05/21/13 9:35 am EST
After Sam Hinkie spent a lovely week in Chicago evaluating the prospects who were invited to participate in the 2013 NBA Draft combine, Philadunkia nation has had Cody Zeller shoved down their throats. A number of draft “experts” are predicting the 76ers will select Zeller in late June. Additionally, Philly.com reported that the Sixers interviewed the sophomore big man out of Indiana and that the conversation went swimmingly.
Whether Zeller is available when the Sixers first round pick arrives and whether they select him largely depends on three factors:
1) Will Zeller still be available at #11.
2) Do the 76ers like other players more than Zeller.
3) What pick the Sixers draw in tonight’s NBA Draft Lottery.
Based off of the combine’s results and reactions, there seems to be a decent level of talent in the first ten picks and then a there is a drop off. One prospect that is on the rise after the Chicago combine is France’s Rudy Gobert. Gobert with his 7-9 wingspan and impressive shooting touch, really impressed the NBA scouts and front office types and appears to be moving up draft boards. If Gobert continues to wow scouts during individual workouts and other pre-draft camps, he may crack the Top 10. Gobert is another name that has been linked to the Sixers by draft “experts”.
So, can the 76ers move up in 2013 Draft and grab Zeller or Gobert?
The Sixers have a 90.7 percent chance at earning the 11th overall pick in June 27’s Draft. That leaves Joshua Harris and company with just a 0.8 percent at securing the No. 1 overall pick; a 0.9 percent chance of moving up to No. 2, and a 1.2 percent chance of sliding into the #3 pick. So there is not much reason for anyone to get their hopes up that the Sixers will jump into the top 3.
But don’t be too discouraged Sixers fans. The team with the worst record has won the Lottery just once in the last 22 years. So there is a sliver of hope that the Sixers could make a move up the draft board tonight.
In a draft that will likely feature far more future NBA role players than All-Stars, it might not be such a bad thing for the Wells Fargo Center inhabitants to be picking outside of the Top 10 and save guaranteed money that would go to their top pick.
And, the last few selections the Sixers have made over the past five years between picks 11-20 haven’t turned out so bad, either.
In 2008, the team selected Marreese Speights with the 16th overall pick. He’s turned out to be a pretty decent role player in the League. In 2009, the 76ers took future All-Star Jrue Holiday at 17. In 2011, Rod Thorn and Tony DiLeo nabbed Nik Vucevic at 16, and he’s now a nightly double-double threat. Lastly, the Sixers took Mo Harkless at #15 in 2012 and he looks to be a promising young player — in Orlando — as well.
Thus, whether the Sixers take Cody Zeller, Rudy Gobert or somebody else this June, it really shouldn’t matter. They’re moving in an organized direction behind Harris and Hinkie, but major positive results are another year away (at least).
They’re picking in a pretty affordable spot to add another solid piece to a young and budding rotation and that’s what we should be focused on.
Bring on that late-lottery selection!