Tim Legler 'wouldn’t hesitate' to draft Josh Jackson with Sixers' pick

Tim Legler 'wouldn’t hesitate' to draft Josh Jackson with Sixers' pick

If Tim Legler was running the Sixers, there is no question who the club would choose with the third-overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft. In fact, Legler would take Kansas guard Josh Jackson second if it had come to that.

“I draft Josh Jackson,” Legler told Rob Ellis and Harry Mayes for 97.5 The Fanatic on Wednesday. “I wouldn’t hesitate. I would draft Josh Jackson at two if I got two.”

The Sixers wound up with No. 3 in the draft lottery on Tuesday, so that shouldn’t be an issue. Yet Legler -- a former NBA player and ESPN analyst for nearly two decades -- believes missing out on the second pick and UCLA guard Lonzo Ball might’ve been the best thing.

That’s a strong statement, considering there isn’t even a consensus on Jackson at three. De’Aaron Fox or Malik Monk out of Kentucky are also getting quite a bit of love there, as is Duke’s Jayson Tatum.

There’s no question the Sixers have options with the pick. Legler insists Jackson is not only the best fit for the team in the immediate future but also, over time, will develop into the perfect complement to Sixers bigs Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

“There’s no question in my mind he’s going to he’s going to develop into a guy that can consistently make shots, even at the NBA three-point line. Maybe not right away, but down the road, he will do that because he’s that hard of a worker.

“I don’t think there’s anybody that wants it more in this draft to be great than Josh Jackson, and he’s a game-changing player defensively. From day one, you’re better if he’s on the floor, because he’s that competitive defensively.”

Legler compares Jackson’s skill set to that of San Antonio Spurs All-Star Kawhi Leonard. While Leonard didn’t necessarily have a great shot coming out of San Diego State, either -- currently the knock on Jackson – he became a high-percentage mid- and long-range shooter over time.

Jackson not only has the desire to improve and a decent mechanical foundation to work with, but he’s also actually a superior prospect than Leonard was in several other areas.

“He just has that street-fight mentality that the Sixers really need, could use, and he can make shots playing off of Embiid and Simmons, and he’s going to get better as a shooter over the next couple years,” Legler said. “He’s the guy, to me, that is the closest thing that I’ve seen to a Kawhi Leonard-type of player coming into the league because of his two-mentality about the game. He’s not Kawhi offensively now, but if you look at Kawhi offensively his rookie year, you’re going to see a lot of similarities this year, because he’s a phenomenal ball handler and he’s a great passer.

“I’m telling you, Josh Jackson handles the ball and passes the ball right now at a higher level than Kawhi Leonard did coming into the league. There’s no question about it.”

There’s going to be a great deal of debate between now and the draft on June 22, but Jackson should certainly be in the mix. A tireless worker who can already handle the rock, play at both ends and possesses a high basketball IQ is exactly what the Sixers need on the wing right now.

That’s probably not going to convince many people the Sixers are better off picking three than two, but they could do a lot worse than landing the next Kawhi Leonard.

The Game of Zones-Joel Embiid mashup you didn't know you needed

The Game of Zones-Joel Embiid mashup you didn't know you needed

There are times in all of our Internet lives when we come across a piece of content that we don't quite understand, that we didn't really know we needed, yet fills our black Philadelphia sports fan hearts with joy anyway.

Today is one of those days.

And that piece of content is this Game of Zones x Embiid mashup.

If you're unfamiliar, this is the latest in Bleacher Report's fun take on a Game of Thrones / NBA mashup.

There's the mountain of a man that is Joel Embiid laid up with a presumably bum knee. There's the Temple of Shirley potion to give him life. There's the maester Sam Hinkie shouting off his analytics spells. There's Hinkie talking about growing the seeds and reaping the harvest. There's a terrifying looking Dario. There is a raising of the cat. 

Perhaps the best part is Jahlil Okafor attempting to hold the door.

What does it all mean? I don't know. But I trust it.

Jim Harbaugh takes blame for Jim Schwartz handshake feud

Jim Harbaugh takes blame for Jim Schwartz handshake feud

With one season in Philadelphia under Jim Schwartz’s belt, Eagles fans are well aware of the intensity the defensive coordinator brings to the sidelines. But before joining Doug Pederson's staff, Schwartz attracted plenty of attention during a five-year stint as head coach of the Detroit Lions from 2009-2013. A highlight of his tenure in the Motor City developed a new wrinkle this week.

Maybe the most memorable moment during his time in Detroit was the unnecessarily ugly midfield feud in 2011’s Week 6 with then-49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. Schwartz marched to midfield for the postgame handshake after his Lions took their first loss of the season. Harbaugh, a usually-excited guy with cause for a little extra enthusiasm after a fourth straight win, came in too strong for Schwartz’s liking. Schwartz chased down Harbaugh as he ran for the tunnel and the two exchanged some choice words. Coaches and players flocked to the tussle. What started as standard postgame procedure became the national talking-point nobody needed for the ensuing week.

The six-year-old incident returned to the conversation this week with Harbaugh, now the head coach at the University of Michigan, admitting on Barstool Sports’ Pardon My Take podcast (and as transcribed by ESPN) that he was to blame for things getting out of hand. 

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake," Harbaugh said on the podcast. "We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. ... There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as a loser. You just, 'Nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong."

On top of discussing his gifting Pope Francis a pair of Jordan sneakers and his theory that bringing a glove to catch a foul ball is acceptable for fans, Harbaugh went on to explain the last time he got in a real fight, as opposed to the silly scrum that went down at Ford Field that fateful day. He was 39, at the end of his days as a player, and got into it with two men at a restaurant.

"I did not win," he said. "I cannot say I won. I didn't get crushed, either. I got some blows in."

Harbaugh has a reputation for his passion, and the handshake debacle with Schwartz was no exception. It’s just that his passion often translates to doing things in a non-traditional way. He’s the khakis guy, always sporting his trademark dad-pants on the sidelines — he even tucked an Allen Iverson jersey into them once. He’ll do anything to get a leg up in recruiting, for example, sleeping over at a recruit's house for some “Netflix and Chill.”

Schwartz, similarly, is frequently fired up, and that aggression bleeds into his defensive scheme. 

Harbaugh is in the college game now, so the development in this nearly forgotten exchange isn’t life-changing. But if he ever returns to the pros, it’s good to know a postgame handshake with Schwartz wouldn't revive any bad blood.