76ers Offseason Gameplan Part 2: NBA Draft

Could Terrence Jones be the Sixers selection at 15? He averaged 12 points and seven rebounds for Kentucky last season.

The order in which teams draft is solely based on the regular season standings. Despite the Sixers’ playoff run, the team finished the regular season as the worst team to make the playoffs record wise. Therefore, they will select 15th in the draft, just one pick shy of the lottery. The consensus is essentially the same no matter who you talk to. The Sixers most apparent need is a big man. The Sixers have been searching for a solid option at center since the last time Dikembe Mutombo suited up. Samuel Dalembert never reached the full potential that many (mostly Billy King) thought he would. It is also apparent that Spencer Hawes may be a solid player, but an upgrade would certainly be nice.

Despite the obvious need for a center, considering this particular rookie class, the Sixers may be better served going in a different direction. It may be time to select the next power forward.

This draft class is deep at both positions and the Sixers should have a decent group of four and fives to choose from when they are on the clock. But, who will be available? Yesterday in Part 1, I gave my recommendation for signing free agent center, Chris Kaman. I fully believe he will get a call from the Sixers this off-season. For that to take place, the Sixers may have to consider using the amnesty clause on Elton Brand thus opening a hole at the power forward spot. There are certainly a few options on the team like Thaddeus Young, Lavoy Allen and Nikola Vucevic. Allen was solid in the postseason but had success sticking an older, jump shooting forward, Kevin Garnett, who is not like forwards such as Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, and Josh Smith. Young has had trouble cracking the starting five and appears well suited for the lead bench role and Vucevic has to re-earn playing time at all, before he worries about starting.

If the Sixers decide to move on from Elton Brand, it may be time to select the power forward of the future.

This scenario sets up perfectly for selecting the next power forward for the Sixers, and there looks to be some intriguing options this year.

When scouting power forwards there are three that immediately stick out to me and that have a chance to be on the board when the Sixers select at 15: Jared Sullinger (Ohio State), Perry Jones III (Baylor), and Terrence Jones (Kentucky).

Obviously, the most noticeable name on this list is Jared Sullinger (Highlights). The Ohio State product spent two years in college and was easily the best player on the Buckeyes for the last two years. He is a long shot to be there at 15, but it is certainly possible for one reason; his size. Sullinger is listed at a generous 6’9. He also currently tips the scales at 280 pounds. Some people feel like Sullinger should drop some weight to allow himself to compete with quicker NBA forwards. That could work against Sullinger as well because his strength is scoring in the post and without his bulk, he may not be able to create room down low.

Jared Sullinger most likely will be off the board before 15, but concerns about his size could make him available to the Sixers.

Sullinger is incredibly skilled and averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds as a sophomore. He certainly has the strength to compete in the NBA and is a solid team player. Do not expect him to be there when the Sixers pick, but there is a chance. Remember Jrue Holiday fell into the Sixers’ laps at 17.

Next is Perry Jones III (Highlights) from Baylor. Jones is 6’11, 235 pounds. When watching film, his freakish athletic ability stands out like a sore thumb. He can put the ball on the floor and drive. He also has a solid mid range game that extends close to the college three point line. Knocks against him are his drive and passion. He is not incredibly consistent and seems to fade into the background some nights. There have been comparisons made to Kevin Garnett. There you go Sixers, if you can’t beat KG, draft the next KG.

The third name is Terrence Jones (Highlights) from Kentucky. He is my personal recommendation for the Sixers. He could certainly be available at 15. Some scouts are shying away from Jones because they are not sure where he will fit into an NBA offense. They worry that he may struggle to get his shot off because he is not incredibly talented on the perimeter or in the post. When you watch film on him however, you see a player who is pretty good at both and seems to have what it takes to get better at both.

Terrence Jones celebrated a national title with head coach John Calipari, last season at Kentucky.

Jones is 6’9, 252, so height and weight will not be an issue. He seems to be somewhat of a “tweener” like Thaddeus Young but is more of a solid four that can play three. Young is the opposite. I personally feel like Doug Collins would do wonders with Jones. He can run the floor which is the Sixers bread and butter. He can stretch the floor and can start in the league early in his career. He can handle and pass and showed great maturity last season taking less shots for the betterment of the Kentucky program. He won a national title last season. He was well coached in two seasons under John Calipari and he may certainly prove some scouts wrong. He is the epitome of the shift being made to quicker, more athletic power forwards.

Here are other names that the Sixers will most likely consider with the 15th pick:

  1. PF John Henson, 6’11, 220 (North Carolina) Highlights
  2. PF Arnett Moultrie, 6’11, 249 (Mississippi State) Highlights
  3. C Tyler Zeller, 7’0, 250 (North Carolina) Highlights
  4. C Meyers Leonard, 7’1, 245 (Illinois) Highlights
  5. C Fab Melo, 7’0, 255 (Syracuse) Highlights

Of the eight prospects mentioned, some will certainly be gone when the Sixers pick. However, a few of these names will certainly still be on the board and the Sixers will have to make a savvy pick to ensure that they continue the steady improvement that they are currently enjoying.

One Response to 76ers Offseason Gameplan Part 2: NBA Draft

  1. Pingback: Harkless and Moultrie: Meet the Newest Sixers « Brotherly Love Sports

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