Sixers’ Drafts: What If?

The Sixers lineup could include some potential all-stars if the team had drafted differently over the years.

The Sixers lineup could include some potential all-stars if the team had drafted differently over the years.

Hindsight is of course 20-20 and it is impossible to go back an re-do the past. For Sixers fans, it would certainly be nice to be able to do so when you consider what possible decisions could have been made with the franchise.

With the 2013 NBA Draft coming next month, it is only natural to look back on some past drafts of the Sixers. When doing so, it is interesting to see some of the players the Sixers took a pass on.

Here is a look at one potential starting line-up that the Sixers could have out on the floor if they selected a little differently.

  • PG Jrue Holiday Drafted 17th overall 2009 by Sixers
  • SG Paul George Drafted 2nd overall 2010 by Sixers (Sixers actually picked Evan Turner)
  • SF Wilson Chandler 21st overall in 2007 by Sixers (Sixers actually selected Daequan Cook and traded for Jason Smith)
  • PF Serge Ibaka Drafted 16th overall 2008 by Sixers (Sixers actually picked Marreese Speights)
  • C Marc Gasol Drafted 38th overall 2007 by Sixers (Sixers actually picked Kyrylo Fesenko)
  • Bench: SF/PF Thaddeus Young 12th in 2007, PF/C Carl Landry 30th in 2007 (Sixers actually selected Petteri Koponen and traded for Derrick Byars)

Not too shabby. This group of players also is not affected by some of the good selections that the Sixers made like Andre Iguodala (9th overall in 2009) and Louis Williams (45th overall in 2005).

The Sixers past on NBA Champions Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce in 2008.

The Sixers passed on NBA Champions Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce in 1998.

Although it is somewhat disheartening to look at a potential lineup like this, remember that one selection could have completely altered the chain of events that led to another, but it is still fun to imagine.

There were some more disheartening calls by this franchise like 1998 when the team took Larry Hughes while the next two picks were Dirk Nowitzki and Paul Pierce, both of whom have NBA championships. Then there was 2001 when the Sixers took Samuel Dalembert over Tony Parker a three time NBA champion who is making another trip to the Finals this season. There was also 2008 when Marreese Speights was the Sixers pick over Roy Hibbert.

Let’s dig a little deeper shall we.

Let’s rewind back to 2006 when the Sixers dealt Allen Iverson to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Andre Miller, Joe Smith and two first-round picks. Those picks were in what many experts coined as one of the deeper drafts in recent memory but the only thing the Sixers have to show for it to this day is Thaddeus Young.

One team that was interested in Iverson’s services that year was the Boston Celtics who had two young stars in Al Jefferson and Rajon Rondo that they may have been willing to part with for Iverson’s services. Let’s say the Celtics would have dealt the Sixers Al Jefferson and the fifth overall pick for Iverson. The Sixers would have picked up Jefferson, still been able to draft Young at 12 and could have taken Jeff Green fifth overall.

The lesson in all of this is that every deal carries weight. A key signing here and a key trade there can alter the fortunes of a franchise forever. The Sixers have cleansed themselves entirely of the brain-trusts that made the decisions outlined above. It is a new era in Philadelphia basketball and next month’s NBA Draft will be the first step in a long line of ‘what if’s’.

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