I'm not an NBA Draft expect and I won't claim to be. I am a draft nerd and I can't get enough of it whether it's NBA or NFL. This draft class seems to be pretty loaded. It's not top heavy like it was back when LeBron and Wade came out, but their is a ton of depth. It seems like the Sixers could get a really good player next Thursday.
I compiled a list of my favorite prospects and I would like to pick the brains of some of the NBA Draft gurus here. Take a look at my favorites and tell me what you think.
1. Perry Jones III F Baylor- I think PJ3 can be a matchup problem on the defensive end of the floor. He is versatile enough to player all three frontcourt positions, depending on the lineup. He is really long at 6'11 and is strong enough to hold his own at 235 and counting. He can develop a mid-range shot to make him a better offensive player down the road. Right now I like him as a really valuable defensive player off the bench who can spark the offense with his quickness and athleticism. Pretty solid value at 15.
2. Austin Rivers G Duke- Rivers is a player that seems to be leaving school a year early. He was a top high school prospect who should be on the board in the early teens. If the Sixers draft a guard in the 1st round, they need to get a guard who can flat out shoot the ball. Rivers can do just that. He would be an offensive spark off the bench as a rookie. The Sixers just lost Lou Williams. Rivers could replace his role right away while having a lot more upside. I don't think he will get past the top 14 but a lot of mockers seem to disagree.
3. Jon Henson F/C UNC- I am not usually a fan of these toothpick prospects. They tend to flame out pretty quickly. The NBA can be a rough game in the paint. Henson is an exeption this year. I love his defense and athleticism. He will be a really good defender with potential to be a good offensive player too. I don't see him as a 20-10 player, but I see him as a 12-10-3(blocks) type of player which is good enough for me here. If the Sixers make a deal for Pau Gasol they will need a good defensive PF next to him. Gasol isn't physical enough to play alongside another soft post player. Henson and Lavoy Allen could do the dirty work while Gasol puts up 20-25 pts a game. Even if they don't get Gasol, I still would love this pick.
4. Tyler Zeller PF/C UNC- I like his offensive game in the post. I also like that he isn't coming into the NBA at 210 pounds. More like 7'0, 250. He averaged about 16 pts, 10 boards and 1.5 blocks this past season. I like my college big men to average at lest eight or nine boards and at least 1.5 blocks per game. If the Sixers don't acquire a center in a trade, then they have to draft one in the 1st round. You always overpay for centers in free agency because there are so few of them out there. It's better to draft one and hope for the best.
5. Arnett Moultire PF Mississippi State- I didn't get to see a lot of Moultrie at MSU , but I like what I have seen. You can really judge a player based on what he did in college against his toughest opponent. When MSU played Kentucky last February he made 6 of 10 shots, scored 13 points and racked up 11 boards. He also had 2 blocks and 2 assits whole committing just 2 fouls. I don't think he is as much of a prospect as some of the other players available in the teens. He doesn't have as high of a ceiling either but I think he can be a good starting power forward in the league. Who he plays defense early in his career will determine how early he becomes a good forward.
6. Terrence Jones F Kentucky- I love his athleticism and toughness at both forward positions. I don't love his scoring ability but I think he can be a good player on the frontcourt coming off the bench. He averaged 8 rebounds and 2 blocks per game during his 2 year career at Kentucky. You can never have too many good post defenders and rebounders. Bad interior defense and too many second chance points given up kills teams in the playoffs. The Sixers could have lasted one more round in the playoffs this season if they had a few more defensive rebounds and a couple more defensive stops. Jones can give you just that right away. He can develop more of an offensive game down the road if he works hard. Even if he doesn't he is still a good defender off the bench.
7. Royce White F ISU- I am much higher on Royce than just about anybody else. He isn't a star but he will do a lot for the team that drafts him. He saw his basketball career just about come to an end in his first year out of college and he hasn't stopped working his ass off since. He rebounds, passes, defends, shoots and handle the ball well. He isn't a scoring machine but he is a stat sheet filler. He is a good quality player that wil continue to work hard on his game. He is the type of player you want on your roster. High character players can be contagious. Star players don't want to be out worked by bench players. Not that he will be a bench warmer but you get my point.
I left Meyers Leonard off this list because I don't think there is any chance he last this long. He is a big man at 7-1, 250 pounds he can flat out shoot. I think he could sneak into the top 7.
I like Terrence Ross too. He is a good shooter, which is what the Sixers need off the bench. It's easier to find players like Ross in both the 2nd round and free agency than it is to a promising post player like PJ3 or Henson.