I'm hearing that KT Harrell will play summer league with the Philadelphia Sixers.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 26, 2015
While I haven't seen anything official on it, the amount of retweets about it by KT himself on Twitter is a strong indication that it's true.
EDIT: As I was doing the final edits on this post, Brandon Marcello of AL.com confirms the news with KT. This is why you should always check Twitter one more time before hitting publish. So, there you go.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Just chatted with <a href="https://twitter.com/KT_Harrell1">@KT_Harrell1</a>. He's headed to Vegas to play summer ball with the <a href="https://twitter.com/Sixers">@Sixers</a>.</p>— Brandon Marcello (@bmarcello) <a href="https://twitter.com/bmarcello/status/614465826842914816">June 26, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Although he led the SEC in scoring for the 2014-15 basketball season and the SEC accounted for 1/6th of players drafted last night, Auburn's KT Harrell was not among those whose name was called during the 2015 NBA Draft.
In a way, this wasn't too surprising. If there's been a knock on KT that I've heard, it's been that he needs to work a little more on his defense. I don't know enough about basketball to offer a real opinion on that, though. I'll leave that to Tuco and others who've watched the sport much longer than me. In a league where the draft is only two rounds and sixty picks long, even the slightest doubts about someone who wasn't a widely hailed, nationally known player will lead to them likely going undrafted.
It doesn't help when 13 of the 60 picks are foreign players who may or may not ever play in the US in the first place, too.
Is He a Good Fit For the 76ers?
I'm not even going to pretend to know enough about the NBA to say what Philadelphia's needs are. Actually, I'm not even going to pretend to know anything about the NBA beyond what passes through my Twitter feed every day.
What I was able to glean from watching the feed during last night's draft is that the 76ers drafted a lot of big men. The NBA Draft Board shows they had five picks. Two of them were centers, two power forwards, one small forward.
I'll lean on Jerry Hinnen for this bit of wisdom regarding some of their past roster choices:
@JFergusonBR "Are you cheap? Can you shoot?" has seemed to be their defining roster criteria for 2's, it's true.
— Jerry Hinnen (@JerryHinnen) June 26, 2015
So, can he shoot? Yes, he can definitely shoot. He led the SEC in scoring, after all. I remember reading some criticism of that back when we were lamenting his being left off first team All-SEC by all outlets at the end of the season. There were plenty who were saying "well, he was one of the only real scoring threats on Auburn's team, so of course he was going to score that much."
By this logic, every team Auburn played should have just defended KT Harrell closer than all others (aside from Antoine Mason) and then Auburn really wouldn't be a big threat to score.
Here's the thing... that's often what I recall happening. Opposing teams would focus on shutting down KT Harrell to defeat Auburn. In spite of this, he led the SEC in scoring, anyway. By a full point per game over Bobby Portis of Arkansas, who was chosen by the Bulls with the 22nd pick. Can he shoot? Absolutely. Put him around a cast of other high-caliber players and I think he'll excel.
Due to the nature of going undrafted, KT is going to have a tough path to make it into the league. The odds are against him. However, I think he can do it. He's highly motivated and he's a very talented shooter. As Tuco put it to me, "KT has the size, frame, ball handling, shot making, and basketball IQ to be a contributor on an NBA team."
Good luck to KT in his professional career! Here's to hoping he makes it on the full roster before the 2015-16 season.