NBA Draft

Philadelphia 76ers Select Elfrid Payton at No. 10

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With the 10th overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers selected Elfrid Payton out of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Two picks in the top ten in what many peg as one of the more loaded drafts in recent memory? Here is where the Jrue Holiday trade begins to looks somewhat good for the Philadelphia 76ers. Now, though, they must hope that it all comes together on the court.

In the final weeks leading up to the draft, Payton’s stock skyrocketed. Still, it is not very often that a general manager opts to select a rookie that players the same position as his star sophomore who just so happened to win his Rookie of the Year Award. The Sixers could opt to move Michael Carter-Williams to shooting guard or opt to move him to another team, all together.

Still, as a prospect, Payton turned in impressive workouts and showed off his ability to impact the game in many different ways. If Payton does end up becoming teammates with Carter-Williams, a two point guard lineup featuring the young studs could be prolific. Both possess an ability to handle the ball and create opportunities off the dribble, and either is capable of pushing the ball in transition. Last season, the Phoenix Suns found success by playing Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic together, so it is possible that this could work. Especially since Carter-Williams has the height to play the shooting guard position in the NBA.

With Payton, Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, the Sixers have a foursome that is flanked by some huge question marks. Odds are, something will happen here with the Sixers. Still, if not, there is at least a precedent for a dual point guard lineup having success.

In attempting to recover from a 19-win season, the Sixers got a much needed shot in the arm in the 2014 NBA Draft. Time to see if it was actually the cure.

UPDATE: Basketball Insiders’ Alex Kennedy is reporting that Elfrid Payton will be traded to the Orlando Magic for Dario Saric, whom the Magic selected with the No. 12 pick in the draft. For the Sixers, it means that they selected two players in the lottery who will not be available for the team once training camp opens a little more than three months from now. Saric recently signed a three-year deal with a player option for the third year to play for Anadolu Efes S.K. of the Turkish Basketball League. Saric will spend the next two years playing out of Istanbul, so for the Sixers, this is the epitome of a “Euro-stash.”

Coming off of a 19-win season, the Sixers hoped for some immediate help. It does not look like they are getting that with Saric, who recently signed a three-year contract in Turkey and will not be coming to the NBA for at least two years. If Embiid isn’t a major contributor this season, the Sixers may have minimized their returned value on two lottery picks.