Tuesday, June 12, 2012

How Can I Help You? Philadelphia 76ers

Evan Turner and Andre Iguodala want these moments to happen more often.
The Sixers nearly made a Cinderella run to the Eastern Conference Finals after upsetting the Derrick Rose-less Bulls and pushing the Celtics to seven games. However, with a ton of free agents and a still very young team, Philly has a lot of decisions to make. Let's break them down.

Philadelphia has a very talented team with no real superstar, so it remains to be seen how they spend their money in the offseason. The biggest question regarding the return of free agents is Elton Brand. Brand is still a very effective player down low, but is getting older. The 76ers must decide if he can help them not only win a title before his career is over, but help the young big men on the team. Because the team would have to pay him a ton of money if he were to return, I'll go out on a limb and wave farewell to Brand's days in Philly. Then there's Lou Williams, the energetic sixth man who provided a serious scoring spark off the bench. However, he doesn't really do much else, so he'll likely be gone too. Lavoy Allen, the rookie from Temple, really impressed this team last season, and he will be brought back. Spencer Hawes put up solid numbers, but it would be wise for him to be let go and let someone else pay the big bucks for him. Jodie Meeks isn't more than a role player, and his expendability will lead to him winding up on a different squad.

Now let's take a look at this slightly altered group of Sixers.

Jrue Holiday is still the point guard, and he is becoming quite the player in the NBA. His poise and shooting ability are extra facets to his game. Evan Turner is at shooting guard. Turner still needs to work on his shot selection, but he's starting to show why Philadelphia drafted him #2 overall.

Small forward is certainly taken care of with Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young. Allen and Nikola Vucevic showed enough in their first year to make the team believe that they can be the starting big men of the future.

Wow. That is an incredibly young team. And not very deep. Of course, adding veteran free agents can solve some of those problems, but that's not what the draft is about. It's about adding young talent. Philly will look to add depth in both the frontcourt and the backcourt. Let's take a look at their options.

The 76ers' mindset here will be to take the best player available, so they'll have a lot of options. They pick 15th, 45th, and 54th. Onward!

Waiters always flexes his.....scoring ability.
If Philadelphia wants to take a guard, Dion Waiters would be a great choice. He's a combo guard with an uncanny ability to put the ball in the basket. Austin Rivers is another talented option, and it would be cool to see him and his father squaring off in the same division.

Going the big man route, Meyers Leonard wouldn't make too much sense because it would essentially be drafting Vucevic again. Terrence Jones and Jared Sullinger would make sense, however. Sullinger could bring some scoring to the post and Jones' versatility will give him the chance to play both forward positions.

The team will have to decide which player is the best available, and I believe that is Waiters. Like I've mentioned in previous articles, he could develop into a superstar in this league. His talented scoring will make up for the losses of Williams and Meeks.

Moving on to pick #45, more big man depth is on the mind of this team. Actually, they may wind up taking one with the 54th pick too (probably a good idea because Allen and Vucevic are not yet sure things).

Pope wants to silence the naysayers.
At power forward, you've got a guy like Herb Pope from Seton Hall. Despite being a bit undersized, Pope is a good rebounder and has a crafty arsenal of post moves. He's a poor man's Sullinger, someone who the Sixers may target with their earlier pick. Quincy Acy, the big man from Baylor, is a force down low. However, his only real way to score is by dunking. JaMychal Green from Alabama and Mitchell Watt from Buffalo are both explosive in the paint, but they are shooting up draft boards and may be out of reach.

At center are the usual suspects: Henry Sims and Robert Sacre. I've talked a lot about this guys as late second rounders, and it's likely that one of them will be targeted by Philadelphia. Sims is a defensive presence, blocking shots around the rim. Sacre has a soft touch and is good with his back to the basket. The thing that stands out the most between the two is Sims' passing ability, making him the superior prospect.

In conclusion, I think it would be in Philly's best interests to take Dion Waiters, Henry Sims, and Herb Pope with their picks, all Big East players last year. That will give the team a staring unit of Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Andre Iguodala, Lavoy Allen, and Nikola Vucevic, and a bench of Waiters, Pope, Sims, and Thaddeus Young. The key after the draft will be adding veterans who can contribute, but if the Sixers can make out like this, I'd say they'll be pretty happy.

Next up is the defending champs (not for long, however), the Dallas Mavericks, who will look to add in the draft to their lofty free agent expectations.

No comments:

Post a Comment