3 Best Philadelphia 76ers Draft Picks

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Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers flexes against the Washington Wizards during their game in February 2018.
(Wikimedia Commons/Keith Allison)
Anatoly Pimentel @AnatolyPimentel Sep 13, 2023, 5:26 PM
  • Here’s a list of the best Philadelphia 76ers draft picks in franchise history.
  • Charles Barkley leads the list of players Philadelphia selected through the draft.
  • Other notable players include Allen Iverson and Joel Embiid.

The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the most storied and established NBA teams, as they were able to win three championships and have only missed 21 playoff appearances since joining the league in 1949. A key ingredient to this sustained success by the Eastern Conference powerhouse is by selecting great talents in the draft.

Some of the notable players that Philadelphia was able to pick, who enhanced their NBA championship odds, were Maurice Cheeks, Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Ben Simmons, Andre Iguodala, and Michael Carter-Williams. However, they weren’t able to make the cut in the list of the three best Philadelphia 76ers draft picks. See the three players below.

Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley was part of the 1984 draft, which is one of the top five NBA draft classes of all time. He was selected as the fifth-overall pick by Philadelphia and became the team’s franchise player. The 6-foot-6 power forward may be undersized in his position, but his back-to-the-basket style was so lethal that he even changed one of the NBA’s rules, where a player is not allowed to have his back to the basket and dribble for more than five seconds.

Barkley played eight seasons for the Sixers and helped them reach the postseason six times, with the 1985 playoffs as their best finish when they reached the Eastern Conference Finals. “Sir Charles” was named to six NBA All-Star Games as a Sixer and four times to the All-NBA 1st team. He racked up an average of 23.3 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 610 games for Philadelphia before being traded to Phoenix in 1992.

Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson is another Philadelphia 76ers draft pick who significantly impacted the franchise and has a lasting legacy. The team drafted him as the first-overall pick in 1996 and instantly made his presence felt by bringing instant offense through his high-level scoring skills and ability. “The Answer” bagged the Rookie of the Year award with averages of 23.5 points, 7.5 assists, and 4.1 rebounds.

The 6-foot point guard out of Georgetown also won the MVP award in 2001 and represented the Sixers to seven successive NBA All-Star Games from 2000 to 2006. Iverson also helped the team reach the NBA Finals in 2001 but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. Before officially ending his NBA career in 2010, Iverson secured an average of 27.6 points, 6.1 assists, and 3.9 rebounds for 722 Sixers games.

Joel Embiid

After the Iverson era, Philadelphia was in dire need of another superstar who could lead them back to playoff contention, and in 2014, they found that hope by drafting center Joel Embiid. The 7-foot big man out of Kansas was sidelined for the first two years because of an injury and hasn’t played an NBA game until the 2016-17 season. But when Embiid hit the court, he lived up to the high expectations of the franchise and fans.

“The Process” spearheaded another era of prosperity for the Sixers and became the franchise’s cornerstone by averaging over 20 points per game in all seven seasons. He went to six NBA All-Star Games and was selected once to the All-NBA 1st Team. Embiid’s biggest individual accolade by far is winning the league MVP in 2023. In 394 games for Philadelphia, Embiid has averaged 27.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 3.4 assists.

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About the Author

Anatoly Pimentel

Read More @AnatolyPimentel

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.

Anatoly Pimentel is an NBA and MMA writer previously featured in ASEAN Sports, Asian Persuasion MMA, and Overtime Heroics MMA. He graduated from Adamson University with a B.A in Communication and is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM.