Philadelphia 76ers Should Have Drafted Doug McDermott

By Dwayne C. Nelson
Chicago Bulls
Getty Images

And with the 10th pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select… long pause… Elfrid Payton of Louisiana Lafayette.

Wait. Who? From where? For what? Why?

It’s been a month since the NBA draft, but a burning question in Philadelphia still remains: Why did the 76ers, one of the worst shooting teams (.435) in the league in 2013-14, pass on selecting Creighton‘s Doug McDermott, who, if not the best, was one of the best pure shooters in college basketball.

Instead of picking McDermott, the Sixers selected Payton, a point guard, and then minutes later traded him to the Orlando Magic for the rights to forward Dario Saric of Croatia, who just days prior signed a three-year deal with a Turkish team.

Message to the Sixers organization and, in particular, its general manager Sam Hinkie: Saric could very well be a good NBA player in four years, but McDermott could very well be a good NBA player right now.

Last season, McDermott lit up the stat sheet for the Bluejays, averaging  26.7 points and seven rebounds a game as a senior. The 2014 Naismith College Player of the Year led Creighton to a 27-8 record and to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

Last week, McDermott lit up the stat sheet in the NBA Las Vegas Summer League for the Chicago Bulls (although he might be on the move to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a package deal for Kevin Love).

Averaging 18 points a game while shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc, McDermott led the Bulls to a 4-1 record in Vegas. He poured in 31 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including five three-pointers in his second Summer League game.

Take a look at the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs. A team can never have enough sharpshooters on its roster.

The Sixers, for some reason, let an apparently good one slip right through their hands.

(What do you think about the Sixers’ 10th pick? Should they have chosen Saric? McDermott? Or somebody else? Drop in a comment below.)

Dwayne C. Nelson is a Philadelphia 76ers writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @dcntweets and like him on Facebook.

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