Why the Sixers draft was not as bad as people are making it out to be

First off, I want to say hello. I have been a long time reader of Liberty Ballers and I decided to make an account and start commenting. I have been reading the comments and analysis on this site about the Sixers drafting Nickola Vucevic. I am going to target several areas or points that have been made about this pick and the Sixers draft overall after the jump.


One major thing that has been highlighted is the Sixers need for a big man. The Sixers just drafted the Tallest Man in the draft. I know that he is not athletic, but with the great work ethic people are saying he has, and his defensive rebounding which Derek Bodner highlighted saying:

Vucevic ranked 25th in the nation last season with a Defensive Rebound Percentage of 25.5%. Draft Express adds "[he shows' a good nose for the ball and [uses] his length and size well". How a player rebounds in college is usually a good indicator of how he'll rebound in the pros.

will help this team which struggled with rebounding. Also, he has the ability to shoot the jumpshot, which was mentioned he is working on to make even better, and post moves which Derek Bodner said:

In the post, Vucevic has good footwork and touch, showing the ability to go over both shoulders. His footwork is one of the more advanced and most diverse in the draft, and he shows a willingness to go down and play in the post, with an increasing ability to pass from this spot.

Although he isn't a go to guy, it just adds another offensive option for the Sixers.


Moving Up/Moving Down

Another big complaint about this draft was the fact that the Sixers did not move up in the draft. I find it difficult to make a judgement or get upset at the Sixers for this since I do not know exactly what went on behind the scenes or with negociations. There are several possible reasons why the Sixers may not have been able to move up, or may not have wanted to. There were a number of rumors about the Sixers making a trade to possibly move up in the draft. As we now know, the Sixers did not reach an agreement with any team. This could be because the Sixers may not have liked what the other team was offering, or the other team didn't like the Sixers pakage. Next, there are possible reasons why the Sixers chose not to move down in the draft. As with moving up, maybe they couldn't find a suitable agreement on a deal with another team. Also, if the Sixers liked Vucevic, and thought he might not be there where they were able to trade down, they probably would rather pick him. The fact is that they did pick him. Any suggestion on where he would fall to, or which teams would take him or pass on him is pure speculation.

Players Available at Pick 16

The three popular guys people wanted the Sixers to take were Singleton, Faried, and Motiejunas. Addressing Singleton and Faried, the Sixers said before the draft that they were going to target a big man, not a tweener. While Singleton was the best player available, and Faried was the best rebounder in the nation, the Sixers have more guys able to play the 3/4 than any other position. The position that has been highlighted as the weak spot and place to improve on is center. Motiejunas may be a center, but he is a player that seems to just not want to rebound. With center and rebounding as a place to upgrade, the Sixers got both with Vucevic

Quality of Draft

It has been said over and over that this was not a spectacular draft class full of superstar players, especially where the Sixers were picking. The Sixers were picking in a mediocre draft, at a mediocre pick, and got a mediocre player. This is what I expected. I did not think we were going to get our next major franchise piece. This is why I disagree with this:

Is this draft the worst thing of all time? No, and anyone telling you it is will be speaking in hyperbole out of their own frustrations so let them rant. But it is another instance (drop in the bucket, really) where the Sixers fail to make the smart moves to squeeze every ounce of potential out of a situation and continue to settle for mediocrity. Vucevic may start at center this season, if there is one. But that won't negate the fact that there were better players here for the taking and the Sixers passed them up because they are married to making the wrong decisions.

and this:

I guess nobody wants to win championships anymore. This Vucevic move screams "one piece away" and it's so far from the truth, it hurts. Even on the perennially optimistic draft night, it hurts.

I agree the Sixers got mediocracy out of their pick. But as I said above, I expected that out of a mediocre draft at a mediocre pick. The Sixers did not really make a "wrong" decision, it was just an unspectacular one. Even if there were better players available, they were not players that would have been a major boost, or they major piece they need. With the second quote, I think it is unfair to say that Stefanski and Thorn do not want to win a championchip. I think it is just too much to expect the 16th pick in this draft to be that one major piece the Sixers need.

Second Round Pick

In a draft that had the draft class this one had, I do not see how a mid to late second round pick could be a major dissapointment. I do not think that Lavoy Allen will have any impact on this team, and likely won't even make the team. I also do not think that you will find Thadeus Young's potential replacement at pick 50 in this draft.

Final Thoughts

I think people are overreacting and judging the Sixers unfairly. Entering this draft, unless the Sixers traded into the Top 5, maybe the Top 3, they were not going to get a major piece they need for a championchip team. This draft seemed more like a draft where you just try to upgrade where you can. The Sixers decided to draft a big man in Vucevic. By doing so, they are improving upon Hawes, improving their rebounding and adding another offensive option. They are also adding a player who has shown improvement and a good work ethic. If the Sixers bring back Thadeus Young, they have already improved their team from last year. The Sixers may not have made a huge jump forward, but at least they did not regress or hinder their team with this draft. This is definately no reason to act as if the sky is falling. Once again, i want to say hello, and say that I am exicted to join the Liberty Ballers community. 

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