By Mike Bennett

The last time the Sixers had a first-round pick, Daryl Morey’s front office flipped it for a veteran role player in De’Anthony Melton.

That was two years ago, but last night, with the 16th pick, the Sixers selected Duke’s Jared McCain.

“We liked some of the concepts where we’d move back a little bit and pick up a guy who might be a little closer to ready to play. But really, the value on McCain was just too high for us, so we stuck,” Sixers boss Daryl Morey said following the draft.

“It’s a player we might be able to acquire later, potentially. Again, all options were on the table. There were some advantages to us.”

According to Morey, the plan was simple; take the best player available.

McCain just happened to be a top-ten player on the 76ers’ draft board, who slipped outside of that range, offering Philadelphia a chance to make a great value pick.

The 20-year-old guard, after committing to Duke as a five-star recruit spent just one season in the NCAA. Despite his limited action, McCain was an immediate starter, averaging 32 minutes on the floor with 36 starts.

During that time, McCain averaged 14 points, five rebounds, and two assists per game.

“Very excited to welcome Jared McCain to the team,” Morey said. “Thrilled that we were able to have a pick to get a player of this quality.”

McCain joins the Sixers as Morey’s third first-round selection since joining the front office in 2020. When the Sixers opted not to trade their late first-rounder in 2020, they ended up with a future All-Star in Tyrese Maxey. While the 76ers don’t want to put pressure on McCain this early, they are confident they might’ve hit on another player this summer.

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