Many didn't expect the Sixers to make too many selections in the weeks leading up to Thursday night's draft. In fact, Sixers President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey has built up a reputation of selling picks in the past, which led everybody to believe he might sell picks in packages for veteran players.
But Morey and the Sixers went a different direction. On Thursday morning, the Sixers possessed two draft picks at 28 and 50th overall. By sending cash considerations to the New Orleans Pelicans, Morey and the Sixers acquired the 53rd pick in the draft.
A source familiar with the trade mentioned that the additional second-round pick offered the Sixers flexibility in Thursday's draft. With the extra selection, the Sixers hoped to either trade up or perhaps move the pick for a veteran. Or, they could surprisingly add another young prospect.
Neither of the first two picks would get moved. Instead, the Sixers waited patiently to get on the clock at 28 and eventually selected Jaden Springer of Tennessee University. Then, when they got on the clock at pick 50, Philly brought in the Serbian big man, Filip Petrusev.
Petrusev, a six-foot-eleven-inch power forward/center, moved to the United States in 2016 to play high school ball in Connecticut. A year later, he transferred to the highly popular Montverde Academy in Florida as he was highly sought out for hoops.
Gaining popularity as a four-star recruit, Petrusev earned himself interest from Gonzaga, where he eventually attended for two seasons beginning in 2018. With the Bulldogs, Petrusev averaged 12 points per game and 7.9 rebounds per game in 65 matchups. He was named Second-team All-American in his second season.
Following a two-year stint at Gonzaga, Petrusev went and signed his first professional contract with Mega Soccerbet of the Basketball League of Serbia as the 2020-2021 NCAA season had uncertainty behind it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following his lone season playing professional hoops in Serbia, Petrusiv declared for the NBA Draft. Now, he's a member of the Sixers.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.