Washington basketball: Thybulle goes 20th overall

LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 29: Matisse Thybulle
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 29: Matisse Thybulle /

Washington basketball gets their first player picked in the NBA Draft at 20th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers (via the Boston Celtics)

Washington basketball’s superstar, and the National Defensive Player of the Year, Matisse Thybulle has been picked 20th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, who acquired the pick from the Boston Celtics. The Sixers traded the 24th and 33rd overall picks to move up and take Thybulle, who is expected to replace Jimmy Butler, who is likely leaving in free agency.

The 76ers can utilize Thybulle at shooting guard as a starter or a role player, and while he needs to develop on the offensive end, he’ll be an impact player on defense right away. They also have enough offensive pieces around Thybulle as to where he won’t need to be an offensive threat right away, but he has the potential to turn into one of the best 3-and-D players in the NBA. It’s also not a stretch to say that if the Sixers need a key stop down the stretch, Thybulle will be the guy stepping up to clamp down.

This is great value for the 76ers, who are getting the best all-around defender in the draft. Thybulle could very easily have been a top 10 pick if the NBA didn’t value youth as much as they do. He adds a lot of length to the 76ers, who already have a ton between Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Joel Embiid. They also can provide some offense at the shooting guard position with J.J. Reddick, who can either start or play some key minutes on the bench.

At his floor, Thybulle can be a taller, longer, Avery Bradley with the defense he brings to the table and occasional touch from deep. If he can learn how to use his athleticism to get to the basket at the NBA level, and develop a better three-point shot, he can turn into a discount Paul George.

Congratulations to Matisse, who has one of the best stories in the draft, and should be a successful player in the NBA for years to come!