Philadunkia 4on4: Draft Edition

052014-sixers-three-600It’s time for the 2014 NBA Draft edition of Philadunkia’s 4on4…

As a reminder, this Philadunkia question and answer series is “loosely based” on ESPN.com’s highly successful, NBA related series of posts titled “5on5″.  Our version of this genre of posts will ask 4 Philadunkia scribes to answer 4 topical, hot button questions about our Philadelphia 76ers.

Now you’re probably asking, “Why not simply stick with the “5on5″ format that ESPN.com uses?” 

Well as any great hoops coach will tell you — playing 4on4 is the best way to truly learn the game of basketball.

Philadunkia scribes Jeff McMenamin, Carey Smith, Michael Kaskey-Blomain and Steve Toll will examine four key questions surrounding the 2014 NBA Draft for our 76ers, after the jump…

With the No. 3 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia Sixers select…?

McMenamin:  If Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker are available, I think one of them needs to be selected here. Otherwise, my pick is for Kentucky’s Julius Randle. I’m well aware that every analyst has their eyes set on seven footer Joel Embiid, but he just doesn’t fit the Sixers as they’re currently constructed right now.

Thaddeus Young is likely to get traded before the start of next season (possibly even on draft night) so the Sixers need to find a power forward for the future. I’m not sold that Embiid and Noel can coexist, kind of like how Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe couldn’t coexist in Detroit or Dwight Howard and Omer Asik in Houston, so the Sixers shouldn’t make a selection strictly on talent alone. If the Sixers trade Noel in the process of selecting Embiid then I’m fine with it, but I think Randle’s more of a fit for the team right now.

Smith:  I take whichever player is left out of Wiggins, Embiid and Parker. According to everything I’ve read online and every scout/front office person I talk/text with, those three have separated themselves from the rest of this prospect class. I think Parker will be the last man in the green room out of those three, which has me a little stressed because I’m not a big fan of Duke guys and their ability to star in the NBA.

Kaskey-Blomain: The Sixers’ selection at the third spot is dictated by the previous picks. Obviously, if Andrew Wiggins is available, he is the guy. It seems somewhat unlikely that Wiggins will drop down to third overall however, as both the Cavs and Bucks have expressed interest.

If Wiggins isn’t available, then you go Parker. The Sixers need to secure a scorer, as a premier perimeter player is something that they have been desperately missing on the offensive end. So in short, if Wiggins is available, that is who the SIxers should select. If he’s gone, Jabari Parker isn’t a bad second option.

Toll:  Whomever is left between Embiid, Wiggins and Parker. Plain and simple. 

Do you think the Cavs are open to the idea of trading the top pick? If so, what would the Sixers have to give up in order to get it?

McMenamin:  According to ESPN, calls have already been rolling in about the No. 1 pick in Cleveland. General manager David Griffin stated that, “I’d trade me if it made us better…We’re going to be open-minded to whatever it is that advances our cause the furthest.”

If getting the No. 1 pick from Cleveland means landing Andrew Wiggins, I think the Sixers should definitely be throwing their best offer towards Cleveland. It’s widely viewed by analysts and experts that the Cavs are aiming towards taking Joel Embiid with the first pick in the draft. If the Sixers package the No. 3 pick, a future first rounder and Thad to Cleveland, it might be enough for the Cavs to bite. Although with the Bucks selecting at No. 2, the Cavs might not feel so secure that their big man will still be around by pick No. 3. 

Smith:  I believe the owner has already dropped hints that his franchise is willing to listen to offers for the No. 1 overall pick, so yes I believe they are open to that idea. I think Hinkie could steal the No. 1 pick in draft from Cleveland for the No. 3 selection this year, a lottery protected 1st round selection in 2015 and Thad. No one loves Thad more than I do, but that’s a deal I would green light fairly quickly. The question is would Cleveland take Thad and his contract ($9.4 mil next year and ETO $9.9 mil in 2015-16) which is strongly disliked by the League’s front office types.

Kaskey-Blomain: I’d be surprised if the Cavs traded the top pick, but after selecting Anthony Bennett first overall last year, who knows what they are going to do. Dion Waiters isn’t a legitimate reason to pass up on a promising prospect like Wiggins or Parker, and you have to think that the Cavs will see something they like in this deep draft class. They need a post presence, and they need perimeter scoring and they could get either with the first pick. Unless they can hit a home run with a trade, I expect them to keep the pick.

With that being said, I don’t see anything that the Sixers could offer them that would be too enticing. Outside of picks, the only player that could really offer is Thaddeus Young, and it seems pretty clear that the Cavs are looking for more proven, top-tier talent.

Toll:  Cleveland is already fielding calls for the No. 1 pick.  I’d be willing to trade Thad, MCW, Noel, No. 3 and No. 10 for Embiid.  If you can get a guy with HOF level tools at center, you do anything and everything to get him in the draft.  With that being said, Jahill Okafor and Karl Towns (both high school seniors) might be better prospects than Embiid in the eyes of Sam Hinkie and in that case, trading everything for Embiid might not make sense.

If Wiggins and Parker are off the board before the Sixers pick, would it be worth trying to package picks to the Timberwolves in a trade for Kevin Love?

McMenamin: Do I think that Kevin Love would be a great fit at power forward for this team? Yes. But, the only way I do this deal is if the Timberwolves take our bad contracts in exchange for Love’s. That means a trade of our No. 3 and No. 10 picks as well as Thaddeus Young and Jason Richardson for Kevin Love, Kevin Martin and a future first rounder. It works in the trade machine.

This totally goes against Sam Hinkie’s plan and would never happen in reality, but the pairing of Noel and Love in the paint would be a very solid duo for the future. Kevin Martin would also serve as a serviceable starting shooting guard for the next few years. He averaged 19.1 points last season with 115 three pointers. He’d be a welcome addition on the perimeter.

Should they make this trade? Probably not, but it’s at least interesting to think about.

Smith:  No. Absolutely not. I do not think it would be worth trading for Kevin Love, but that opinion has nothing to do with Love’s skill set or playing ability. Adding an all-star level veteran this summer does not fit the rebuilding plan here in Philadelphia and I want to stick to the Hinkie-plan. Additionally, it seems clear to me that Love wants to play for a title contender or be shipped home to Los Angeles. This last thing I want for this Sixers rebuild is a grumpy veteran mucking up the vibe in locker room. 

Kaskey-Blomain:  I don’t really see Kevin Love fitting in with the future of the Sixers’ franchise. I do, however see someone like Julius Randle or Dante Exum developing very nicely alongside Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel, and whoever else the Sixers select at No. 10.

Obviously, we want Wiggins or Parker, but if they are both gone, I wouldn’t panic. I would overlook Embiid, as I have some concerns about him, and focus on either Randle or Exum at the third spot. Both have potential to be prolific NBA players, and could greatly contribute to the Sixers’ rebuild.

Toll:  NO!  If Embiid is available at No. 3, the 76ers have won the draft and here’s why…

Let’s assume that Thad is traded for Phoenix’s No. 14 pick this year, Moultrie’s option isn’t picked up for 15-16 and all the 2nd round picks get cut during summer league/next offseason. The 2015-2016 salary cap is projected to be $66.5 million.  Embiid, Noel, MCW, Wroten and the N0. 10/No. 14 picks will be ~$17,100,000.

Now, lets factor in the 2015 lottery pick at No. 3 for all intents and purposes.  That will have the 76ers at ~$20.7 million in salary and give the team over $45 million in cap space.  Enough for Kevin Love to sign a 4-year MAX deal, plus the Sixers would still have $29 million more to spend on free agents.  The goal is to make the team as attractive as possible before the start of 2015 free agency, patience is a virtue.

Which player at the top of the draft boards do you see potentially slipping to the Sixers at No. 10? 

McMenamin: It’s Julius Randle that I’ve seen fall the most in analysts eyes in recent weeks, but I believe the Sixers may have themselves an outside shot at Marcus Smart at No. 10 on draft night.

Smart comes in at No. 7 on the majority of draft boards, but I believe that scouts may look at his size as a knock on him by the time draft day comes. He’s listed as a point guard, but plays like a shooting guard. He’s a great defender and rebounder and makes good decisions when the ball is in his hands. But with players like Aaron Gordon, Noah Vonleh, Doug McDermott and James Young gaining hype, I think Smart could be one of the ones to fall by draft night.

Smith:  I think it will be Julius Randle that slips to the 76ers at No. 10.

SI.com has Randle going No. 7 to the Lakers and I have already seen him as low as No. 11 in Yahoo’s Marc Spears’ mock draft. My point is that the former top 3-4 pick is trending down and hard. That’s fine by me as if he is available at No. 10 and the SGs (James Young and/or Nik Stauskas) I desperately want for the Sixers are gone, then I’d gladly take a 6-foot-9, 240 pound PF with a 7-foot wingspan and a nice post game.

Kaskey-Blomain:  Not so much a slip as a reach, but I really wouldn’t mind seeing the Sixers end up with James Young from Kentucky at that No. 10 spot.

Young has excellent size for a shooting guard, and is excellent on offense, and improving. He can knock down shots both off the catch and off the dribble, and he is great in the open court, something that is important to Brett Brown. He would benefit from playing alongside Carter-Williams in the backcourt, as Carter-Williams could find him opportunities to knock down jumpers. A potential lineup of: Carter-Williams, Young, Parker, T. Young, Noel looks pretty impressive on paper, and with a scenario like that I would consider the draft an enormous success.

Toll:  I think the best player available at No. 10 will be Kyle Anderson, who could put up numbers similar to peak Boris Diaw but with better defense.  I really don’t think their will be any major falls in this draft or any real surprises except if Doug McDermott is a lottery pick.

Jeff McMenamin is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twitter @Sixersblog.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twitter @therealmikeKB.

Steve Toll is a scribe for Philadunkia.  You can follow him on Twitter @BasementGM.

You can follow us on Twitter @philadunkia.

 

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