The 2012 NBA Draft is just hours away and unless you have been living under The Commodore Barry Bridge, you know what holes the 76ers will be looking to fill tonight. We have discussed in detail here at Philadunkia that the Sixers’ ills include shooting guard, power forward and center. Our hope is that tonight Doug Collins finds a player with the #15 pick (or via a trade) that will immediately solve one of those issues.
We showed you what all the “experts” and NBA scouts think of the players that should be available when the Sixers are put on the clock tonight and now it’s time for the scribes here at Philadunkia to predict what the 7-6 will do with the 15th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Will it be a SG with a smooth stroke? Or an athletic power forward who replaces Elton Brand in the starting five by the All-Star Break? Or will the Sixers take a bit of a flier and grab one of the “upside” 7-footers still on the board in the mid-first round?
Really, only DC knows what is going to happen in Newark tonight, but after the jump Philadunkia’s own takes a stab at predicting who the 76ers will pick …
While some fairly large concerns about his back have cropped up suddenly, if he’s still on the board–and there’s no reason to think he won’t be–my pick is Ohio State PF Jared Sullinger. While he lacks the athleticism of some of his classmates, he’s got crazy strength, off-the-charts roundball smarts, and a nose for the ball. Sounds like a perfect replacement for a certain 33-year-old the Sixers are mulling ways to shed, doesn’t he? Concerns considered, to get him in the middle part of the first round would be great value.
(While, in a perfect world, the Sixers would get a sharpshooting two to render Jodie Meeks a redundant part, but it looks increasingly unlikely Lamb or Terrance Ross will fall to 15.)
As I wrote in the previous weeks, the Sixers need to address their backcourt problem in the NBA Draft THEN fix their lack of scoring in Free Agency. I simply hope management realizes that and doesn’t try to be the smartest man in the room. Look, the draft can go in a million and one ways. Do the Sixers trade Iggy and move up? Do they completely move out? Do they stay put and let the draft come to them?
Nothing is set in stone yet, so my prediction will have to be based on the Sixers remaining at the No. 15 spot and the Sixers are on the clock! “With the number 15-pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select..Terrence Jones, forward, Kentucky.” I want this to happen on so many different levels. The kid can rebound. The kid is athletic. The kid can shoot. The kid is a winner. The kid can block shots. The kid is a menace down low. If Elton Brand is going to hang around for the year, his veteran advisement mixed with Doug Collins schemes and coaching could make Philly a prime spot for the young, talented and oft questionable “in it to win it” forward. But depending on how the Draft winds down, the tremendous upside of Jones, who has shown that he is NBA ready, is a gamble worth taking. For those that compare him to DeMarcus Cousins, go take a look at the numbers the King’s big posted this past year and just try to tell me you wouldn’t want that production in the Red, White and Blue.
Unless they make a major trade to move up the board, I don’t see how the 76ers will find the shooting guard they so desperately need in the 2012 Draft. Beal, Lamb, Rivers, Waiters and T-Ross will all be gone, so I think they’ll look to select an athletic power forward with some scoring ability. Thus, Terrence Jones out of Kentucky will hear his name called by David Stern at #15 tonight.
As I wrote in my power forward college prospects preview, Jones owns a great skill set and should contribute right away, if…and this is a big if, he can get his attitude right and his motor going.
So my prediction is that Jones becomes a 76er, don’t be surprised if the Sixers shock some and grab Arnett Moulttrie out of Mississippi State.
The Sixers draft pick at #15 in this years draft isn’t as clear as one might think. I do believe that the Sixers should go big, but it depends on a few factors. Will the Sixers re-sign Lou Williams? And, are the Sixers planning on trading Andre Iguodala?
If the Sixers keep their current roster, then you definitely go after a big man. This years draft has a nice crop of talent in the post who could very well be available at pick 15.
Andrew Nicholson from St. Bonaventure would be my selection if he does indeed fall to the Sixers pick. He will not blow you away with speed or athleticism, but he is a very smart player on both the offensive and defensive end who has great post moves and who positions himself perfectly for rebounds. He can also knock down jumpers and has shown consistency at the free-throw line. He does need to gain some upper body strength, but his length will hold him over until that time comes. Wouldn’t it be something to see two A-10 products filling the lane for the Sixers next season?
If the Sixers are deciding to trade Iguodala for a big man such as the Lakers Pau Gasol or if they are parting ways with Lou or both, then the Sixers could go after a scoring shooting guard instead.
In this case I see the Sixers picking Jeremy Lamb of UConn or even trading up for a player like Dion Waiters or Austin Rivers. If Lou is gone the Sixers will need a replacement for his scoring production and these three guards have shown me the greatest potential to get that done.
However, Iguodala could also be traded for a scorer as well or just simply stay put. Sixers fans will know right away however just what the team is planning to do in the offseason after their selection on Thursday.
Michael Kaskey Blomain
The 2012 NBA Draft is teeming with talented bigs; a great sign for a roster ripe with young guards such as the Sixers’. The 76ers haven’t had a dominant man in the middle in almost two decades, aside from a brief encounter with Dikembe Mutombo at the twilight of his career, and the lack of an enforcer has largely attributed to the lack of overall success over that span. While this year’s draft may not contain such a franchise changing force, it does have a deep pool of prospects at the 4 and 5 positions. The current Sixers’ roster is young, and with guards such as Turner and Holiday locked up for the foreseeable future, it only seems logical for the organization to pair them with a young power forward or center to help fill out the roster for the future.
Positioned right outside of the lottery however, the Sixers are in a tough spot. Stud bigs such as Anthony Davis, Thomas Robinson, Andre Drummond, and John Henson are sure to be lapped up in the lottery and long gone by the time the 76ers put in their pick at 15. So from their spot, the Sixers have some options.
First, the Sixers could trade up into the lottery in an attempt to obtain one of those highly touted big bodies. With moveable assets such as Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, and Elton Brand’s expiring contract the 7-6 have ammunition to possibly anchor a trade. Potentially coupling one of those piece’s with the number 15 pick could land the Sixers in the top ten with a shot at Henson or Drummond, both nice prizes.
If a trade doesn’t shake out the Sixers could take a shot at the best available bigs still left on the board. At this point in the draft it is difficult to determine who may still be available. There is a chance that North Carolina’s Tyler Zeller will slip out of the lottery and be there for the taking, but similar in size and skill to Spencer Hawes, he doesn’t seem as though he would be a good fit for Philly. A possible selection is Arnett Moultrie, the long and athletic forward from Mississippi State. At 6’11’’ Moultrie could stretch to play multiple positions for the Sixers, and is athletic enough to run the floor with the Sixers’ young guards. He could also serve as a force in the paint defensively, surely a priority for the Sixers’ front office.
Another option is to ignore position and select strictly based on talent; basically just selecting the best available. In this case the Sixers would select whoever they thought to be the best talent remaining, and then let the GM work around that. In this particular situation many are pointing at Kentucky’s Terrence Jones as the potential best available. Supremely athletic and explosive, Jones was somewhat overshadowed in his two years at Kentucky by all of the other big names brought in by Coach Cal, but he has the chance to be special. While he may lack a true NBA position, a la Thad Young, he is big enough to bang at the 4 and certainly athletic enough to play the 3 for the Sixers. If Iguodala is going to get traded down the road for a big then Jones is the pick.
In the absence of a draft day trade expect the Sixers to end up with Arnett Moultrie or Terrene Jones with the 15th pick, while probably looking to scoop up a shooter in the second round. While more off-season moves need to be made, this draft has great potential to improve on the Sixers’ current team, with a deep pool of potential players that could be integral to the future of the franchise.