Tuesday, June 24, 2008

NBA Mock Draft Round-up: Who will the Sixers draft?

Thursday's NBA Draft is an important first opportunity for Ed Stefanski to make his mark on the Sixers this offseason. It is clear that the team needs help inside and they will look to get a big man with their only pick in the draft, the 16th overall selection. Stefanski has made it well known that he won't be trading up or down, he will simply take the best available big man with the pick. Here is a roundup of some various mock drafts from around the internet to get a good idea of who the Sixers might select:

*Chad Ford, ESPN.com:
Anthony Randolph, PF, LSU
Their take: He hasn't been great in workouts, needs to add a lot of strength and appears to be a few years away from making an impact. But he has length, athleticism and tremendous upside, and the Sixers, a team on the rise, can afford to wait.

*Ian Thomson, SI.com:
DeAndre Jordan, C, Texas A & M
Their take: When in doubt, go big. Jordan has lots of upside, though he played limited minutes in his one college season.

DeAndre Jordan, C, Texas A & M
Their take: 7-footer with a great frame, incredible wingspan, and unbelievable athleticism. Has great hands and finishes well around the basket. A very good rebounder with the potential to develop into an excellent defender down the road. An extremely raw player who is 2-3 years away from contributing at a high level in the NBA. Lacks a great deal of strength and polish on both ends of the floor. Not very productive at the collegiate level. Shies away from contact, shows poor awareness, and is not always as active as you might hope. A high-risk, high-reward player who has too much upside not to be drafted early.

*Sam Smith, SportingNews.com:
DeAndre Jordan, C, Texas A & M
Their take: Some believe they'll take the best big left. That's likely Jordan, projected as a sure top 10 pick a few months back. Pro scouts have questioned his maturity, and J.J. Hickson and Marreese Speights also have been mentioned.

*Draft Express:
DeAndre Jordan, C, Texas A & M

*Ray Glier, NBCSports.com:
Marreese Speights, PF, Florida
Their take: In one clip you can watch him drain a 3-pointer. In another clip he is in the lane snatching a pass and finishing with a dunk. Batum gets up and down the floor and plays loose and plays with the ball. He looks a little thin, but the game has a place for tall wings, especially ones like this moving toward a peak.

*Jeff Goodman, FoxSports.com:
Marreese Speights, PF, Florida
Their take: He doesn't have the greatest work ethic or IQ for the game, but Speights has been blessed with a terrific body, great hands and the ability to score in the post. That's exactly what the 76ers need — a low-post scorer.

Marreese Speights, PF, Florida

Darrell Arthur, PF, Kansas
Their take: Like Julian Wright last year, another KU player is being unfairly undervalued. Arthur is a rebounding power forward who should develop a nice game from 15 feet in. He has a remarkable court awareness as he is almost always in an ideal position on both ends of the floor. He posts with purpose; constantly trying to seal his man and can finish well with either hand. Arthur is also a good passer out of the post and pretty much anywhere else on the floor. His ball-handling does need a great deal of more work.

My thoughts: From all of this speculation, it's pretty clear the Sixers will take a big man. The only thing we know at this point is that whoever the Sixers take, they won't have a huge impact right away. None of the players projected to them with the 16th overall pick will be starters or can be expected to do much in their rookie seasons. That means that Stefanski will also have to go out and get a big man through a trade or free agency if he wants the Sixers to be better next season. Elton Brand, anyone?

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