Come draft night, all teams have their focus on many young stars. These picks are so controversial, they can decide the future of any franchise. During their rebuilding stage, the 76ers have had lottery picks for the past six years. However, their picks have been more than rough. The past 5 of 6 picks have all had severe injuries, making them watch on the sidelines in the rookie season.
2013 – Nerlens Noel
The first pick of their rebuild seasons was Nerlens Noel. He was drafted with their 6th pick and was looking to be a defensive monster. However, playing for the Kentucky Wildcats had himself injured in February 2013 with a torn ACL. He would then go on to miss the entire 2013-14 season.
2014 – Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid was the 3rd pick in the NBA draft. Getting comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon, people were expecting the next franchise center for The 76ers. Unfortunately, another injury occurred for Philadelphia, making Embiid sit out for the entire 2014-15 season with a foot injury. Embiid is 7’1 and with a lot of weight adding on his feet, caused him to fracture his foot.
2015 – Jahlil Okafor
Jahlil Okafor was drafted with the 3rd overall pick in the 2015 draft. Although he didn’t get injured, he caused a lot of problems for The 76ers. After leading The 76ers to a 0-16 start to the season, he was involved in a street fight with taunting individuals on November 2015 in Boston. 76ers made it clear that Embiid and Simmons were their main focus, so Okafor had no business in Philadelphia.
2016 – Ben Simmons
Ben Simmons was the 1st overall pick in the 2016 draft, coming all the way from Australia. He suffered a fracture in his right foot, making him undergo surgery. This injury kept him out of the whole 2016-17 season, making it the 4th severe injury for The 76ers.
2017 – Markelle Fultz
Markelle Fultz was the number 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft. This was The 76ers second 1st round pick in a row, securing a future superstar.
However, Fultz’ start to the season was a mystery. He was shut down because of a shoulder injury and a problem with his jump shot. There was no official reason for his absence, leaving everyone confused as to what was happening. He finished the season playing 14 games and recorded a triple-double in one of them.
2018 – Zhaire Smith
Zhaire Smith was drafted 16th in the 2018 NBA draft and suffered a severe foot injury on Tuesday, per Yahoo. It was reported he fractured his left foot, making this the third foot injury for The 76ers past draft picks. This you can call the 76ers curse. Smith will likely miss majority of the 2018-19 season, making him another rookie to sit on the sidelines for The 76ers.
The 76ers bad luck keeps coming as their recent pick suffered a foot injury. However, they made the playoffs for the first time in six years. The future’s looking bright for Philadelphia, with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and the other young core. With LeBron James going to the West next season, the conference finals are open and The 76ers have a great chance at facing the Golden State Warriors.