February 27, 2015

2009 Sixers Draft

2009 Sixers Draft

The draft is 3 days away, and all the workouts for the Sixers are likely done.  It’s time to take a hard look at the situation, the options and, ultimately, the pick.

What We Already Know

Before the season ended everyone knew the Sixers’ weaknesses and player needs.

Three point shooting needed to be addressed in the form of a proven distance shooter – at the very least.  Stefanski got that done before we all thought was possible by trading Reggie Evans for Jason Kapono.  We now have one of the best catch-and-shoot three-point shooters in NBA history.  That alone should get us out of the basement in terms of three-point shooting.  With that said, I am not delusional to think three-point shooting is now a strength.  Kapono alone can only take so many shots.  In order for that to happen 4 other players who are expected to play moderate-to-heavy minutes need to get better:

  1. Andre Iguodala
  2. Thaddeus Young
  3. Louis Williams
  4. Willie Green

Stefanski said some guys (I really don’t think Iguodala is part “some guys”) will again work with Mark Price this summer on their shooting.  That should provide a little improvement to start the season just like it did last year when we saw Thad flat out on fire.  But that hot shooting tapered off.  Why?  Because the shooting coach wasn’t there everyday to help maintain all the proper mechanics, continue to train the right muscle memory necessary to shoot the ball well consistently and provide corrective training when guys hit slumps.  That’s why it’s vitally important that Eddie Jordan bring a shooting coach on staff full-time.  He had one in Washington, and it’s even more important to have one here.  Furthermore it’s an investment in the development of a specific skill, not only necessary to win basketball games but to support the offensive system he will implement.

Point guard and shooting guard are player needs.  I think we all agreed we need a point guard as well as a true shooting guard with three-point range and consistency.  The priority again, I think we all agree, is point guard.  Our thoughts were confirmed in the off-season when Stefanski and crew said they will draft a guard, either a point guard or shooting guard whichever position had the more talented player available.  Their draft workouts also confirmed that idea as well.  To date the Sixers have personally worked out:

Point Guards

  • Ty Lawson
  • Eric Maynor
  • Darren Collison
  • Jeff Teague
  • Grevies Vasquez (pulled out of draft)
  • Word is they also attempted to see Brandon Jennings who has been sliding in mocks, but he refused

Shooting Guards

  • Marcus Thornton
  • Jodie Meeks
  • Terence Williams
  • Wayne Ellington
  • Dionte Christmas
  • Jermaine Tyler
  • Stefon Jackson

Combo Guards

  • Jack McClinton
  • Toney Douglas
  • Lester Hudson


  • B.J. Mullens – C
  • Ryan Ayers – SG/SF

And those aren’t the only players they saw.  They had a representative at the huge weekend workout in New Jersey.  So they got a look at some other guys like A.J. Price, Paul Harris, Chase Budinger, Nick Calathes, Patrick Beverly, Danny Green, Jeremy Pargo and Josh Shipp to name a few.

I found this interesting tidbit/unquoted rumor about the Sixers’ current stance on whether they are taking a shooting guard or point guard:

The Sixers canceled a workout with G/F Chase Budinger, indicating they’re no longer searching for shooters. – SportingNews.com

That may be the case, but it also could be a product of seeing Budinger at the New Jersey workout in which this was one evaluation of him:

“Chase Budinger was awful in my opinion. He just doesn’t play. All he wants to do is shoot jumpers. That’s not basketball. He didn’t want to be there. Didn’t want to compete. He couldn’t put it on the floor. You should have seen his face when he was switched onto Paul Harris. He definitely didn’t want anything to do with him. “

Furthermore Budinger is essentially a more athletic Kapono (same size, same game).

Sixers’ Big Board

If I was ranking players on the Sixers’ draft board either projected to be there at 17 or has an outside chance to fall to 17 here would be my list (I am not wasting my time with guys who absolutely won’t be there like Curry, Rubio, Holiday, Harden and Evans):

  1. Ty Lawson – My guy, period.  More below.
  2. Jonny Flynn – Tons of talent but not there yet in terms of polish.  With improvement on his jump shot, I think he could be a Jameer Nelson clone or similar to Tony Parker.  Combo scorer/creator at the point.  What I like most about him is his leadership, personality and competitiveness.  One thing that is an unknown is his defense.  Playing at Syracuse doesn’t prepare you all that well defensively for the NBA since they play zone 90% of the time or more.
  3. Eric Maynor – It’s important that small school players dominate to make up for the lack of competition concern, and Maynor did. He also has the feather in his cap of leading his small school team to a big win over a big dog in Duke on the big stage with big shots.  He is a leader, heady, crafty and a solid player with defensive potential and good size (once he puts some weight on and gets stronger).
  4. Jeff Teague – Another guy with tons of talent, one who I really liked early in the college basketball season.  His three-point % was great, and he is explosive going to the basket.  Two things worry me though:  One he isn’t a pure point guard and,two, his intangibles.  The combo guard issue and Lou Williams comparison are worth noting but not as much as the current knock on this guy.  Word is he is not at all vocal on the floor and not at all a leader.  Here was the observation from his workout in New Jersey: “Jeff Teague didn’t say a word the entire workout. He was happy to just stand around. He didn’t talk to his big men, instructing them, telling them where to go. He looked a bit disinterested. If that’s the leadership your point guard is showing, then I don’t know. On the other hand he’s obviously a phenomenal athlete. He blew by Vasquez at will. He didn’t shoot that well, though.” I don’t know if you can be a great point guard and not be a leader.  I heard rumblings like this while he was at Wake Forest as well.  He would disappear in games.  A lot of talent and potential but not sure his mentality will allow him to reach his ceiling.  I actually think he is better than Maynor, but I am not a believer in that you can change a guy’s personality.
  5. Brandon Jennings – Loads of talent but with high bust potential which is why he is lower on my board than the experts. He has all the physical ability you want, and word is he is by far the quickest player in the draft with the ball.  Especially in the half court in one-on-one situations.  No one has been able to keep him in front.  I’ve also read that he has shot the ball better than expected in workouts as well.  I’ve only seen him play once, and it wasn’t in a real game.  It was his high school McDonald’s All-American game, but I loved his mentality going into the game as a point guard.  He said wanted to set the game record for assist (13).  He didn’t but finished with with 12 points and 9 dimes.  He is a point guard regardless of what some have said about him being like an Allen Iverson scoring type.  He has very good vision, and when talent is around him, he thrives passing the ball.  But I fear his confidence could bubble over to cockiness (if it hasn’t already) before his game reaches a high enough level to support it (make it tolerable) enough.  I don’t want to deal with that.
  6. Wayne Ellington – Pure shooter.  If we had to draft a shooting guard, this is the guy.  Nice size at a legit 6-5 and is better than people think athletically which will help him defensively.  He can make catch-and-shoot threes in the NBA right away, but he also excels on the move coming off screens, and when he is forced off the line he is better right now than Kapono in that 1-2 dribble mid-range jumper situation.  I really just like his game and shooting skill.  He, without question, has a firm place in the NBA.
  7. Terence Williams – Lottery pick talent. Great size for a SG with very good play-making and ball-handling skills.  He is guy you could start at two that could be a great all-around defender with lock-down potential when using all his physical tools and defensive pedigree having played in Louisville.  What I was surprised to see was that he shot 38.5% from three which is a good sign he can improve more as a shooter.  I didn’t think he shot it nearly that well.  He is a triple-double type guy that can get you 15-10-10 with 2 steals a game.
  8. Darren Collison – I am not a big fan, but I believe he is solid and I really like his defensive intensity and ability to keep his man out of the paint.  I’ve seen him a few times on TV but had the opportunity to see him live going head-to-head with Eric Maynor in the first round of the NCAA tournament.  Maynor made a much bigger impression on me than did Collison and Jrue Holiday for that matter.  I don’t think Collison has much play-making ability at the point.  He will bring the ball up, initiate the offense and look for spot-up situations offensively.  He is an efficient scorer, a good three-point shooter (consistently good the last three seasons on at least 3 attempts per game) and a good defender which fits what the Sixers need at the point.
  9. Danny Green – Think he might be the most underrated player in the draft. He isn’t an explosive athlete and played with 3 elite college basketball players so his production was limited and he was overshadowed.  That’s good and bad.  Bad because you don’t know how good he would be with a higher volume of possessions.  But great because you know he is a team guy who plays his role well.  He does everything you need to win games.   He is more of a SF in terms of ball-handling skills but is ideal SG size at 6-6 and a half, 210 pounds and a 6-10 wingspan.  This is the shooter/defender we need.  A guy that you can play who doesn’t hurt you on either side of the ball.   41.8% from three and excels in catch and shoot situations.  Flat out glue guy on a winning team.
  10. Toney Douglas – Not a pure point and more of a combo guard because he isn’t a distributor at all evidenced by his very low assist/40.  But has shown some point guard ability and has good ball skills.  At 6-2 and a 6-6 wingspan if he could man that position with his scoring, shooting and great defense he might be a steal late first round or second round. Douglas is fantastic defensively.
  11. Gerald Henderson – Big time athlete and defender whose offensive game is still underdeveloped.  He is just an average shooter and is best driving to the rim.  We have enough of these guys which is why he is so far down the list.
  12. Jerel McNeal- This is my Mario Chalmers of the 2009 draft.  Except McNeal is a better overall offensive player.  He is more of a combo guard as well at 6-3 with a  6-7 wingspan but handled the point a lot this season with Dominic James going down with an injury.  Great defender and tough competitor; I like him a lot.  Ideal replacement for Royal Ivey, and he shot 39.8% from three on 6.2 attempts per game.  He doubled his attempts and dramatically increased in accuracy in his senior year – good sign.
  13. Jack McClinton – Flat out shooter as a combo guard.  He shot 45% from three which is ridiculous and ranked as the most efficient scorer in the shooting guard category in DraftExpress’ situational analysis.  He is being compared to Eddie House which is a good comparison.   At 6-0 the hope is that he can be a legit point guard.  He is really good as a scorer in isolation situations which means he was capable of beating his man, creating space and getting shots.  If he works he could parlay that ability into more play-making for teammates as well.  I like McClinton, but his size and lack of true point guard skills are what’s hurting him.  His shooting ability is undeniable though.
  14. Jodie Meeks – Meeks might be the best scorer on the list especially off the ball.  But there are a few reasons Meeks is so low on the list given his shooting ability.  He isn’t a point nor is he capable of growing into the position which makes him more of an undersized for SG at 6-4 in shoes and only a 6-4 wingspan.  Also word is he isn’t really a strong defender which is important for such a one-dimensional offensive player.  Also he is a one hit wonder to a degree.  He has 3 years college experience but only became a draftable prospect after having one break-out season after 2 mediocre years.  I know the Sixers need more shooting, but I don’t think I would pass on more talented overall players like Williams and Henderson who are lesser shooters for Meeks.
  15. Marcus Thornton – Really a player like Meeks but with two good years of production rather than one.

Ty Lawson is the Pick

As you can see I remain steadfast on my assertion that Ty Lawson is my highest rated player going into the draft for where the Sixers are drafting.  It amazes me that Ty is even projected to be available to us at 17.  I think the injury stuff is nonsense and besides that didn’t he prove his toughness?  Didn’t he prove to be a winner and leader?  I mean please tell me what else you could possibly want from a point guard in terms of ability and production?  On the court he runs a team well, can penetrate to score, pass and gets to the line at a high rate at which he makes 80%.  He doesn’t take bad shots and scores more efficiently than anyone at the position as well as dramatically improving his range and three-point accuracy to a point where it’s a weapon.  He excels in the transition game better any other point I’ve seen.  Takes care of the ball better than anyone, his assist to turnover ratio is off the charts and his decision-making is strong.  Defensively where he lacks size he makes up for with his ball hawk ability, instincts and quickness.  He gets steals without much harmful gambling (8 in an NCAA championship game).  So he is impacting the game in every facet.  This IS the guy!

I find it ridiculous that Lawson’s size is all people talk about as a negative, but Jonny Flynn’s is either an afterthought and to some a positive who unthinkably start talking Chris Paul when looking at size.  They are the exact same size without shoes. The only real difference is wingspan which I understand people care a lot about, but that can also be made up for with instincts and well didn’t make Flynn any more productive a player.  Sure Ty can’t reach laterally as far, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still get to the spot equally was well.  There is only a 1 inch difference in reach which speaks to the ability to contest shots.  Flynn is a better leaper but not by a ton (3.5 inches of max vertical) and overall is the more explosive player.  I think their quickness is about equal overall.  Ty is stronger though especially upper body.

At the end of the day Ty is the much more polished player and that showed in his production.  There are a number of statistical models out there on the draft, and you’d be hard pressed to find one that doesn’t have Ty rated has the top point guard and a top 5 overall prospect in terms of overall production.  Here are a few so you can see for yourself:

Aside from the stats dude proved to be the best player on the best team in college basketball, dominating and leading his team to an NCAA championship.  I don’t think he is getting enough credit for what he did and the significance of that achievement.  At point you want a leader; can you say any of these point guards lead their teams better?  He is a winner, and from all the games I’ve watched he is a leader, floor general and shows great emotion and energy that his teammates feed off of.

If Ty is there at 17, the Sixers have an easy decision, and I really believe they will benefit from a lot of other teams’ mistake in passing on this kid.  If that’s not enough, Thad is in favor of Ty:

“My good friend is Tywon, so I would definitely love to play with him,” Young said after spending some quality time with kids at the Sixers’ summer camp at Haverford College Thursday. “I’ve played with him in several camps, and I think he’s a great point guard who has the ability to be special in this league.  The good thing about (playing) with him is that we already have that cohesion.” – Thaddeus Young

What the ‘Experts’ Say

Here is a compilation of where mock drafts have the Sixers selecting.

  • DraftExpress: Ty Lawson
  • RealGM – Ty Lawson
  • HoopsWorld – Ty Lawson
  • Chad Ford: Eric Maynor – Worth noting, last year Ford had us taking Speights in every single one of his mocks.  Never changed his stance.  To date he has been exactly the same with Maynor.
  • CollegeHoops.net – Eric Maynor
  • Insidehoops.com: Eric Maynor
  • NBC Sports/RotoWorld – Eric Maynor
  • The Baseline (SportingNews.com): Jeff Teague
  • ProBasketballNews.com 1: Jeff Teague
  • ProBasketballNews.com 2: Gerald Henderson
  • NBADraft.net: Chase Budinger
  • Yahoo Sports – Dejuan Blair
  • FanHouse – Jonny Flynn
  • SI.com – Austin Daye

Update: Chad Ford now has us taking Ty Lawson (insider for all picks after 5).  Also worth noting he did his second round for the first time as well.  2 things I saw of interest to the Sixers:

  1. Ford now has Dionte Christmas going undrafted.  That would be perfect for the Sixers to grab him for the summer league squad and give the hometown kid a run and tryout.
  2. Wayne Ellington drops all the way to 40th!  He actually had Danny Green going ahead of him at 39.  If both those players really drop that far in the draft I see absolutely no reason the Sixers don’t buy a 2nd round pick to nab one.

From DraftExpress today:

A few players that could shake things up on draft night…Taj Gibson to Utah at 20? Wayne Ellington to Philadelphia at 17? Tyler Hansbrough to New Jersey at 11? Ty Lawson to Indiana at 13?

Potential Bad News About Drafting Ty

His stock appears to be rising.  The concerns about his size, toe injury and perceived one-speed style of play are still there.  The difference now is all these statistical evaluations of the draft have him rated as the top point guard and one of the top overall prospects. If you trust or believe in Hollinger’s Draft Rater which attempts to forecast (with a measurable degree of error) a draft pick’s NBA player efficiency rating when he reaches his peak then Ty would be at the top of any team’s board for point guard prospects.  And to note this model does take into account size.  So the numbers support Ty in the future as a very good NBA point.

What’s new is he has been working out extremely well in addition to the numbers and has been going against all the other top prospects and holding his own no problem.  Chad Ford write:

After publishing the Tiers story this morning, I got some interesting feedback from several NBA scouts and executives. A couple of players out of Tier 4 threaten to crash the top-10 party. Who are they?

North Carolina’s Ty Lawson has taken some abuse during the draft workout process, but it sounds as though teams are starting to come around. Lawson was, without question, the most productive point guard in the draft. Teams are skeptical because of his size and his style of play. But he’s been great in several recent workouts according to sources and apparently is in the mix with the Knicks at No. 8 if guys like Curry and Hill are off the board. Lawson also is still on the board at No. 10 to Milwaukee and the Pacers at No. 13 and the Sixers at No. 17 are also giving him a serious look. If Lawson ends up crashing the top 10, that would probably push either Holiday or Flynn out. – Chad Ford

Before now not many boards had Ty in the top 10 or even higher than the Sixers at 17.  Ford himself has Ty falling to 23.  I would be very surprised if he went that high.  But what I take from that report is more teams ahead of the Sixers are finally taking notice which isn’t a good thing for the Sixers if Ty is really the guy they are targeting.  If I had to guess where the most likely places he could go ahead of us I’d say Indiana at 13 and Phoenix at 14.  He is scheduled to compete against Teague, Holiday and Douglas on Tuesday the 23rd in Indiana in fact.

Moving Around and Acquiring More Picks

It really depends how much variance there is between guys like Lawson, Maynor and Teague.  I think it’s a safe bet at least one of them will be there at 17.  The question is do they value one significantly more than the others and what is their read on the draft.  If they are hearing Ty will be taken before 17 and that’s the guy they really want moving up should be a priority if in their analysis there is a discernible difference in value from the other guys.  If not just stay at 17 and pick the guy that’s there.

The other avenue is if the higher rated point guards drop and push down some other guys moving the 17th pick (maybe some cash to sweeten the deal) for a later first rounder and a second makes some sense.

This draft is a good one to look to acquire more picks for a few reasons:

  1. Teams are looking to save and trading a first round pick to avoid that guaranteed contract is a way to do it.
  2. Many teams have a lot of picks which makes some expendable.
  3. This is a role player draft. There are a lot of quality players that I believe will turn out to be really good glue guys with two core skills – shooting ability and defense.

The guy I would want with an additional pick is Danny Green.  He can play the two or three and is a good shooter, defender and rebounder.  And if you care he ranked 8th overall in Hollinger’s Draft Rater.

I must say I am much more excited about the draft this season than last.  We knew the Sixers wanted a big, and the guys there weren’t at all that exciting to me.  This year on the other hand there are a handful of players that I would love to watch play in a Sixers uniform.  Let’s hope Ed and crew get it right and get this franchise on the right track.

There you have it.  The Recliner GM 2009 Sixers Draft Analysis.


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  1. Brian says:

    Of the guys who could be there at #17, I agree. Lawson’s the guy. I want no part of Flynn.  I’d probably drop him to #9 on this list. If Lawson’s gone at #17 and they can’t move up to get him, I’d like to see a trade down. Get a pick in the 20′s and a second rounder. Take Collison. My $0.02.

  2. deepsixersued says:

    After Lawson, T.Williams to me would be hard to pass on,he seems ahead of Iggy coming out of school with his ballhyandling skills. If Lawson is off the board I hope they can acquire a late 1st and have it in hand so Ellington becomes possible at #17, knowing Douglas or Collison, two good FITS, will be there  than. If Iggy and Kapono can be our s.g.!s in this offense A.Daye!s game intrigues the hell out of me. Getting long on the wing can!t hurt with Orlando around and he may be the best shooter in the draft.

  3. Morty says:

    suede: I just don’t think Kapono can play SG.  I also would like to grab Lawson, he just seems like a winner, and, as we all know, plays a position of need for this team.

  4. Dannie says:

    Austin Daye is too soft for my taste.  I don’t complain about rail thin guys because kids are so young and bulk up.  Skill is more important at that point.  But when they don’t/can’t compete I pass.  Some have said Daye has competed in some workouts and not in others.  It was the same way with him in college.  He would simply disappear and he has far too much talent for that to happen.  It’s a mentality thing.

    I am just a big believer that in order for you to maximize talent you have to have a certain mentality.  I don’t think Daye has it.  Just like I am not 100% confident Teague has it either.

    Those guys I think have high bust potential and their ceiling comes done to just average NBA players with above average talent.

    That’s why I tend to favor guys with proven production more than hoping for high potential guys to reach their ceiling.

  5. Dannie says:

    Brian – Why don’t you like Flynn?  Is it just his three-point % and you are looking for immediate return in that area?

  6. The Real Rob says:

    Great blueprint and great layout there Dannie!

    Other things:
    -Iggy works out with Kobe in the summer. (but like you said, he must certainly improve his midrange game).

    -Kapono jokingly wanted Darren Collison as our draft pick. (UCLA connection/vibe).  Wild card for Sixers PG in terms of high IQ player on the roster.

    -Who do you think is the Sixers best SG if they specifically go that route in the draft?  (My pick for SG– Wayne Ellington.  Overall pick– Ty Lawson).

    -Also, no mention of Dionte Christmas as a probable pick in the list of details and comments (perhaps as a second rounder)?

    -Also, thank you for the insight on Chase Budinger.  That truly was not a good sign for teams to draft him. 

  7. The Real Rob says:

    This just in, NBADraftnet has us picking Terrence Williams.

  8. Dannie says:

    I added some updates to the post.  Chad Ford has his new mock out and now has us taking Ty Lawson.  As I’ve indicated this would be the first time he changed his stance of a Sixers pick the last two drafts.  Also he has Wayne Ellington falling all the way to 40 one spot behind his teammate Danny Green and Christmas going undrafted.

  9. brian says:

    Dannie – It’s not just the three-point percentage, it’s the fact that his jumper is just plain ugly. Maybe it improves, maybe it doesn’t. More than anything, though, I saw him play more than any of the other points in the draft and he just seemed to play out of control to me. He’s quick, but I’d prefer Collison, who is probably quicker and can hit the  jumper from mid-range and distance.

    As for what to expect this year, I’d love a guy who could come in and shoot league average from three. I think Lawson, Collison, Curry could all do that, along with a couple of combos. I have serious doubts that Flynn will ever be league-average.

  10. bski says:

    Very nicely done, Dannie.  I was looking for a little more detail though (just kidding!!!).  I mean, good night.

    Will this be another case of the Dannie Evans jinx?  You were all over Thibodeau and we hired Jordan, so I’m hoping the same thing doesn’t happen with Lawson, as he seems perfect for us.

  11. Dannie says:

    Brian – I hear you.  I’ve seen Flynn a bunch and Pete who is a big time Big East basketball watcher saw him a lot as well.  He didn’t think he would be ranked this high.

    I don’t agree about the shot form though.  I don’t think it’s broke at all.  It’s not any worse than Maynor’s.  A lot of time with a good shooting coach can make dramatic improvements if the time is put in.  And by all accounts Flynn is fully aware he needs to improve his shot and is fully committed to doing so.

    I am not as high on him as most mocks overall but not that low on him either.

    I just don’t understand why he size is being overlooked while Lawson’s is killing his stock when they are the exact same height.

  12. brian says:

    Dannie – The size doesn’t bother me for either guy. I’ll take a more talented six footer over a guy with a little better size, Lawson over Maynor for example. The only size exception I make this year is Holiday. His size at the point really appeals to me, as does his defense. He’s the only one I’d be willing to gamble on that he’d develop an outside shot.

  13. Dannie says:

    Brian - Completely agree I will take the more skilled player.  And I like Lawson’s production playing against big conference competition as well.

    Following up a bit on Flynn and his shot form.  Here is some footage of his current shot working out at Attack Athletics.  You can find some other footage on the other points as well.

    I’ve been studying basketball skill development for the last few months with particular interest in teaching shooting.  Here’s what I see…

    Flynn does a pretty good job of using the explosiveness he has in his legs to power his shot.  He is pretty balanced as well.  That is important. You are suppose to shoot the ball from the upforce created when you jump not with your arms or wrist.  The arms and hand are really there just to guide the ball on the shot line to the basket not power the shot.

    I think Flynn is fine in that area.

    Where I do see some problem is with his stroke and follow through.  He has the very common guide hand thumb problem.  The guide hand is really there to make sure the ball doesn’t fly out of your hand when you raise up to shot and when you follow through all fingers are suppose to pointed upwards.  In Flynn’s case his thumb looks to be adding some push to the ball on his shot as you can see if you pause it at the release.

    That is correctable.

    Looks like he has good arc on his shot.  You can find out if it’s the ideal arc for him by using NOAH.  Also to get his shot quicker he needs to learn not to bring the ball down (almost to his knees) on the catch before exploding up into his shot.

    Correctable with practice more than anything and some more upper body strength.

    Flynn just isn’t a shooter primarily offensively so I think he shot development is behind his penetration and finishing ability.

    On the other hand Maynor’s shot is ugly as hell but he shoots more and has been able to work himself to a point where even with pretty poor form he is comfortable with it and can make shots never the less.

    If Flynn’s form was as bad as Maynor’s and his shooting numbers were still weak I would be significantly more skeptical.

  14. Stu says:

    I would go out on a limb and say that the Sixers have had success drafting Thad Young and Speights were two “potential” guys more than “proven production” guys (like Julien Wright and Acie Law IV at the time) and they both turned out to be nice surprises over the production guys…just sayin’

  15. Dannie says:

    Stu – I don’t think I agree with specifically the players your mentioning.

    Julian Wright’s production wasn’t far and away better than Thad’s the year they were drafted.  In fact their numbers are very very similar and Thad had more upside.  The biggest difference is Wright shot a much better % from the field and was a better rebounder because he played much more like a 4 in college.  Thad was better from the line.  The rest is pretty much a wash.  Also Thad had a clear position as an NBA small forward.  Wright was projected much more as a tweener 3/4 man.

    Acie Law did have better production but we have no clue what the Sixers would have done had Law not been taken with the pick right before theirs.  Also we had just acquired Andre Miller at the point as well.

    Speights had nice production and upside.  Not just potential.  And I don’t know there was a clear cut big time productive college player available at pick 17 for there really to be a huge choice.  Hibbert maybe, but he was a center.

  16. guest says:

    I agree with everything you said about Ty Lawson. No question he is our pick if he is available.  I found the Chase Budinger thing very interesting. I followed him relatively closely in college and I expected him to be a very productive and interested player coming into the draft.  Guess not huh?

    Although I do think if we acquire more picks than we should go with Ellington over Green.  I know green is a good defender and shooter, but I think Ellington can become that legit 2 guard for us.  I think we all agree Willie is not in our long term plans, so I think Wayne would be that guy in the future.

    And if Ty is not available at 17, then I wouldn’t know quite who to draft.  There are a lot of ways we could go at that point.  However, I want to make it known that I really like Terrance Williams.  I think he can be that “Trevor Ariza” type player where he can run the floor and defend the other teams best player.  Maybe taking some pressure off of Iguodala?

    Interesting stuff!  Good breakdown of it all Dannie.

  17. Dannie says:

    Guest – Upgrading the roster defensively with guys that aren’t liabilities on offense is never a bad way to go.  Terrence Williams along with a Danny Green support that idea.

  18. brian says:

    Dannie – I remember seeing that video from ATTACK (I think it was one of Ford’s draft diaries), the shot seemed slow to me. Anyway, I think it’s insane that they’re talking about Flynn going #4 to the Kings, absolutely insane. It’s funny, I think that 6-overtime game really put him on the map but I didn’t think he played particularly well in that game. He kept driving and driving and missing jumpers throughout the game. I guess it displayed that he had heart or something. I’ve also heard he’s been very vocal in these workouts, showing that he’s a leader. While I don’t discount those things, they don’t overcome what I see as glaring weaknesses. I definitely don’t want him, but I hope he does correct his jumper and have a nice NBA career. I’m sure he will if someone else picks him :)

  19. Dannie says:

    High praise for Wayne Ellington.  Being called a prolific shooter.

  20. The Real Rob says:

    Post #8:  I sense a steal from Ed Stefanski.  Wouldn’t be great to get Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington or Dionte Christmas. 

  21. deepsixersued says:

    Dannie, you know I like a good conspiracy theory. Interesting comment in K.Fagen!s sunday article by C.Whittey,” a scenerio is out there where he will be there when we pick”, referring to B.J.Mullins. Now I want to tie that into the supposed rumor of Minn. trading M.Miller for Kamen, the Clipps turned it down.Minn. is lookin for a big and draft right after us, maybe E.S.,by threatening at #17 to take Mullins can get a 2nd rounder in this draft and still get Lawson at #18. Just a thought.Morty, I agree about Kapono not being a s.g. but our new coach has some odd ideas.[Brand at the 5?]

  22. Sean says:

    Hey Dannie,

    That was a great write-up.  Very nicely put together.  As others have said, Ty Lawson is my choice at 17, followed by T-Will, Maynor & Ellington.  Ty would be great here, possible PG of the future(present?). 
    BTW, the Sixers PR department has posted on RealGM’s board and stated that Iguodala, Williams, Green Young and Smith(and possibly others) are planning to meet at Mark Price’s academy in Atlanta later in the summer.  I know Dala & Thad have the Team USA minicamp in mid-July too, so I don’t know how that plays in.

  23. Dannie says:

    My contention with the whole Mark Price thing is just having guys work out a little bit in the summer is no where near enough.  Over time form breaks down if its not continually practices near perfectly with the instruction of someone who knows better.

    These guys need a shooting coach on staff there for them whenever they want to go to the gym to work out.

  24. tk76 says:

    I worry about Lawson getting picked well before #17.  The consensus may still be that he will go later- but it only takes one team’s interest for a guy to go a lot higher.

    This should be one of the most unpredictable drafts from 2-30 in a long time.  A strange combo of established players with ? marks and raw players who can’t shoot and are without pure positions.

    Overall, this draft could end up having lots of busts.  Glad DiLeo is back doing what he excels at.

  25. DeanH says:


    Just not enough details.  Need to try harder next time!  :-)

    Seriously, great writeup, brain overload almost!

  26. Dave T says:

    Dannie:  Great column, you really covered everything extensively.   Awesome read.

    Some thoughts:

    I think something to keep in mind with the PG we draft is not solely “talent”, but what I will call “start-ability”.  In other words…at a mid 1st round pick, with Andre Miller the age he is, we should be looking to take a talent that can eventually start, and be an actual solution at a position.  Taking another bench guard only serves to cause a logjam with Lou Williams and W Green who already have those roles.  Ty Lawson, is a future NBA starter.  J Flynn (I’m a lot higher on him then most people on here I think), is a future NBA starter.  Eric Mayner…is a big question mark for that.  Great player, great scorer, great leader…at times looked far more like a SG that dominated the ball and distributed when he needed to, then an actual PG at VCU.  But he def. has the skills to make the transition to PG.

    Jeff Teague, while an excellent player with loads of scoring ability, is not a starter,  except on some crazy team like G-State, and is best served in a Lou Williams role.  Darren Collison would make a solid backup.  And, IMO, along with J McNeal, J Meeks, and W Ellington, would all be FAR SUPERIOR OPTIONS than Lou Williams in the Lou-Williams-role of combo guard off the bench for 25 mpg.

    What will really, really drive me nuts is if we do not trade for a second late 1st round pick or an early 2nd round pick.  The following players would all make excellent additions to our team:

    -W Ellington
    -J McNeal
    -D Christmas
    -J Meeks
    -T Douglas
    -D Green

    -L Hudson

    These are all guys that could step in at the SG spot, or combo PG/SG spot off the bench, and provide legitimate scoring and 3 point shooting.  I agree with Dannie: Jerryl McNeal is the steal of this draft, and Im stunned he’s not going top 20.  I also feel that Meeks is a far superior offensive player to Thornton, in that Meeks, while not versatile at all, is a very efficient scorer that has great shot selection, as opposed to Marcus Thornton who guns it up Ricky Davis style.  No thank you to the latter.

    Terence Williams:  Im not sure why people like him as a draft choice for us.  These guys pop up every few years; John Salmons is a very similar comparison, Jamont Gordon from Miss. St was last year, as is Geoff McDermott from Providence this year.  These are guys that have VERY high bball IQ’s, are excellent passers, great at defense, good pick setters, good fundamentals, and make great versatile glue guys.  Problem: NONE CAN SHOOT (Salmons is a great example of one that learned to…unfortunately for us it took him five years before he could hit regular 3′s, and by then he was no longer a Sixer).  This includes Terence Williams, who despite the high 3 point %, has horrendous form, does not look at all comfortable shooting, and is atrocious with the midrange jumpshot.  I’m all about taking a guy whose shot is improving…T Williams, I dont see it.  His shot is a clone of Iggy’s if you watch the mechanics, and he was an extremely streaker guy from behind the arc at L-Ville.  Despite the high number last year, I would NOT want him taking a 3 at the end of the game if im a Cardinals fan.

    -BJ Mullins – A cocky kid that overestimates his own talent and I will laugh at whatever team chooses him.  He’s yet another pussyfooting center in the mold of Mehmet Okur that is skilled, can step outside and hit the 3, and is really soft in the post and provides no intimidation or defensive ability.  Im sure he will improve over time and he has obvious talent that could blossom, but this is a kid that was weened thinking he would be a lock for a top 3 pick in this draft…unfortunately, he didnt earn his way there.

    Lawson vs. Flynn:  People are harping about Flynn’s shooting, and yet not mentioning the fact that the biggest knock on Lawson his first two years was his total lack of an outside shot.  Lawson worked on it, and improved.  Flynn has already improved his shot from freshman year, and he just needs more work on it.  He will never shoot the lights out, but he certainly seems like he will be solid in that area.

    I also feel people are discounting Flynn’s greatest strength:  he is the most natural PG in this draft.  Tyreke Evans has no idea how to play the position and dominates the ball; Holiday is another unproven tweener, Brandon Jennings is still learning the ropes and seems to be a hybrid PG/SG by all accounts, Mayner is a combo as well, Collison isnt nearly as talented, Teague is a SG.  Flynn, IMO, kills Lawson in his ability to run a halfcourt offense.  Flynn seems to have an incredibly intuitive feel for where cutters are, to find almost non-existent seems in the passing lane, makes excellent passes into the post, has a lot of playground flash WITH substance, and truly looks to distribute, as well as being able to score with his quickness and ball handling ability.  For me, it was only last year that Lawson came into his own in being able to run a halfcourt set when the offense slowed down, and really make plays and get people involved effectively when the defense was set.  Flynn has had a natural gift for doing this since high school, and for me, is the more important trait of a PG.

    I personally think Flynn will be the better NBA PG over the long haul, but for our Sixers, Ty Lawson is the right choice, as his defense is off the charts, his ability to run the break is the best in the country, and he’s a proven winner that has rebounded from injuries with moxy and plays with heart.

  27. Dannie says:

    Dave T – I’ve been waiting for you on this post since you are a college basketball guy.

    You are in the very very small minority in two things you just wrote.

    First – About Terrence Williams shot mechanics.  I have not read anywhere that he has poor form.  Or at least that his form is horrendous.  He has inconsistent form, yes, especially when shooting off the dribble or on the move (athletic guys like that tend to struggle harnessing their physical ability into a controlled shooting motion going up because they are such great jumpers and athletes)  But the base of his shot form is not that bad by all accounts.  He varies his arc too much which is a big problem for him.  That again can be corrected by spending time with a shooting coach and the NOAH system.

    Second - The idea that Jonny Flynn is the most natural point guard.  Huh? “Flynn, IMO, kills Lawson in his ability to run a halfcourt offense.” Really?  You can’t possibly be serious.  What do you have to support this?  I already know it’s not numbers in any form because Ty kills EVERYONE statistically overall and in most situational stats as well. 

    For example Ty destroys Flynn in pick and roll efficiency 1.19 PPP vs. .84PPP – major part of the NBA half-court game.

    Ty destroys Flynn (and everyone) in decision-making and taking care of the ball:

    • Ty – 3.48 ast/to – 7.7 ast per 40 pace adjusted
    • Flynn – 1.97 ast/to – 6.5 ast per 40 pace adjusted

    We already know who is the better offensive player in terms of scoring and shooting efficiency as well.  Surprising Ty also finds his way to the line more than Flynn as well.

    I mean no matter how you look at it statisically Ty kills Flynn.

    I understand stats aren’t everyone but all the intangible things you mention about feel and vision should/must translate into production as well and that is where stats help measure that.  If he is such the better natural point why isn’t he better in pick and roll?  Why does he turn the ball over more?  Why doesn’t he rack up more assists?  Fact of the matter Ty is better as a point guard right now – AND he has just as much room to improve as Flynn as well.
    That’s my opinion and annalysis of the two.  But I’ve heard no one saying what you are about Flynn/Lawson either.  No one.  On the contrary aside from Rubio I think everyone has been saying Lawson is the next most pure/natural point guard among first rounders at the position.  And I will take Villanova’s Jay Wright’s opinion on this matter since he’s seen Flynn up close and personal a ton as well as facing off against Ty as well.  And he even said Ty is not only the guy he would choose but that Ty is the more pure point guard.

    I just don’t buy that Flynn is this natural point in terms of his play.  I actually think he looks to score first, pass second.  Although he is better than others not Ty Lawson with that mix.  Where Flynn is a natural point is with his leadership qualities.  But even there I doesn’t necessarily hold a decided advantage over Ty if at all.  I mean Ty did lead his team to the finish line on top as the best player on the floor at the point.

  28. Tom Moore says:

    Some people may be concerned that Lawson missed 12 of 79 games in the last two seasons due to injury.

  29. Dannie says:

    Those ppl looking at just 12 in 79 would be fools in my opinion.  I get the general concern about injury-prone players and wanting durability.  But I think you have to look at it three ways.

    1. Fluke injuries (Brand jumping and falling over someone) or very very common type injuries almost all players get – Ty falls into this one with his sprained ankle where he missed games the season before last.  These happen doesn’t mean the player necessarily is not durable.  See #3.  Also you can train to prevent these.  My brother is a personal trainer, strength and conditioning specialist with a degree in exercise science. He has been working with me on preventing ankle injuries since I play a ton of summer league ball.  All good to that end.
    2. Chronic type injuries like knee, back, shoulder pain etc. – The T-Mac type injuries are a serious concern because they just never seem to go away, we are praying Brand doesn’t eventually fall into this area).  This is what most teams look out for the most I would think. Which is why ppl are all concerned about Dajuan Blair and his ACLs.
    3. Always injured with all types of ailments – The guys that have all types of issues that keep them off the floor. (Portland has to be worried Oden will end up in this category).

    Ty played in 85% of his games and won a national championship coming back from a toe injury that kept him out a few games.  Shows me toughness and perserverance.  Not cause for concern.  Body of work is too strong.

    My completely biased opinion.

  30. deepsixersued says:

    Danny, I like that last line. Question; how would you feel if Lawson isn!t there and we end up with T.Douglas as our future p.g.?

  31. Dannie says:

    Suede - I wouldn’t be happy with that.  If Ty isn’t there I would be very happy (not as happy) with Eric Maynor.  He needs to put on like 20 pounds though dude is 6-2, 164.  I am not overly hype about size but being that light will hurt his ability to defend, stave off contact and remain durable.

  32. deepsixersued says:

    My best case/worst case for guards in this draft with the draft!s weakness probably leading to the worst case for most guys;               
    T.Lawson- T.Brandon/K.Lowry 
    G.Henderson-R.Bell/Dah. Jones 
    J.Teague- D.Gibson/M.James 
    R.Beaubois-R.Rondo/ G.Henderson Sr. 
    M.Thornton- J.Malone/Mau.Evans

  33. Dave T says:

    Dalembert to Charlotte? – Just read this on RealGM…Dalembert & 17th pick for 12th pick, Nazr Mohammad & Vladamir Radmonovic.  (The Greek just got very excited!)

    A lot of us have talked about the fact that we cant just give Dalembert away because we dont have a backup C to replace him, that Jason Smith should not be seen as a viable solution there, and that we’d need some sort of solid, veteran 7 footer that could play 20 mpg in Sammy’s absence.  Nazr would certainly fit the bill there, and has always been a good role player that brings some size, defense and rebounding.

    Vlad-Rad:  There has been no single player I hate more in the NBA during the 00′s than Vladamir Radmonovic.  What a whiney, bitching little puss.  Never have I seen a 6’9 player rebound so little, shy away from physical contact as much as he has, that is known for his selfish attitude in lockerooms both in Seattle AND LA.  God I hate him.  And yet no one can argue the one skill he has: very good 3 point shot, thus would give us another option from behind the arc.

    12th pick:  This means Stefanski might have his eyes set on a player other than Lawson that he wants to try to nab at 12…or, he really wants to make sure he is able to pick up Lawson (or whoever is ES’s guy) a bit earlier.  I’m thinking Brandon Jennings might really be on the Sixers radar…by all accounts a very good 3 point shooter, ultra athletic, has size, and seems to have matured in Europe a bit (despite his utterly boneheaded comments about Rubio a few weeks back).  Wondering if Stefanski is looking to take a gamble guy at the 12 that is seen more as a lottery pick.

    Dannie:  I should say…I do exagerrate more than a little when I write.  I’ll throw out stuff like “player X has horrendous shooting mechanics!  player Y is atrocious at blah blah!”  Can’t help it, I’m a fiery guy, but I should probably stop being so damn extreme in how I write things.  I defnitely did that with Mr. Terence Williams.  No his shooting mechanics are not “horrible” or whatever adjective I used.  That said, I watched a lot of the Clark/T Williams/McGee/Sosa L-Ville teams…and T Williams fresh and soph year, his three point shot WAS really laughable.  This past Junior year, as many players do, he definitely came into the season having worked on his shot, and it did improve.

    My point (which, granted, I did not get out right) is that while Terence Williams shot may have improved, he is not a “shooter”.  One of the big red flags with me as far as shooting is the midrange game.  If a guy chucks up jumpshots from the 15-18 foot range that regularly clank out, that are poorly timed, rushed, and that has a fugly looking form that looks more like “great athlete chucking it up” vs. “skilled shooter putting it in”…I am weary.  Iguodala is very much like this; and while Iguodala has surely improved his shooting slightly each year, I’ve said before, and still don’t waver, that if Iguodala were in an open gym from 18 feet away, I would not put money on him hitting an open jumpshot.  Terence Williams I feel is very much similar; he’ll get streaky from 3 point land and knock down a few, yet is not reliable in the midrange game.  To me, this is not something to bank on as far as seeing him as a future solid shooter; but I do have great faith in what we’ve really seen from him so far, as opposed to his potential in one area of the game: defense, passing, bball IQ, pick setting, and moving without the ball.

    Ty vs. Jonny:  Dannie this is going to be one of those agree to disagree ones with us, largely because my thoughts on J Flynn are completely un-statistical.  I’m all about stats for gauging certain players, but especially when it comes to PG’s, I feel that just watching how they react to situational plays is just as definitive, and that while some decision making can be quantified in terms of how well someone takes care of the ball, I dont think things like court vision, difficulty of a pass, finding seems in traffic, creativity in the lane, able to spot unique angles, etc…are quantifiable.  It’s things in this area that I’d give Flynn the edge.
    I’m not calling him a throwback pass first PG.  Flynn is most definitely in the scoring PG camp.  I just think he’s shown absolute flashes of brilliance with what he’s able to do in moments where other players would fold and cause turnovers.  Not only is this guy able to manuever around tricky situations, he has the “eyes in the back of his head” gift that I really think is very hard to actually learn and develop…something I think he has on a higher level than Lawson.

    And again, I exagerrate a lot, so when I say, “Kills Lawson at…” I dont actually mean that, and should stop writing in absolutes like that.  I used to be a huge “Lawson is overrated guy…” his first two years, and thought he was much more athlete than true PG.  But his last year REALLY wowed me, and I think he finally fulfilled all the promise he showed as a touted recruit first coming to UNC.  But I think UNC got in trouble sometimes last year when teams slowed down their full court attack, things slowed down, and Lawson had to create with the shot clock going down.  It was Ellington, Hansbrough and Green (IMO) that were the excellent half court players, moreso than Lawson.  I just saw certain subtle hesitations and overdribbling and panic drives just to get to the line from Lawson (not all or most of the time, sometimes)…whereas Flynn to me naturally and intuitively seems to know what to do in those situations more.

    Listen, I think Lawson, Flynn and Mike Conley Jr. are all going to be in the bottom half of the top 10 PG’s in the NBA for the next decade…anywhere in the 5-8 spots underneathe the CP3-Deron-DRose trio.  Lawson and Flynn are both great college players and I really enjoy watching both…and I am absolutely 100% for the Sixers choosing Ty, because of how our team is structured right now.  But time will tell, and I just think Flynn’s court vision, quickness, and threading the needle ability is at a 1A to Lawson’s 1B.

  34. The Greek says:

    Great readind fellas, good job by all.

    Look Maynor might turn out to be a really good player but I want a fast PG, one with breakneck speed.  And I also want a pg who could stretch the field.   And if we can’t get that, then draft Ellington.

    1 Lawson
    2 Teague
    3 Ellington

    and if there not all there, thats when you take Maynor.  

    They say that Maynor isn’t that quick or fast, is this really true?  Because I don’t want to put another Andre Miller next to Iggy in the backcourt. 

  35. Dannie says:


    Bucks must really want to resign Sessions and Villanueva.

  36. Dannie says:

    Dave T – All that stuff you mentioned is quantifiable to a degree whether you want to believe it or not because they all have some sort of end result.

    Turnover, assist, made basket, steal etc. are measurable of what guys do.  Now the subjective aspect is how they get to those end results.  What good is court vision and all this other fluffy stuff if it doesn’t equate to production on the court?

    Doesn’t if his vision was that good why didn’t he have more assists?  If he is so intuitive why did he turn the ball over more and why do people think he is out of control offensively a lot of the time?  Why did he shoot so poorly, many of which think is a product of 1. lack of ability at the moment and maybe more so poor shot selection.

    I mean sure he UNC was a better team, but Flynn was surrounded by good players as well at Cuse.  We aren’t talking about him playing at Davidson with a bunch of slugs.  His production doesn’t support what you are saying.

    I just don’t buy it. 

    I think Flynn is a nice player, but I think you overrate his ability right now.  In time maybe he develops the way Lawson developed – aka translating his natural ability into what matters most – production on the court and more importantly winning at the highest level while being the leader of the team.  He hasn’t done that yet.

    So this argument comes down again to a guy who some think is more talented than Lawson and some don’t.  But what is unquestioned is what Lawson has already proven he can do.  Flynn still has a lot to prove.

  37. Dave T says:

    WOW…nice find Dannie.  Spurs front office never ceases to amaze me…what a freaking coup for the Spurs.  Two over the hill vets and an average role player for an 18-20 ppg scorer that brings good defense, athleticism and slashing ability.  Somewhere in the Virgin Islands, Duncan is smiling.

    Bucks must really have faith in Joe Alexander, or want to show Charlie V they are committed to giving him legit 35 mpg playing time and swing him between both forward spots.

    Will be very curious to see what happens with Sessions.  Even if he resigns he still will be splitting time 50/50 or 60/40 with Ridnour…and if the Bucks draft a PG, which a lot of people seem to think, that’ll make the PG position even more complicated.  I’m sure they will look to move Ridnour in a trade, or do a sign and trade with Sessions.

  38. dre says:

    I can understand Dumars is trying to shake up the Pistons but why would Boston want to move Rondo and Ray Allen for Rip, Prince, and Stuckey?

  39. The Greek says:

    I would love to have Ray allen on our team. 

    Lawson/Lou who smells
    Jason Smith/Speigthts

    Iggy for Allen, I would take a 40 year old Allen over a 30 year old iggy

  40. deepsixersued says:

    Does Milwaukee go with Blair now? A tandem of Thomas /Blair is more of a Skiles type p.f. rotation and Alexander/M.Moute at the 3 is interesting.T.Williams would be a Skiles type player also.

  41. dre says:

    Greek – boston would love that move also. Say what you will about Iggy Dala, he has gotten better every year at something.

  42. The Greek says:

    No doubt Dre, he has.  And it’s no insult to Iggy that I would like to deal him for Allen. 

  43. Tom Moore says:
  44. Dannie says:

    Ehh.  I honestly don’t particularly like this whole “guard” no distinction idea.  If they are just blowing smoke and are fully invested in taking a point guard that’s one thing.  If they really plan on taking a shooting guard or combo guard that is not a point I feel like they only have one choice (Ellington) that fits and the rest would be a mistake because they are all too much like the players we already have on the roster.

    I read today that Henderson is falling and Ford believes his floor is us at 17.  He would be an absolutely horrible pick in my opinion.  He is a shorter, less talented Andre Iguodala.  Basically a SF in a shooting guard body.

  45. Chuck says:

    Dannie, I love your stuff, read it all the time just haven’t posted yet. Im a huge college basketball fan, mostly ACC and Big East and I have a few thoughts.

    I think this draft is being severely underrated because there are not the sure things at the top of the draft like we are used to aka Derrick Rose, Beasley, OJ Mayo, but this draft has a lot of quality depth in my opinion.I think I have a pretty good feel for the guys in this draft as Ive seen all of them a lot with the exception of Ricky Rubio, Demar Derozan, and Brandon Jennings. 

    Here’s my opinion on the realistic options we have…. 

    Ty Lawson – I’m a Dukie and I think hes a flat out stud. Quickest PG I have ever seen from end to end. I cant tell you the amount of times Duke was beating UNC and this guy took over the game with his blazing speed. This talk he cant shoot is nonsense, he was not a great shooter his first two years, but improved greatly this year from beyond the arc which should tell you his shot can even get better. He is an above average defender who is great at penetrating and finding the open man. He has had some injury issues with his toe but I don’t think its that much of a concern. I really have no idea why he wouldn’t go higher then the 17th pick, he was the main reason they won the championship. 

    Eric Maynor - Another player who put a dagger into the Dukies with his famous shot that bounced Duke out of the tournament. To me he is the most polished pg of the group just ahead of Lawson, but hes also the least intriguing. As far as production in college and being polished him and Lawson are the most ready to jump into day, but Theres some things I see in him I dont like. Hes a great scorer but he dominates the ball a little bit to much in my opinion and settles for far to many jumpers. Hes also very light and not very strong and I don’t know if his body would be able to make it. 

    Jeff Teague – very underrated in my opinion. In all honesty if Wake didn’t have their collapse toward the end of the season this guy would be a top 5 pick. He dominated UNC and Duke in the same week. Like Lawson hes extremely explosive and plays the entire game at full effort which is important to me. Also like Lawson he can turn on the jets and go on a speed level others just simply cant. With the exception of curry he is the best scoring guard in this draft with his ability to make threes and drive to the basket, and he also is great in transition like Lawson. The one thing I can’t speak for is his leadership abilities. They got trounced in the first round and some were critical of his leadership abilities, but out of all the guards in this draft he has the most upside and potential to be the best guard in this draft five years down the road. 

    Wayne Ellington – Just a smooth stroker who can flat out shoot the ball. I firmly believe he can be our shooting guard of the future because he can’t only shoot but hes got great size and is a good overall basketball player with his ability to rebound and make smart passes to open men. One thing you need to look for in college players is the type of jump shots there making. Are they making open shots that are being created for them only or are they able to create there own shots. See this is the difference between Danny Green and Wayne Ellington, Danny Green is a good defender but only makes spot up jump shots, whereas Ellington is able to create his own shots and make very difficult shots with hands in his face with that high release of his which I love. Really believe he has the potential to be a Ray Allen Type. 

    Here are some thoughts on other possibilities….

    Terrance Williams – This guy is a freak athlete who production never matched his skill set. Has one of the worst looking shots out of the draft group, bad percentage from three and is not a great free throw shooter. One thing I will say about him though is he is the kind of guy who makes those around him better with a high plus/minus ratio when he is in the game. I really dont know what position he will play in the NBA and overall im not very high on him. My opinon of him got lower as the season progressed with his bad shot taking, awful form and questionable decision making in the tourney. 

    B.J. Mullens/ Jrue Holliday
    – the reason I have these two guys together is because they are both incredibly overrated prospects who I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot poll. People claim that Jrue Holiday is a great defender… really? whenver I watch UCLA they got torched defensively especially Holiday. Just watch tape of the Nova UCLA game, that was laughable. Should I think its just a coincidence that the year this guy comes into become a freshmen for the Bruins Proud defense it becomes a lot worse? I understand they lost some players but this guy does nothing for me and everyone is buying into this fake hype. Chad Ford must be his agent because he has been talking him since the beginning of this process but has nothing to back it up with. As some point production has to become a little bit of a factor. B.J. Mullens is the worst projected first rounder. Just like Holliday he is being overhyped because of the undeserving attention they received in high school. I watch about ten Ohio State games and I kept asking myself is this really the guy that nbadraft.net had as the number one pick before the season started. His soft, doesn’t seem to care when his on the court and as far as I see it we should root for these two guys to get taken before us so their isnt the possibility of Ed falling into the hype trap. 

    Johnny Flynn
    – Seems like a real likeable with a winners mentality. His jump shot is suspect which can improve but he is very effective at finding ways to score. However I feel as if Lawson is better at finding the open man because of his supperior court vision. I agree with Dannie in that Lawson is getting criticized for his height but Flynn isn’t im not sure I understand that. One thing I will say if that I was low on Flynn halfway through the season but he grew on me with his clutch play. Still think Lawson is slightly the better prospect. 

    My Overall thoughts….. 

    So what do the Sixers do? I am almost certain Ellington will be their with the 17th overall pick so do we take him? Do we select Lawson and attempt to trade for a pick to take Ellington for every pick he isn’t selected? Can we realstically trade for a late first round pick, I don’t think we can and im almost certain he wont be avalible in the second round like my boy Chad Ford for whatever reason believes he will. I would take Ellington with our pick if I didnt think we had a shot at getting him later in the draft by acquiring another pick. My Plan B would be to select Teague or Lawson depending whose there, and then trade for a second round pick were I would get Christmas,Marcus Thorton, Alex Ruoff, or Danny green. If we did get the 12th pick and Jennings was still there I would take a serious look and he might have to much potential to pass up on. 

    Here are my tiers of players….. 

    Tier 1 (All-Star Potential) 
    1. Steph Curry- best shooter ive seen in a while, incredible court vision, feel for the game, has that killer instinct
    2. Blake Griffin- Great Rebounder, Great Athlete, surest thing we have in this draft, see him being a Carlos Boozer type. 
    3. Gerald Henderson- Best athlete in the draft, underrated in this draft b/c of the myth Duke players can’t produce in the NBA. Great elevation on his jump shot, most improved player throughout the year, ask Maryland fans how good they think he is. 
    4. Jeff Teague- So much potential, great scorer, and Wake players produce at a higher level then any other college.
    5. Brandon Jennings- The Three times I saw him he was incredibly good with his blazing speed and ability to pass the ball. 
    6. Ty Lawson- Fastest pg in the draft- makes everyone around him better. Still dont understand why he would be available for us. 
    7. Wayne Ellington- Second best shooter in the draft, will be able to succeed at the next level because of his release. I really see him as a possible Ray Allen Type. 

    Tier 2.. Solid Role Players.. could be all-stars

    7. James Harden
    8. Tyreke Evans
    9. Johnny Flynn
    10. James Johnson
    11. Ricky Rubio
    12. Jordan Hill

    2 guys that will be good role players
    13. Eric Maynor
    14. Dajuan Blair 

    - Jrue Holiday
    - B.J. Mullens
    - Hasheem Thabeet
    - Earl Clark 
    - Chase Budinger 

    My Second Round Steal
    Marcus Thorton

  46. Stu says:

    uh-oh Chuck, you were on a roll with Dannie boy until you slotted Gerald Henderson as #3 of the all-star potential performers…

  47. Dannie says:

    Hahaha.  Stu, I don’t have anything against Henderson.  Like I’ve said a few times here he went to my gym when he was still in high school and his first year or two at Duke so I’ve played with/against him a bunch of times and Wayne Ellington.  I’ve always believe Ellington was the better player with more polished game and a highly coveted NBA skill to shoot the ball.

    He doesn’t have enough pure basketball skill right now to be an all-star.  He is a smart player and a strong athlete but I don’t see enough game for him to be more than just a defensive stopper and marginal offensive player.  I doubt that makes him an all-star.

    I think his ceiling is Andre Iguodala and he has a long way to go to get there. A lot of people are looking at him like just another Dahntay Jones out of Duke.  Look at their numbers and measurements the year they came out of Duke eerily similar.

  48. jurnee16 says:
  49. Dan says:

    Randy Foye and Mike Miller just traded to Washington for Etan Thomas, Darius Songalia, some random foreign guy and the 5th pick. Terrible Terrible Trade for Minny. Foye is faaaar better than any guard in this draft. He would have been perfect for this Sixers team.

    I wonder if there is anyway to now trade Sam for Miller?

  50. Dan says:

    Oh, and if Agent Zero is healthy they have to be considered one of the top teams in the East.

  51. deepsixersued says:

    Dan, it has been rumored that Minn. wants Rubio or Thabeet and will move #5 and #6 for #2. If this happens, Memphis may get the best of this deal.[J.Hill,T.Evans?]

  52. Dannie says:

    Dan – We like Foye a lot here but he isn’t a point guard.  He is just like Louis Williams.  For what we need I would still take Lawson, Maynor and Ellington over Foye.

  53. Dannie says:

    Suede – I don’t think they like Rubio or Thabeet that much to trade both those picks.  No way in hell the #2 pick in this draft if as valuable as the 5th + 6th.  They need to either keep both picks and draft their back court of the future.  Curry and Evans – Curry and Harden – Evans and Harden.  Insert any other point guard you want here.  OR trade Kevin Love and the 5th pick to move up and they probably should draft their center and a guard going that route.

    Giving up both picks is by far the dumbest thing they can do here.

  54. Dannie says:

    They could even go Rubio and Jordan Hill.  But no matter what they need to keep one of their picks at 5 and 6. 

    That is unless they can trade both for an all-star player currently in the NBA.  I think they are under the cap enough to incur a fair amount of salary without giving too much out.

  55. Dave T says:

    Chuck:  Thank you man…I’m glad others out there feel the same way as I do about Jrue Holiday and BJ Mullins.  Overrated, overhyped, unproven prospects.  Great post, loved reading your analysis there…might not agree with everything but that was a well thought out post.  About Ty Lawson…”above average defender” is selling him short big time.  There isn’t a better lockdown defending guard in the country…his ability to play on ball and off ball defense is stunning.

    Sota:  If they choose Steven Curry and James Harden…to go with K love and Al Jefferson…PLUS their two other 1st rounders where they could get a backup big or a backup SF…Sota is going to be looking awfully good.

    Also helped the Wiz about big time, shed a lot of their logjam issues for a great 6th man combo guard in Foye, and a great versatile shooting SF in M Miller.  Nice trade for both teams.  Wiz had better hope Haywood and Blatche work out for them in the frontcourt though, as trading Pecherov, Songaila and Etan leaves them awfully thin up front.

  56. deepsixersued says:

    Dannie, I agree with you. Minn. can sit tight or go for Rubio and Thabeet somehow.

  57. Dannie says:

    Dave T – I am not big Mullens or Holiday fans either.  You just have no idea what Holiday is at this point.  He looked bad this year playing the off guard at UCLA and no one knows if he can really play point at a high level.  At this point he is just another big combo guard.  He can defend but word is he got ate up by Steph Curry at the Knicks workout.  Couldn’t stop Curry at all.

    Mullens, eh.  Either or guy depending on his work ethic and tenacity.

  58. Dannie says:

    Minny has a ton of options.  They have the 5th, 6th, 18th and 28th pick in the draft.

    In more trade news…

    What does that mean now?  My first thought is they are going to let Villanueva walk and keep Sessions.

  59. deepsixersued says:

    Dannie, Skiles is putting his kind of team together. T.Williams at #10 may be a good fit.

  60. Dave T says:

    Dannie:  If there’s one thing it sounds like we see eye to eye on, it’s about not drinking the kool-aide about “potential”.  It cracks me up that Holiday is a lock for the top 10 basically because of his rep as a high school basketball player.  No one has any idea if he can truly play a distributing role as PG or not; how effective as a big time scorer he could be, etc etc.  Holiday has not been given the reigns of anything on a serious level of competition yet…what GM would bank a precious top 10 pick on the possibility that it “might” work out?  Not me.  Risk outweighs the reward, and even if Holiday DID turn into a 10 time all star, the gamble at this time is still too high.

    Now if you have multiple draft picks, like a Minny, that’s when it’s better to take a gamble.  And I do think there is such thing as players who have only shown a quarter of their potential, but in watching them perform you can see certain flashes of their game that will naturally improve with time.  But Holiday and Mullins are not those players. 

    I also think that while Tyreke Evans has the potential and is a ridiculous athlete, he is a SG and has no idea how to play the PG position. And I do not see him learning it anytime soon.  Calipari let him jack the ball up and do whatever he wanted at Memphis, as their backcourt needed an injection of scoring with Rose gone and the three headed monster of Anderson/Kemp/Mack needing a more go to guy scorer.  But this guy is just a horrible (this time not an exageration!) shooter, turnover prone, erratic, streaky, overdribbles and often hogged the ball.  Not exactly an ideal candidate for an NBA PG.  I will readily admit though he is a winner, and certainly one of the major three cogs (along with Taggart and Dozier) for their team’s success last year, and in an open court team would really flourish. 

    For ‘Sota…the reason I like the Curry/Harden combo is that they are both excellent shooters from behind the arc…and they are both adept passers.  A very nice option to have a PG (Curry) that in college carried a team on his back to score numerous 30 point games…and a SG (Harden) that has proved he can distribute and get his teammates involved as well as he can score…and the man can score. 

    Harden’s defense is excellent, he has a maturity and humbleness most players don’t have for his age, has a midrange as well as long distance shot, and is crafty as hell in how he scores.  Curry has an air of confidence about him you cant teach, a shot of gold, and its shocking how much his eye for passing improved in one year.  Those two are the winning combo as far as I can see. 

    If they were smart, they’d use the mid 18th pick on Sam Young to give them a polished backup at the SF that can slash, shoot, and brings some college vet savvy to the team.  I really think Sam Young is being slept on, and could be a solid contributer for a lot of teams.  Ellington would be great as well to give them even more shooting and a nice backup, and Budinger would work too.  They need a C to slide Jefferson to the PF spot, and unfortunately for them most legit bigs will probably be gone by then.  I’m going to shutup about the Twolves now.

  61. The Greek says:

    from the toronto sun

    In other news, the Bobcats are going hard after Sammy Dalembert. Offering an unappetizing platter of Nazr Mohammed, Vlad Radmanovic and the 12th pick for Dalembert and the 12th pick.
    Dalembert is out of favour in Philly who want to play Elton Brand at centre and Thad Young at power forward, but this seems like a bad deal for them since Mohammed and Radmanovic are useless and making over $6 million each, this year and next.

    Perhaps to make room, the Bobcats announced they are not picking up their option for Sean May, a huge disappointment after so much success at nearby UNC.

  62. The Greek says:

    Agreed Dave on wanting no part of Mullens or Jrue holliday.  Another guy who reaks of bust is Harden, I would rather have all the goes that will go 8-18 then Harden.

  63. Chuck says:

    Dave T, I agree you with on Harden he is a great defender who just finds ways to get the ball in the hoop. The way he played in the tourney is hard for me to dismiss, he looked lost in the first two rounds, but I am not gonna take much out of it, as he was dominant most of the time in the Pac 10.I think for the Wolves the best combination would be Curry and Harden, it would give them their point guard and shooting guard of the future. Dannie, I agree you with on Henderson being a bad pick for the Sixers, as I didn’t even have him listed as a possible option for the Sixers. The things that he does especially well on the court are already strengths with this team, making him a redundant pick. I don’t agree with the Danthay Jones clone comparisons, there both athletic and great dunkers, and above average defenders, but thats were the similarities stop. Henderson was a game changer at Duke, who went on a absolute torrid stretch throughout the ACC season. He has much more to his offensive repertoire as he is able to hit extremely difficult turnarounds and fadeaways which translate very well to the NBA. He is also able to get to the rim with relative ease. There were some games that had people saying, even UNC fans, this guys the best player in the ACC, in a year their were tons of good players. With all of that said I would still love to see us get Teague or Lawson with our first pick. If Teague, Lawson, and Ellington were all available who would you guys want?

  64. Dave T says:

    Greek:  Why does Harden “wreak of bust”?  I truly don’t understand the knocks that some people have against Harden’s game.  It seems like people are judging him off a total of two games of a 30-35 game college season.  James Harden was one of the most consistent college basketball stars all year.  Most notably: HE HAS NO MAJOR WEAK AREAS AS A BASKETBALL PLAYER!!!  His skills:

    -Very good slasher
    -Very good long range and midrange shooter
    -Extremely crafty scorer
    -Very good at finishing in traffic
    -An efficient scorer with great shot selection
    -High % from 3 point, 2 point, and FT’s
    -Plays very good defense
    -Has legit enough size at 6’5 to be a SG
    -Very high basketball IQ
    -Is unselfish
    -An excellent passer for a SG
    -Very mature and humble
    -Has a very good work ethic, Thad Young-esque by all accounts

    Given the above, exactly what is the knock on Harden?  Where is bust written on him?  So he had two bad games in the tournament.  All players go through slumps and have off nights, and given just how ridiculous James Harden lit up the Pac-10 all year and during the Pac-10 Tournament, I think it’s safe to say we can forgive the guy two weak games out of 30+.  I see him as the Eric Gordon of this year’s draft…the most underrated college star coming out that can just flat out play.

    Jeff Teague:  Why would we pick him?  He is not a PG.  Will never be a PG.  Will not make the transition to a PG.  He does not have the mentality, and it is very rare to be able to make that transition successfully.  Guys like Chalmers and S Curry can do it, because they showed flashes during the season.  Teague is a Lou Williams like scorer.  He’s a GREAT college player…but will never be a PG.

    He also happens to be 6’2.  This means he will not be a starting SG.  There are a total of three 6’0 – 6’2 SG’s that have worked in the last 15 years in the NBA:  Allen Iverson, Steve Francis, and Monta Ellis.  It’s pretty clear Teague is not on that level.  This means Teague should rightly be considered a combo guard.  He’s a guy that COULD step in and start, but on any team in the NBA would not be an ideal starter.  He is an ideal bench scorer and combo guard that can come in and ignite a team.
    Now if we’re drafting him as an upgrade to Lou and Willie G, and trade one of those two, thats plenty fine with me.  But our foremost concern right now should be finding our future starting PG since A-Miller is getting old and may not even be back.  This rounds it down to two people (assuming Flynn wont be there at 17):

    -Ty Lawson
    -Eric Mayner

    They are the only two PG’s where we are drafting that have the chance to be NBA starters.  Lawson is a lock, Mayner more of a question mark.  And as (I think) Dannie said, if we ignored PG and went for a bench SG, why on earth would we choose ANYONE other then Wayne Ellington?

  65. deepsixersued says:

    Dannie, do you think all this action affects us getting Lawson? And does a Love and #6 for Conley and #2 work for both teams?

  66. Dannie says:

    Suede – No way.  Memphis would need more than that if Conley is in the deal.

    I hold pretty strong that Minny needs to just keep those two picks.  If they really want a big then just take Jordan Hill to be the defensive big man next to Jefferson.  Let hill deal with the centers in the NBA and use the other pick on Curry.

  67. Dannie says:

    The knock on Harden is whether or not he has a killer instinct.  Whether or not he is assertive enough.  Same knocks we had/have with Thad.  Plenty of talent but does he have the mentality necessary to maximize the talent.

    His disappearance in the NCAA tournament really worried people because elite players just don’t do that on the big stage.

    I just think a lot of ppl think he may be too passive.  I don’t mind it as much as long as you pair him with a dominate player.  Which is why I think he would fit great as the SG next to Kevin Durant.

  68. The Greek says:

    Dave  I will admit that i have only seen him play 3-4 games but I am unimpressed by his physique.  He doesn’t look like a wing player should look.  He could probably stand to drop 20-30 lb’s.  Secondly the scouts, who many of times are morons are calling him unathletic.

    And of-course his final game, when he watched his team die slowly while hiding from the ball.  I couldn’t believe how passive he was. 

    Dannie as far as Thad being passive,  I saw it more as this is a 20 year old kid on a team with no laws.   His teammates sammy, lou, reggie demanded there shots and how could a young buck tell reggie evans or Oceans 14 Pioneer Sammy  not  to shoot.  

    The greatest thing about Eddie Jordan is there will be laws, your either on board or your gone.   Now when Speights sets up on the post his teammates will dump it down low to him, unlike last year when his best friend Lou the Turd would prefer to take a contested 20 footer then feed the big man in the post.

    Dileo, what a clown.  Basically Speights was playing SG last year because all he was getting was 17-20 jumpers. 

  69. The Greek says:

    Also it’s cool that were going back to the Logo but it bothers me that while everyone is swinging deals yesterday Stefanski is too busy sowing the red white and blue Sixers logo.   Couldn’t this wait until next week?

    One more day , tick tock.

  70. The Real Rob says:

    Don’t worry Greek, you know Stefanski’s been a master of making bold moves.  This goes back to his days with the Nets.  But like you said man, one more day.  I can’t wait!

    We need to know if there is any true substance in that proposed deal with the Bobcats.  The Philadelphia Inquirer mentioned it again recently, but this time it includes the possible swappings of their 12th pick and the Sixers’ 17th pick.  

    Tonight on ESPN is a Draft Preview. 

  71. Dannie says:

    Greek – Excuses, excuses, excuses.  All you tend to do when it comes to Thad.  Young superstars (as you want to anoint him) aren’t passive and they are leaders from day one.

    Harden is a good player.  And a smart player with skill.  I like guys like that other athletes.  Tired of hearing this guy is an athlete and that guy is not athletic. 

    Which guy actually can play basketball and knows the game?  Don’t hear that very often now.  Tired of leapers and runners.  I want shooters, passers, ball-handlers, smart players, leaders and winners.

  72. Dannie says:

    Mark Stein said there are no legs to the Sammy to Charlotte deal….

    Earlier today (yesterday), word from Philly had the Sixers in talks with the Charlotte Bobcats, sending C Samuel Dalembert and the 17th overall pick in the Thursday’s draft for F Vladimir Radmanovic, C Nazr Mohammed, and the 12th pick in the draft.

    But when we checked in with ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, he said his sources say the rumor doesn’t have any legs. At least not yet.

    A hang-up might be that the deal doesn’t do much for the Philly cap situation, and a jump to No. 12 from No. 17 is a mystery for value in a draft that still is loaded with questions even in the No. 2 to No. 7 range.

  73. dre says:

    I agree with you Dannie, the league needs to back to the ’80′s style of play. As a freshman in high school I was “athletic and a jumper” but I had no jumper and no handle and didn’t make the team that year. Did I mention that I went to HSES and was a freshman in 1983 the fouth year the school was open.

  74. Sean says:

    What do you guys think about two different Mocks now showing Jennings to the Sixers @ 17?  DX has Lawson@13, so I would take Jennings over Maynor or Ellington(who they have dropping into the 2nd).

    Also, there is another rumor on the RealGM board with the Sixers inquiring about Michael Redd, using Sam and either Lou or Green.

  75. Dannie says:

    Sean – Biggest thing I worry about is Lawson going 13 to Indiana. Then the Sixers will have a decision to make.

  76. The Real Rob says:

    Sean– I don’t think Michael Redd is the same player he once was.  If you want a Michael Redd type of player, one can obtain him through the draft in Dionte Christmas as a 2nd round pick. 

    J.A Adande and Chad Ford keep saying time and time again that anyone who passes up on Ty Lawson is making a huge mistake.  He fits like a glove in an uptempo style, which is what our beloved Sixers are. 

  77. Sean says:

    I agree about Lawson, I honestly think he is a top 5 player in this draft.  That said, if he’s gone, I also think Jennings is at that level too.  All I am saying is that if Lawson’s gone and they “settle” for Jennings, I’ll be good.

    About Redd, I would probably rather have Ellington, but if it gets rid of Sam…

    Actually, I think I’d prefer that Charlotte rumor for Vlad & Nazr.  The rumor features a possible pick swap between 12 & 17, but with the Bobcats in love with T-Williams, I would settle for a 2nd this year and the right to swap 1sts over the next couple years.

  78. Pete says:

    you guys better do a mock draft…

  79. Dannie says:
  80. Dave T says:

    Very encouraging to hear that he is shooting 5000 jumpers a week in that article you found Dannie.  Mon-Fri, 1000 shots per day…that’s the kind of work guys like Trajan Langdon and other amazing shooters have put into their shot to have great success.  Will bode well for him.

    Definitely an interesting scenario if Lawson is taken top 15, and Jennings is still on board.  To me, the choice then is between Brandon Jennings or Wayne Ellington, followed by Eric Mayner.  With Brandon it’s so hard to tell as 99% of us are relying on vague youtube video clips of him in Italy, and columnists and GM opinions.

    Mayner would be the obvious solid choice…if we went direction of backup SG to bring up, Ellington should be automatic.  But Jennings…MAN he looks impressive in clips of games Ive actually seen…improving outside shot, ridiculous ball handling, absurd quickness and 1st step, and playing in Italy against pros with great IQ’s should help his basketball maturity, and overall maturity, more then the average college player I’d imagine.

    There’s also the question whether we’d want an ultra young guy like the 19 year old Jennings…or just “youth” where it’s a 21 year old college vet like Lawson, Mayner and Ellington.  I cannot wait until tomorrow to see how this pans out.

    Should also be mentioned that Reggie Miller has mentioned on the Dan Patrick show he feels either J Jack or TJ Ford will be traded, and that the Pacers will be drafting a PG.  Youd have to think there is at least the possibility this could be more then just speculation and opinion, given Reggie’s ties to the Pacers and the fact he might have some inside info.