It’s May 1st and Philadunkia nation is now just 19 days away from the NBA Draft Lottery. As opposed to the first selection, which is still very much a question mark at the moment, the Sixers’ second selection isn’t nearly as unclear. The Sixers should have the tenth pick in the first round, barring a miracle Top 3 lottery win from the Pelicans who have a 1.1% chance at No. 1, 1.3% chance at No. 2 and 1.6% chance at No. 3.
The Sixers management can breathe easier knowing their 10th pick is pretty much set in stone, but predicting who will be available at No. 10 and who the team should select is a whole other story.
Philadunkia scribes Jeff McMenamin, Carey Smith and Alex Gorge break down their top targets for the Sixers’ second first round selection after the jump…
No.10 pick (if available)- 1 vote Rodney Hood SF, Duke; 1 vote Gary Harris SG, Michgan State; 1 vote T.J. Warren SG, NC State
McMenamin: Rodney Hood- I get the knocks on him. He’s 22, he’s lanky and his 6-foot-8 wingspan isn’t going to help him on defense, but man can this kid shoot the lights out. Shooting is something that’s hard to teach, especially at the NBA level. Just look at Evan Turner, Rajon Rondo or even Michael Carter-Williams – the three might never add that element to their games, regardless of training.
Hood on the other hand has arguably the purest shot in the draft. If for some reason the Sixers are seeded lower than expected and miss out on Wiggins or Parker, the team needs to draft a wing with a scoring prowess. I believe that Hood is that guy and can develop into a very good NBA small forward. At 6-foot-8, 201 pounds he’ll need to add about 20 pounds in muscle to be able to handle most NBA wings. Adding that will help him tremendously on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.
Smith: Gary Harris- I am trying to recall the last time the Sixers had an true quality NBA shooting guard in their starting lineup (Jodie Meeks; Evan Turner and James Anderson don’t count) and am having trouble doing so. That problem gets solved at the 2014 Draft by selecting Harris at No. 10.
The 6-foot-5 two-guard is a versatile scorer with a very nice outside stroke. As a bonus, he has been well schooled at the defensive end as he is a Tom Izzo product. He’ll need to work on his ball handling, but I’m okay with that fact as he’ll be under the tutelage of Brett Brown. He is widely considered the best SG prospect in this draft class and the Sixers cannot afford to pass on another Paul Pierce-type shooting guard.
Gorge: T.J. Warren- This kid is the most efficient scorer I have ever seen at the college level. If he shot the ball 30 times a game this past year it honestly would have been better for NC State. There isn’t a shot in the book this kid doesnt have — post up, floater, three point shot, you name it.
His game is effortless and you’re never worried about him in a Derrick Rose-type of way. Warren is 6-foot-8, 230 pounds and could also play any position from 1-4. A lot of people compare this kid to a Paul Pierce 2.0. Brown may have to convince him to be more aggressive in the same way he would with Wiggins but trust me this player is a STEAL and his +/- will be out the roof.
No. 10 pick (if available): 1 vote Adreian Payne PF, Michigan State; 1 vote Nick Staukas SG, Michigan; 1 vote Garry Harris SG, Michigan State
McMenamin: Adreian Payne- Payne is a poor man’s version of Julius Randle with a higher scoring tenacity. He shoots very well for a big man and has a solid slew of post moves as well. If the Sixers go for a wing early, he’s the guy I’d like the Sixers to target.
He’s not going to blow you away with athleticism but he’s very crafty and uses his feet well. Defensively he struggles against bigs who’re more physically built than he is, but overall he’s a tough man to beat in the paint and will compliment Noel nicely around the cylinder. In his 41-point outburst against Delaware in the NCAA tournament he showed a wide variety of offensive moves. He attacked the iron with finesse, he hit from distance and he was able to convert on turnaround jump shots effectively. Having Payne could also give Thaddeus Young a much needed breather and keep his energy high for the entire season.
Smith: Nick Staukas- Staukas is the lethal and efficient perimeter shooter (17.8 ppg.; 54% on FGAs, 45% on threes) that could fill the Sixers’ years long void at shooting guard. This past season the 6-foot-6 Michigan guard added several nice tricks to his game and showed that he can be more than a stand still shooter. He’ll still need a great deal of improvement in this area to be a great SG in the NBA, but Staukas has shown he’s willing to do the work to make big improvements. He also showed a nice ability to handle the rock this season.
The Association is now a 3-point take and make League. The 76ers took a ton of threes this past season and made very few. Selecting Staukas at N0. 10 solves that glaring issue. The Sixers didn’t play any defense in 2013-14, so I’m not concerned that Staukus couldn’t guard any of the kids on my 5th grade CYO team.
Gorge: Gary Harris- Harris is a big 6-foot-5 shooting guard that is at the peak of his game. He would have big advantages in rebounding for his size at that position and can also shoot the ball. He’s not going to blow you away with athleticism, but he’s considered one of the top defenders in this draft. He’s crafty with the ball in his hands and can finish with both hands. Overall, his basketball IQ makes him a good pick at No. 10.
No. 10 (if available): 2 votes James Young SG, Kentucky; 1 vote Tyler Ennis PG, Syracuse
McMenamin: Tyler Ennis- Why would the Sixers draft a point guard? Isn’t Michael Carter-Williams about to win ROY at this position? You mean to tell me that the Sixers are going to draft two straight point guards from Syracuse in consecutive drafts? These are all valid questions on why the Sixers shouldn’t draft Ennis and I can’t argue with any of them. I just believe that he’s is one of those rare talents at the point guard position that will make GMs pound their heads against the wall for passing on him for years to come.
The things that stick out to me about Ennis are his size (6-foot-2, 180 pounds), playmaking ability, consistency and maturity. At just 19, he looked as poised as any player in the country this past season and proved time and time again that he can handle clutch time with the best of them. Where a lot of times it looks almost unnatural for the 6-foot-8 Carter-Williams to be handling the rock for the 7-6, especially when trying to defend the smaller and quicker guards like Chris Paul, Rajon Rondo and Damian Lillard, Ennis looks as natural as a point guard can come at his position.
In his freshman year with the Cuse he averaged 12.9 points, 5.5 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 2.1 steals, leading the Orange to a school record 25-straight wins and became a darkhorse to win freshman POY over Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Julius Randle. Instead, Syracuse collapsed at the end of the season and most of that talk went out the window.
Still, it’s moments like this, this, and this that make him an attractive pick in my mind and even if he’s not the most athletic guard in the draft, I feel like his intangibles give him an edge over the other guards available with this pick. It would be interesting to see how Brett Brown would use both Ennis and Carter-Williams together if they did indeed go this route.
Smith: James Young- Notice a trend here for me at No. 10? Yes, Young was streaky throughout his one and done year at Kentucky, but at the end of the season and during March Madness, Young rediscovered the shooting stroke that made him one of the top high school recruits in the nation. In his last eight regular season games, Young hit 35.7% of his threes and averaged 15 PPG. During the NCAA tournament, Young hit 42.6% of his FGAs and 38% of his threes.
Obviously I feel the Sixers need a shooting guard who can fill it up from deep and Young has shown he can do that. As a bonus, the 6-foot-7 Young is only 18 years old, owns a 6-foot-11 wingspan, has elite athleticism and tremendous hops. He’s exactly the type of player Sam Hinkie wants on this roster.
Gorge: James Young- Young is being compared to James Harden for obvious reasons but he is also 6-foot-7. Young has a great defensive game and adding that big of a guard who is lights out from deep could really help MCW space the floor.
There’s also the fact that for some reason left handed players when efficient, still cause a lot of problems for a defenses in today’s NBA. Young is only 18 right now so he would have an ample amount of time to improve.
Jeff McMenamin is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @SixersBlog
Alex Gorge is a scribe for Philadunkia. You can follow him on Twitter @apg3000
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