So we've had a day to digest the yummy truth (jruth?) that Evan "The Villain" Turner is the newest member of the 76ers. Ten minutes into the draft coverage, however, all I could think about was if Ed Stefanski would acquire another selection either late in the first round or the second round. I should have known better than to believe there was even a five percent chance of it happening.
Pick after pick was announced and there was never a word of the Sixers being remotely close to buying or trading for the aforementioned late first rounder. Even with Hassan Whiteside, Daniel Orton, and Solomon Alabi slipping, not even a whisper or completely made up rumor saw the light of day. What's that? The Sixers don't have a big man that can rebound or block shots efficiently? It really is too bad a guy who blocked 5.5 shots a game this past season didn't slip back into the second round (way to be on top of that one Sixers - yes I'm bitter).
I guess it's time to get over the disappointment of not landing a lengthy big man to play a little d and block shots later in the draft. On to those less prospects who weren't fortunate enough to hear their names called by David Stern or Adam "Sexy" Silver (Dook graduate, ew). Undrafted Free Agents (UFA) haven't been a part of the Sixers' plans lately (remember Dionte Christmas?) and probably won't be this year either, but it's always fun to speculate and recommend which prospects deserve an invite to at least show what they can bring in the summer league. Since the Sixers front office reads this site on the regular, I'll save them the work they would (not) normally take to research candidates and give them some insight on possible invites.
The jump is a good thing to hit to read about these boyz.
Disclaimer: Some of these young lads are already assigned to summer league teams but that never stopped me from suggesting the Sixers keep an eye on them.
Charles Garcia - PF, Seattle University
Garcia measured in at 6'9.25" at the combine last month in Chicago while also courteously bringing his 7'1" wingspan for the ride. While not being the most polished player you'll find, he can still put points on the board and rebound pretty efficiently (averaged 18.7 and 8.3 this past season). What I like most about Garcia is that he's got some guard skills to go along with his size. He looks very comfortable putting the ball on the floor and has a decent pull-up jumper in his arsenal. He's not exactly the most effective player in the post but definitely has the potential because of his size and strength. Garcia won't wow you with athleticism but has a knack for rebounding the ball on both ends and can block the occasional shot averaging almost a block per game this past season. As of now he hasn't yet been invited to participate in the summer league.
Update: Garcia will play with the New York Knickerbockers in the Vegas Summer League.
Brian Zoubek - C, Duke University
This goes against everything I stand for being a recent University of Maryland graduate. Never in my life would I have predicted that I would someday mention Brain Zoubek in an NBA related discussion. Well here we are. Did a pig just fly over my head? Yes he's extremely funny looking (would probably fail this category in Mike's NYMPP criteria) but 7'1" is something that can always get a player at least a tryout. He's not going to give you anything on the offensive end of the floor except for put-backs (anyone who watched the Duke/Baylor game in the tournament knows can attest to this) and should rarely be given the ball and asked to do something. It's the little things (surprise, a Duke alumnus doing little things) that Zoubek can bring to a squad that may land him a roster spot. He should be able to rebound at an above average rate given his size and set extremely effective screens that would make Dave Neal jealous. He's one of those down n' dirty players who will play tough at all times, which we know Ed loves. His best quality is, without a doubt, his funny-face-making ability (that picture is one of my favorites). I don't think I've ever seen a picture of Zoubek that didn't cause me to at least giggle. Sorry Brian, it's true. Zoubek is, as of now, assigned to play with the New Jersey Nets summer league squad.
Jerome Randle - PG, Cal
First and foremost, Jerome is a tiny man measuring in at just about 5'10". This lack of size definitely hurts his defensive potential but the effort is always present on that end of the floor. Dude is quick as they come and can get by defenders in a flash. Couple his quickness alongside and his ball-handling skills and he could be a useful asset on the offensive end. I'm not done. Dude can absolutely shoot the lights out. In each of his last two seasons at Cal, Randle shot above 40% from three including a ridiculous 47% his junior year. Randle is a decent passer with above average court vision and decision making skills. However, he has a tendency to get into trouble by trying to score too much by himself. I can see Randle overcoming this trend in the NBA because he's not going to be anybody's go-to option at all times like he was at Cal. He could end up being a nice asset on the bench in case something would happen to cause Jrue Holiday or Lou Willams to miss time. Randle's currently slated to play with the Washington Wizards' summer league team.
That's all for Part I of the possible UFAs the Sixers might want to look at this summer. Stay tuned for more (dramatic and intense music here).
Oh, one last thing. Our best friend Scotty 2 Hotty Schroeder at Ridiculous Upside reports that former Temple guard Ryan Brooks will play for the Sixers during summer league. I only saw one Temple game this past season and I'm not too familiar with him so if someone wants to throw in a little info about Mr. Brooks in the comments that would be swell (what is this, the 1950s?).
To be continued...