David DiPasqua, Jr., Tuesday, June 24th, 2014
The NBA draft is the event that the Sixers and their fans have been waiting for all season. Rebuilding a franchise is never an easy task, but GM Sam Hinkie has shown that he wants to build through the draft. Hinkie’s decision to draft Michael Carter-Williams with the 11th overall pick was the steal of the draft. Nerlens Noel is finally healthy after sitting out the entire season from his torn ACL.
Now for the 2014 NBA draft
With a total of 6 picks in this draft, expect the Sixers to be listening to offers throughout the night. Provided below are if the Sixers stay at the picks they have, which I highly doubt will happen.
Picks: 3, 10, 32, 39, 47, 52, 54
No. 3: Joel Embiid, Kansas
If the Sixers do NOT trade up for Wiggins, then they will stay where they are.
There are 3 franchise players in this draft, so the Sixers will take whoever falls to them. This may not be the most popular pick, due to his variety of injuries after the whole Bynum fiasco. Embiid is a project, but his upside is remarkable being a true 7 footer. He has the size, speed, and athleticism to make him a standout with a young core of players. His potential is something Hinkie covets, which is why he should consider sitting Embiid out for the season to get healthy (Similar to Noel). Brown can teach both Embiid and Noel how to play together, creating a big man combination that could potentially be the best in the league. This pick is for the future, since the Sixers are not in win now mode.
No. 10: Zach LaVine, UCLA
With Embiid being selected at 3, it’s time to give MCW some firepower from the outside. Most likely, the best player with the most upside might be their approach. LaVine is a combo guard who matches Brown’s run and gun style. His athletic ability is off the charts, especially when in transition. Could be an interesting piece that plays alongside Williams. Still has much to learn, but is a lottery pick with his potential. Doug McDermott or Nik Stauskas are viable options who can shoot the ball, but LaVine seems like the type of player Hinkie would go after.
Alternative: Julius Randle, Kentucky
Rumors have indicated that Julius Randle has been slipping due to his recent foot surgery. Why not select Randle if he falls to 10? You can never have enough big men in the NBA, especially when the Sixers need to add depth. Thad Young can help Randle adapt to the NBA by only being a left-handed player. If Randle slips to 10, the Sixers should not hesitate to select him.
The 2nd Round
The second round should be based off of who is the best available player that could make an impact off of the bench, has experience, and played at a big time program.
The second round is extremely tricky, but these are the types of players who can turn around a franchise. I fully expect the Sixers to trade back into the first round for a player like Cleanthony Early or Adreian Payne. Both are experienced players who graduated from their universities.
No. 32: Markel Brown, Oklahoma State
Shooting guard who can put the ball in the net, while also having freakish athleticism.
No. 39: DeAndre Daniels, UConn
Major contributor that helped UConn win the National Championship. Daniels has a nice shot from the outside and could be a match-up problem.
No. 47: CJ Fair, Syracuse
Fair would reunite with Williams who played at Syracuse.
No. 52: Russ Smith, Louisville
Talented scorer with championship experience that matches the up-tempo style that Brown desires.
No. 54: Patric Young, Florida
Obtain some toughness and size at the end of the draft. Young could be a rotation player that immediately helps out.
All player comparisons are courtesy of http://www.nbadraft.net/2014mock_draft