the win-now Sixers valued McCain higher than Tennessee sharpshooter Dalton Knecht, who slipped further than many expected.

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