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Sixers go with Duke’s Jared McCain with 16th overall pick

CAMDEN, N.J. — The Sixers left their options open, but played it straight and let the NBA Draft fall to them Wednesday. With the 16th overall pick and their choice of point guards with upside, the Sixers grabbed Duke one-and-done guard Jared McCain.

McCain (6-2) is a gifted shooter with 3-point range and a lot of smarts. He drills 3-pointers at a 41.4 percent clip and has shoots 88.5 percent at the foul line. He averaged 14.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.9 assists for the Blue Demons. And in a show of emotion, his brother Jayce at his side, Jayden broke down during an interview on ESPN  because his sibling is his reason to play. Jayce McCain was a graduate assistant at Duke this past season.

“He’s the reason why I play,” Jayden McCain said later on a Zoom call. “He got blood clots in high school, so he had to stop playing. To have him around means everything to me. It was our dream to get drafted.”

The Sixers rolled with McCain over point guard Isaiah Collier of USC, who has Jrue Holiday-type skills, and rangy 6-8 forward Tristan Da Silva of Colorado. Also on the board was Dalton Knecht, a 6-5 scorer out of Tennessee who some felt would land in the top 10. The Lakers took Knecht off the board the pick after McCain.

With more than a million followers on TicToc and the guts to paint his fingernails for show, Jared McCain brings the same energy and drive to have fun on the court to his personal life. Interestingly he knows very little about Philadelphia other than the cheesesteaks are great, having spent just two hours in the city for what he called a photo shoot.

McCain knows all about Sixers guard Tyrese Maxey, and looks forward to connecting with him.

“I’m just excited to get there and get to know him,” McCain said.

Sixers basketball operations chief Daryl Morey entertained trades for the pick and was sweating out the picks before No. 16. When the Dukie was there,

“We had McCain as a top 10 player in this draft,” Morey said. “Someone who will get a lot of roster opportunity. If you can get a player who is hopefully rotational ready at a very young age … He’s pretty special for a guy to go in the middle of the first round.”

After the Miami Heat selected Kel’el Ware, a 6-11 center out of Indiana with the 15th pick, the Sixers dug in.

There were a couple of surprises in the top 10 as the Detroit Pistons reached for guard Donovan Holland II, a G Leaguer coming off a torn tendon in his right thumb. UConn’s Donovan Clingan, the 7-2 center with a 7-6 wingspan and immense upside, slid to No. 7, where he was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers.

But the rest of the top 10 picks were fairly unsurprising. The Atlanta Hawks wasted little time taking Zaccharie Risacher off the board with the first overall pick. The 6-8 1/2 wing forward out of France has more upside as a shooter than the second pick. That was Alex Sarr, also by way of France, selected by the Washington Wizards. Sarr is stronger than Risacher but like his fellow Frenchman, just 19 years old.

Guard Reed Shepherd of Kentucky was third, widely considered the best pure shooter in the draft.

The San Antonio Spurs, choosing fourth, grabbed UConn guard Stephon Castle to augment last year’s No. 1 pick and Rookie of the Year Victor Wembanyama. Castle and Clingan helped UConn become a two-time NCAA champion.

Forward Tidjane Salaun came off the board sixth, the third Frenchman to get a call. The 6-9 forward has a three-point shot, a 7-foot-2 wingspan and a frame with room to fill out that appealed to the Charlotte Hornets.

The Minnesota Timberwolves traded up to the eighth spot to select Kentucky point guard Rob Dillingham, who averaged 15.2 points in 23.3 minutes. Memphis made the ninth pick the landing spot of Zach Edey, the 7-4, two-time AP player of the year who led Purdue to the NCAA title game where he dropped 37 points on Clingan and UConn.

Freshman Cody Williams (6-6) of Colorado came off the board with the 10th pick, the Utah Jazz desperate for help. The Bulls used the 11th pick on Matas Buzelis, who grew up in suburban Chicago. Oklahoma City drafted Nikola Topic of Serbia with the 12th pick, and there is speculation it may take awhile before he suits up for the Thunder as he recovers from an injury.

Source: Berkshire mont

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