While attempting to find the next home for former Auburn basketball star Sharife Cooper, the SacBee sent him to a place that may know how to use his specific skills.
Cooper is a wizard with the basketball in his hands and can run the quick break with the best of them. He and Devan Cambridge, JT Thor and Jaylin Williams have formed a sort of “Lob City South” thanks to his ability to produce transition points… in style.
That said, his shooting is a bit of a handicap and his size makes him a tough matchup for many of the NBA’s biggest guards.
SacBee’s Jason Anderson got around that in his final 2021 NBA Draft, which sends Cooper to the Philadelphia 76ers:
28. Philadelphia 76ers
Sharife Cooper, PG, 6-0, 165, Auburn
Cooper lacks size and perimeter shot, but he’s an intriguing option after averaging 20.2 points, 8.1 assists and 4.3 rebounds in the freshman.
This isn’t the first time that City of Brotherly Love and Cooper have been linked. It has already been sent to Philly in other simulation projects.
The 76ers know a thing or two about having a point guard missing from a long range shot. Ben Simmons, the ground team’s de facto general, is more a point ahead in playstyle, but like Cooper, is devastating in open ground. While Simmons is much less of a defensive handicap than the six-foot-one-inch Cooper – who is less than seven feet – whoever trains Auburn’s former basketball star has to plan for the PG’s inability to stop them. opposing defenders in the half court.
As it turns out, Philadelphia has one of the big league bullies, Joel Embiid, doing the painting. Simmons himself could take on the opposing best ball player in a few staggered minutes with Cooper. Even the second unit, where Cooper will likely play first year, has Dwight Howard protecting the rim and making drivers think twice before getting into the paint.
Philadelphia would be a great landing point for Cooper if Anderson’s prediction holds true.