Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Round 1, No. 3: Joel Embiid, Kansas
Round 1, No. 12: Dario Saric, Croatia
Round 2, No. 32: K.J. McDaniels, Clemson
Round 2, No. 39: Jerami Grant, Syracuse
Round 2, No. 52: Vasilije Micic, Serbia
Round 2, No. 58: Jordan McRae, Tennessee
I hope you held your breath before reading that list out loud. And keep in mind the Philadelphia 76ers could've had even more second-round picks if they hadn't traded some away.
As Grantland's Zach Lowe wrote after the draft, the 76ers couldn't care less about losing in the present. All they want to do is find a star, and in drafting Embiid third overall, they may have taken the guy with the highest "superstar potential" of anyone in the draft (health pending, of course).
Embiid and Saric, the latter of whom likely won't come over to the NBA for at least two years after signing with a team in Turkey before the draft, may not even see the court for Philly this season, but again, that's not a concern for 76ers management or coaching. This strategy goes far beyond immediate help. It's purely about the future.
The real reasons that the 76ers find themselves first on this list are their second-round picks.
McDaniels averaged 3.3 blocks per 40 minutes at Clemson, has a 6'11" wingspan, moves his feet quickly and has the potential to become a defensive stopper on the wings. Offensive players who isolated against him this past season shot just 20.0 percent from the field, per Synergy.
Grant is another guy with high defensive potential. A 7'3" wingspan and superior athleticism give him that sort of ceiling, but coming out of the Syracuse 2-3 zone, the question will always be whether he has the awareness to learn how to play in an NBA-style defense (and rightfully so).
Micic, meanwhile, is actually one of the best pick-and-roll point guards in this year's draft. At 6'6", he and the similarly sized Michael Carter-Williams can team up to become one of the biggest point-guard duos in the league. Learning how to run the pick-and-roll is one of the most essential traits an NBA floor general can possess as he enters the pros. Micic already knows how to do that comfortably.
The 76ers are going to be dreadful this season. They probably won't be any better than their 19 wins from last year. Actually, they could be worse, but if we're talking about building for the future, and if we're speaking in definitive absolutes—because,you know, everyone knows exactly how every draft is going to work out—no one won on draft night more than Philly.
Fred Katz averaged almost one point per game in fifth grade, but he maintains that his per-36-minute numbers were astonishing. Find more of his work at RotoWire.com, WashingtonPost.com or on ESPN's TrueHoop Network at ClipperBlog.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredKatz.
*Unless otherwise noted, all statistics are current as of June 30 and courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com, Sports-Reference.com, DraftExpress.com and NBA.com.