Draft day 2014 is quickly approaching. While most mock drafts have the 76ers taking either Parker or Wiggins with their first pick (No. 3 overall), there seems to be a wide range of players who the “experts” predict the team will select with their 2nd Lottery opportunity, the 10th overall pick.
We pray that Sam Hinkie grabs a prospect with the 3rd pick that someday develops into a franchise level star. Even if Hinkie strikes gold at No. 3 the 76ers will still have a number of holes to fill, thus finding a solid prospect at #10 will still be a key to rebuilding this franchise. Since the Sixers have so many needs to address at this upcoming draft and this deep class boasts a host of prospects who could be a good fit with the franchise going forward, there is no consensus among the “experts” as to which prospect Hinkie & Co. may take at No. 10.
So once again, we searched the world wide web and gathered up a host of “expert” opinions on what to expect from the Sixers at the 10th spot on Draft Night 2014.
Draft Express has Aaron Gordon falling to us on draft night. Gordon would surely fit the team’s quick-paced offense. Gordon, the 2nd most athletic prospect in the draft behind Andrew Wiggins, would fit nicely in Philadelphia. If you liked the hustle that Thaddeus Young displayed for us each and every night, I’m sure you’d be happy with Aaron. The Arizona freshman plays with a high motor and hustles all over the court. As a freshman, Gordon displayed his explosiveness and tremendous leaping ability through plenty of highlight plays. With all of his elite athleticism, Gordon has the potential to be a force on the defensive side of the ball. While at Arizona, Gordon was a decent shot blocker. With Gordon, there seems to be plenty of defensive potential, but his offensive game is a work in progress. Aaron needs to work on his ball-handling and shooting ability. Because of his lack of ball-handling skills, he’s much better off the ball making explosive plays through alley-oops and put backs. Along with these inefficiencies, Gordon struggles mightily at the foul line. During his lone season at Arizona, Gordon shot 42% from the line. Another problem which might cause Gordon to slip to the 10th pick in the draft is his size. Some experts see Gordon as a small forward while others see him as a power forward. If Gordon makes it to the sixers 2nd selection in the first round, I can definitely see the team selecting him.
Steve Kyler, of Basketball Insiders, has a bigger surprise for Sixers fans in his latest mock draft. Kyler has the sixers selecting Julius Randle with the 10th overall pick. Kyler believes that the Kentucky freshman will fall to the sixers due to questions surrounding Randle’s surgically repaired foot. Just a couple days ago, the sixers brought in Randle for a private workout. If Randle somehow falls to the 10th pick, Sixers fans should get excited. Randle, being 250 pounds, is bulky enough to complement Nerlens Noel in the paint. Although Randle’s shooting is a bit of a concern, he can make up for it through his ferocious rebounding ability. Randle isn’t the most explosive prospect in this year’s draft but he is very strong. He uses his power and strength to get to the basket. Some experts worry that his strength won’t translate to the NBA level. Experts believe that Randle was able to dominate at the collegiate level due to the size of his competition. They worry that he won’t be as dominant at the NBA level because he will be going against players who are bigger and stronger than he is. For a prospect who relies heavily on his strength, Randle will need to continue getting stronger so he can keep up with NBA players. If Randle can continue to add muscle and a consistent mid-range jumper, he will become a force in the League.
Yahoo Sports’ NBA scribe Steve Alexander sees Michigan’s Nik Stauskas going to the Sixers with the 10th pick. Stauskas’ biggest strength is seen in his shooting ability. During his time at Michigan, Stauskas shot 44% from behind the arc. A shooter would surely help the sixers spread the floor on the offensive side of the ball. For his position, Nik has great size at the 2nd guard. At 6’6”, Stauskas can create a favorable match up with the other guards around the NBA. MCW would love a back court mate who actually makes threes, and Nik can be that guy, come June 26th. Stauskas can make an immediate impact on the offensive side of the ball, but there are questions about his defense. Some experts aren’t quite sure if he can survive the physicality seen in the NBA. Stauskas struggles with players who are bigger and stronger than him due to his lack of physicality. If the Sixers want a shooter who can spread the floor, Nik Stauskas might be their guy at #10.
ESPN’s Chad Ford believes that the Sixers will go with Dario Saric at #10. Behind Dante Exum, Saric is viewed as one of the 2014 Draft’s most intriguing International prospects. He has been compared to the Spurs’ do it all forward, Boris Diaw and Saric’s high basketball IQ has experts excited about the Croatian’s game. The 6’10” forward has a great feel for the game, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Saric’s passing ability is one of his most electrifying abilities. Saric has the ability to look over the opponent’s defense and make difficult passes to the open man. Another strength in Saric’s game can be found in his aggressiveness on the glass. When Saric rebounds the ball, he has the ability to quickly turn those rebounds into transition opportunities. He does this through pushing the ball himself and/or making accurate outlet passes to his teammates for fast break chances. For a team who likes to run, the Sixers would benefit tremendously from this asset of Saric’s game. They will be able to push the ball down the court whenever Saric secures a defensive rebound. Saric’s game also has weaknesses as well. He isn’t as explosive or quick as some of the other forwards in the draft class. Experts also question his strength. Some believe he will be bullied by the bigger forwards in the NBA. His defense is in question as well. Experts worry that his lack of quickness will keep him from guarding elite NBA players.
Chris Mannix of SI.com is forecasting that with the 10th pick Hinkie will take Michigan State shooting guard Gary Harris. Obviously Harris can shoot, but did you know the Tom Izzo raised guard is also one of the best perimeter defenders in this class?The former Spartan is lethal coming off screens and last year showed that when necessary he can create an opening for for himself with one or two dribbles. Two other attributes that the scouts love about Harris are his high basketball IQ and his willingness to play team basketball. One knock on Harris are that he only measured 6-2 without shoes at the NBA Draft combine. Some scouts have also questioned his athleticism. Despite these issues, a fully healthy Harris (An ankle injury nagged him all of last season at State.) could be combined with reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, to provide a solid young backcourt for years to come. Harris certainly would be a better option than James Anderson.
There are plenty of options for the sixers at the 10th spot in the draft. Each prospect mentioned above can surely help the Sixers going forward. It is up to Sam Hinkie to decide which prospect could potentially be a part of a championship contender. Each of these prospects brings something different to the table, and I believe they all can make a solid contribution to Philadunkia’s home team. Only ten days remain until the NBA draft, so don’t be surprised to hear one of these names called when the Sixers are on the clock with the 10th pick.
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