Say the Sixers had taken Aaron Gordon, who had a lower ceiling than Joel Embiid (right above with Nerlens Noel) but very much has looked like an impact NBA player during his rookie season (despite an injury issue that caused him to miss some of the season and the need for a reworked jumper he’s displayed already in Summer League this month.) Or say they had taken Julius Randle, who may not have suffered the freakish leg fracture he suffered last fall with the Lakers. Or Dante Exum, on down the line.
Would any of those players really make a significant difference in the Sixers’ win total, jeopardizing their No. 3 selection? It’s unlikely, when you look at how their teams performed. They wouldn’t have had the star, but they would’ve had real NBA talent to help put around Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel. Okafor prevented them from losing ground, but Embiid prevented them from having building blocks.
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