Well, I enjoyed doing this for the Eagles so here I go for the Sixers.
The basic exercise is to put together what I think the Sixers’ big board should look like, based on my assessment of the talent in the draft and the needs on the team. Then I watch the draft and get super-pissed when they don’t do what I said, as if I’m a professional scout or something.
That being said… ahem…
The Sixers are in a good position in the draft in that there looks to be a good player available at #15 at a position of need (SG, PF, C).
Personally, I would love to see the Sixers end up with a G and F/C in the draft that can replace Lou Williams and Spencer Hawes at a fraction of the cost. I think that’s possible – but more on that later. Let’s get the Big Board…
1. Anthony Davis, PF
No brainer. He was a game changer at the college level and has a good chance to be the same in the NBA.
2. Bradley Beal, SG
Lots of mystery about who might go #2, but I think this would be an easy pick for the Sixers. Beal is a pure off-the-ball shooter and scorer the team desperately needs. Could a package around Dre and the #15 get the Sixers up to 2? Probably not, but the Bobcats are shopping.
3. Thomas Robinson, PF
Tough choice here for me between T-Rob and Barnes, but T-Rob seems like the safer pick to me. He tested out as a very good athlete in the combine and is a very well-rounded player. Probably not quite an all-star, but could come in and replace Brand right away.
4. Harrison Barnes, SF
Never lived up to his high school billing, but he is a scorer and also tested as a super athlete at the combine. Could probably use some coaching up, but his upside is still considerable.
5. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF
This is one of those, “but then we trade Iguodala” picks. MKG brings a lot to the table, but not necessarily stuff we don’t have. He’s not a gifted scorer, but gives you pretty much everything else. For another team, I’d probably have him as high a #2.
6. Andre Drummond, C
He looked so horrible whenever I saw him play this year, it pains me to put him here. But we are still talking about a guy who is nearly 7 feet, 280 lbs and can do this.
The general consensus is that those are top-6 players in the draft. It’s certainly possible that they don’t go top-6, but there is no chance any of them fall to #15. Many of the remaining guys won’t last until #15, but it’s possible they will.
7. John Henson, PF
I’ve been going back and forth here between Lamb and Henson and will probably continue to do so even though it’s unlikely either makes it to #15. I have Henson here because the Sixers are dying for an interior defensive presence and Henson can provide that. His 9’4” standing reach is outrageous. How much so? It’s 4 inches taller than Anthony Davis, 2.5 inches taller than Andre Drummond, 0.5 inches taller than Dwight Howard, the same as Greg Oden…OK I think you get it. Among PF and C prospects in our range, he has the most blks/36 by far (4.0) and highest Reb/36 (13.7).
8. Jeremy Lamb, SG
Originally, I had Lamb a little lower because he seemed too passive to me when I watched him play. But the fact of the matter is, with Jrue and ET as our primary ball handlers he could very well be the perfect compliment to them. He can shoot, and he measured out freakish at the combine. His 6’11 wingspan and 38 inch vert give him a vertical reach better than most PF and C prospects in the draft.
9. Tyler Zeller, PF/C
An incredibly safe pick. He measured out as a legit 7-footer, can score, shoot, rebound, block a few shots. He’s not going to be an all-star, but I would consider him an upgrade over Spencer Hawes. His Per/36 numbers for his senior were more well-rounded than any other PF/C prospect: 23.2 points, 55% FG, 81% FT, 13.6 reb, 2.2 blks.
10. Terrence Ross, SG
Similar to Lamb in that he is a good-sized SG that is super-athletic and can shoot it. Probably a safer pick than Lamb, but with less upside.
11. Dion Waiters, SG
A rising prospect who may not fit in with the Sixers as well as Ross or Lamb because he didn’t play off the ball much at Syracuse. He has drawn some comparisons to a poor-mans Dwyane Wade. It seems he has a promise in the lottery, so the Sixers would likely have to trade up.
12. Jared Sullinger, PF
If not for his medical “red flag” I’d still only have him at #10, so I don’t consider this a big drop. Teams will be scared off by that and by his really, really bad athletic testing but Sullinger makes up for it with some considerable skill. He can work in the post, but also shot 40% from 3 and 77% from the FT line. For a guy who looked certain to go Top-5 last year, and Top-10 this year, you couldn’t really argue with the Sixers taking a chance at #15.
13. Terrence Jones, PF
He can be a dominant force…when he wants to be. He disappeared a lot during Kentucky games this year, but when he was on, he was really good. He appears big enough to play PF in the NBA, and if the Sixers draft him, they would do well to do what they did with Thad and not allow him to shoot any more 3′s. John Hollinger’s draft rater has him as the 8th best prospect in the draft, and David Thorpe thinks he’d be the perfect fit for the Sixers.
14. Austin Rivers, SG
Tough to tell what he’s going to be after 1 year in school, but it seems like his ceiling is a Jason Terry type player. I would certainly take that over a Lou Williams type. He will likely be gone when the Sixers pick.
15. Perry Jones III, PF
This would be a pure upside pick. He’s an ultra-athletic player with a Kevin Garnett frame who appears to have about 1/10th of the desire that KG has. That being said, 6’11” skilled players with 39 inch verticals don’t come along often. In the mid-first, he might be worth seeing if Collins and co. can get through.
Theoretically – Jones is the “worst” case scenario for me since we pick at 15. I will shorten up my write-ups from here on out.
16. Damian Lillard, PG – Might go as high as #6, but we don’t need a PG
17. Arnett Moultrie, PF – Big and athletic, but how can someone with a 12 ft vertical reach only average 0.9 blks per 36?
18. Andrew Nicholson, PF – I like this kid a lot. He has been compared to David West and I think that is dead on. He can really, really shoot it. Best FG% of any PF/C prospects in the Sixers range.
19. Kendall Marshall, PG – Seems to me he would make a quality back-up PG behind Jrue.
20. Quincy Miller, SF – A wild card like his teammate PJIII. Hollinger’s player rater has him as a major sleeper.
21. Royce White, PF – Too much of a point-forward for the Sixers at this time.
22. Evan Fournier, SG – Intriguing foreign SG prospect who is apparently a natural scorer.
23. Draymond Green, PF – Could be a very solid bench player. Does all the little things.
24. Fab Melo, C – Potentially dominant defensive force with almost no offensive game. Could be useful as a back-up center.
25. Meyers Leonard, C - I do. not. care. about. his. upside. 7’1”, white center, with so-so rebounding/blk numbers and a project on offense. I honestly can’t think of one player who fits this profile who succeeded in the NBA.
26. John Jenkins, SG - Shootah!
27. Doron Lamb, SG – Shootah!
28. Tony Wroten, PG – Project PG
29. Will Barton, SG – Could be a solid bench contributor
30. Jared Cunningham, SG – Ditto
2nd round looks…
Tyshawn Taylor, PG
Maalik Wayns, PG
Furkan Aldemir, PF
Drew Gordon, PF
Festus Ezeli, C
Miles Plumlee, C
Henry Sims, C
So what is an ideal draft for the Sixers?
Frankly, as long as they end up with someone in my top-15 I won’t be too upset. I think 9-15 on my board is pretty darn interchangeable and I’m sure I could be convinced to put them in almost any order.
My biggest fear in this off-season is that the Sixers re-sign Lou Williams, Spencer Hawes, or both. As I said earlier, I think they could replace both in this draft.
Let’s play around with one scenario that is particularly intriguing to me: trading Andre Igoudala for the #7 or #8 pick (and hopefully something else). The only sound rumor I’ve heard is Dre to the Raptors for #8, Ed Davis and Jose Calderon (to make the $$ work).
If they Sixers did that deal, they could use #8 to take either John Henson or Jeremy Lamb. Then, they could use #15 to fill the other need with either Tyler Zeller, Terrence Ross, Terrence Jones, or anyone who falls to that spot. Someone good will be there.
For the purpose of this exercise, let’s say the Sixers make that move with the Raptors. Then take John Henson at #8, and Terrence Ross at #15. If they stand relatively pat in the FA market (probably a good idea, not a great class) – they could go into the 2013-14 season with the following:
G – Jrue Holiday, 23
G – Evan Turner, 25
F – Thad Young, 25
F – John Henson, 22
C – Nik Vucevic, 23
Bench: Terrence Ross, 22 and Lavoy Allen, 24 and Ed Davis, 24
Oh, and ahem, a lot, a lot, a lot of cap room to go after someone like Blake Grffin.
I think the Sixers best plan right now is to collect young assets and manage the cap, which means they have to draft well and not sign stupid contracts. It might mean a step-back in 2012-13, but that’s better than living the rest of our lives in 7-9 seed hell.
I think the above scenario (or something like it) is best thing that could happen to this team long-term.
So any draft talk you have can go here – let me know what you think and who you want the Sixers to shoot for…