Wednesday, June 24, 2009

2009 NBA Mock Draft Round-up: Who will the Sixers draft?

The NBA Draft is Thursday, so it's time to take a closer look at who the Sixers might be adding to their team. The Sixers have just one pick in the draft, the 17th selection of the first round, and are expected to take the best available point guard with the pick. Philly is weak in the backcourt, with just three guards on the roster and only one player, Lou Williams, who has extended experience as an NBA point guard. With each day that passes, it looks less and less likely that the Sixers will be able to bring back Andre Miller, so they basically have to address that position in the draft. This is a deep point guard draft class this year, so while Ricky Rubio figures to be take early, there are a number of other quality point guards to be had, meaning the Sixers should walk away with someone who can contribute right away. Here is a roundup of some various mock drafts from around the internet to get a good idea of who the Sixers might select:

Ian Thomsen,
Austin Daye, SF, Gonzaga
Their take: They'll have to be patient, but the Sixers need as much perimeter shooting as they can get -- and they'll love it from a player who also provides length and athleticism. In two or three years, he could fit nicely with their up-tempo rotation.
Ty Lawson, PG, North Carolina
Their take: True point guard who might be the quickest end to end player in college basketball. A master at igniting fast-breaks after made baskets. Has excellent strength, ball-handling skills, footwork and body control, and is especially impressive in transition. Gets to the basket extremely well, and uses his strength to score even with contact. Court vision is solid and assist to turnover ratio is off the charts. Has improved his perimeter stroke considerably. Loses focus and is still inconsistent as a floor general in the half-court. Only plays at one speed and appears to have an average IQ. Possesses poor shooting mechanics shooting off the dribble, and no real mid-range game. Gets in the passing lanes defensively, but lack of size and effort hurts his NBA potential on this end of the floor.
Darren Collison, PG, UCLA
Their take: Collison is a much better than advertised perimeter shooter and he changes the equation defensively. I don't see much of a difference between Collison and Ty Lawson offensively and there is a significant gap defensively.
Brandon Jennings, PG, Lottomatica Roma

Steve Alexander,
Eric Maynor, PG, VCU
Their take: Andre Miller is as good as gone. Time to plan for the future at point guard. This is a point-guard heavy draft, and Maynor is the best one left. The 76ers would love to see Lawson available here.

Aran Smith,
Ty Lawson, PG, North Carolina
Their take: Philly played its best basketball after Brand went down, as the racehorses were able to get out on the break and run. Lawson fits in very well with their speed and athleticism. Unfortunately, Brand doesn't. Philly will likely have a number of PGs to select from, but Lawson is said to be a guy they like.
Jeff Teague, PG/SG, Wake Forest
Jru Holliday, PG/SG, UCLA
Their take: Didn't have a great freshman year in college, but is coming out because NBA scouts like his upside. A combo guard who still has a lot of improving to do.

My Take: Since 7 of the 8 picks here are guards, it's pretty clear the Sixers will take a guard. There isn't a lot of consensus as to who the Sixers will take because there really isn't much known about what the teams ahead of them will do. We pretty much know that Blake Griffin is going first overall to the Clippers, but after that it's all up in the air. The best player out of this group to me is Eric Maynor, he has good size and speed, although his shot isn't anything special. Ty Lawson would also be a solid pick for the Sixers, although he's barely 6 feet tall, making it hard for him to match-up on a lot of point guards in the NBA. I don't think the Sixers can go wrong with either one, or with taking whoever the best available point guard is at their pick in the draft.

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