March 8, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Washington Huskies guard Terrence Ross (31) controls the ball against the Oregon State Beavers during the second round of the 2012 Pac 12 Tournament in the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
Throughout the off-season, I've kept track of all the Sixers pre-draft workouts, and profiled/ranked each prospect. So far, 33 players have worked out for the Sixers – you can find my ranking of the first 26 here.
Of the 26 prospects, most are projected to go in the second round, or undrafted altogether. But, in this – the final weekend before the draft – the Sixers brought in seven first-rounders. Let's get right into it, after the jump.
Teague is good-sized point guard with elite physical tools. He stands 6'2", 180, with an impressive wingspan of 6'7.25". He tested well in the combine's athletic testing, with a vertical over 40 inches, along with one of the fastest 3/4 spirt and lane agility times. However; from a basketball skills standpoint – especially offensively – he's extremely undeveloped.
Because of his physical skillset, Teague has the potential to develop into a player in the mold of Louis Williams, offensively. He has a quick first step, and got to the basket at a good rate in college. His greatest strength is his transition play, and he also has the potential to be a good pick n' roll player, eventually. But, at this point, Teague needs a lot of work to be an effective offensive player – outside of a 15-minute-a-night, back-up point guard.
Defensively is where Teague can make his mark, from day one. He's not necessarily an elite defender – like Avery Bradley was projected to be, and is – but he has the tools.
Teague's projected to in the late first or early second. He shouldn't be in play for the Sixers at 15, but if they happened to trade back or acquire a late-first, he'd be a nice get – as a potential Louis Williams replacement. If he fell to the Sixers first pick in the second round (45), he'd be a steal.
Moultrie's an interesting guy. There have been questions about effort and consistency throughout his three-year college career, but he has an intriguing skillset – one that would fit with the Sixers nicely. (His 38 inch vertical is pretty explosive, especially from a big man).
The Sixers need a big man who can protect the rim, rebound and finish at the basket. Unfortunately – despite athleticism suggesting he should – Moultrie is an underwhelming shot-blocker and defensive rebounder. However; he's a very good offensive rebounder and can finish at the basket via cuts, offensive rebounds and alley-oops – things Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner would immediately benefit from.
He has a decent shot for a big man, and his drastic improvement in free throw percentage at Mississippi State suggest there's still room for improvement in that aspect of his game.
Moultrie is projected to go somewhere in the middle-end of the first round – he's most definitely in play for the Sixers at 15. I wouldn't exactly be streaking around the living room if the Sixers selected Moultrie, but he's a guy I could easily talk myself into. He fills a need or two.
Zeller is the type of prospect I don't advise taking for a team like the Sixers. He's a four-year senior from an elite program, who is fundamentally sound and lacks a glaring weakness. Because he comes from a great program, performed well in college and has a relatively high floor, he's a guy who is going to be selected in the middle of the first round – as the elite prospects fly off the board.
Drafting a guy like Zeller falls in the same line of thinking of hiring a retread GM or coach, in my opinion. He's seen as a safe bet – you know what you're going to get – and he's not a guy that's going to get a GM fired. I like him as a decade-long bench player in the NBA – those guys are valuable – but if you're a team like the Sixers, you need to talent, as far as I'm concerned, so I'd rather go with a guy with higher upside, despite the risk.
Zeller is projected to go in the late lottery, but could very well be available when the Sixers pick at 15, and I'd be pretty disappointed if they selected him. As a player, there's not much not to like with Zeller – like I said, he doesn't have a real weakness. He's a good rebounder, savvy defender, efficient offensive player, and possesses a nice motor. However; the upside just isn't there. There's not much difference between him, Lavoy Allen and Nikola Vucevic, as far as I'm concerned.
Here we go. PJ3 is the guy almost every Sixers fan has been intrigued with, at one point or another. It's hard to ignore the elite tools, as well as the drool-worthy comparisons to Kevin Durant and Tracy McGrady coming out of high school, as well as DX's 'best case scenario' of 'Rudy Gay meets Josh Smith'.
For reasons no one can pinpoint, Jones did not perform well during his two years at Baylor. Coaching, system, motor, lack of a true position, and overhype are all cited reasons, but his underwhelming performance is likely a combination of everything.
In the top 10, drafting PJ is a move that may get a GM fired. Because of that – despite his once-perceived elite talent and elite physical tools – there's a good possiblity he falls out of the lottery and into the Sixers laps with the 15th pick. Depending on the other prospects available, Jones may be too talented to pass up, especially for a team lacking elite talent.
What position will Jones play in the NBA, I have no idea, but he's way too intriguing not to consider. There comes a point where the reward significantly outweighs the risk, but it's difficult to say whether pick 15 is that point.
Henson has been my favorite potential future Sixer for two years now. I've always had an infatuation with long, shot-blocking bigs (my second Sixers jersey was a Samuel Dalembert) – and it's a role that just so happens to be the Sixers biggest weakness.
His offensive game is still raw, and it he may never be effective in the NBA, outside of pick n' rolls, offensive rebounds, and alley-oops, but that's perfect for the Sixers. Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner (and Iguodala/Lou, if they stay) are in desperate need of a big man to run PnRs with, as well as someone who can cut to the basket, catch the ball, and finish. Henson is perfect for all of those things.
Defensively, Henson would immediately become the Sixers best rebounder and shot-blocker, with a chance of developing into an elite presence, on both accounts. Because he's so skinny, he will have trouble defending some of the bigger post players in the NBA, but weak-side shot-blocking is a valuable asset to have, and that's what Henson can provide. He'd also become one of the Sixers best hedge-men/pick n' roll defenders – along with Thaddeus Young. To give you an idea of his upside, DX dubbed his 'best case scenario' as Marcus Camby.
Unfortunately, Henson is projected to go in the lottery, but if he fell to the Sixers, or the Sixers made a minor move to trade up for him, I'd be doing naked cartwheels down Las Vegas Boulevard within minutes.
Andrew Nicholson put up monster numbers, across the board, during his senior year at St. Bonaventure, but it's questionable whether much of his game will translate to the NBA. He lacks elite athleticism, as well as the prototypical body for any position.
He profiles as a face-up four in the NBA, who could be an above average rebounder and weak-side shot blocker. His jump shot is undoubtably his greatest asset.
It's been hard for me to get a good read on Nicholson, and I think many NBA teams are having the same problem. I do like him as a prospect, but I don't think he's the ideal fit for the Sixers – a team who needs a legitimate big, as opposed to another face-up guy, or a guy who lacks a true position. If I was convinced his defense would translate, I'd be all over him, especially because his monster wingspan could make up the lack of elite athleticism and size.
Nicholson is projected to go in the late first round, which a slim chance of falling into the beginning of the second. He shouldn't be in play for the Sixers at 15, but if they were to acquire a pick at the end of the first, I'd be mildly interested.
Jones has been mocked to the Sixers several times, and I can't say I'm crazy about it. He and Perry Jones have some similarities – they're both talented dudes, who often underperformed in college, and don't have a definitive position in the NBA. The difference between them is, Jones has a significantly higher ceiling in my opinion – as well as a lower floor. Neither player tops my list of players I want the Sixers to draft, but if I had to chose between the two, I'd take PJ3, because of his upside.
I wouldn't be devastated if the Sixers took Terrence – as I normally, and regrettably talk myself into every Sixers draftee ... it's what fans do – but I'd be far from thrilled. I don't think the Sixers need another face-up four, who will probably rebound at a less-than below average clip. Not to mention the attitude/motor question marks that have surrounded him during his two years at Kentucky.
If the Sixers didn't have Thaddeus Young locked up long term, I'd be more open to the idea of drafting Jones. But because Thad isn't going anywhere, I don't see the point of having two very similar players. Neither one should be a starter in the NBA, in my opinion.
There you have it. The Sixers have officially worked out 33 players, and all three of their picks (15, 45, 54) will probably come from this list. Here's my updated rankings. Remember, these rankings are SIXERS-SPECIFIC – that's important to keep in mind – meaning I've taken need, short-term fit and long-term fit into consideration. (I wrote briefly about all 33 prospects – if you want to read about an individual, visit our 2012 NBA Draft section.)
- John Henson: ESPN (13), DX (11)
- Terrence Ross: ESPN (15), DX (16)
- Perry Jones III: ESPN (11), DX (24)
- Tyler Zeller: ESPN (14), DX (12)
- Kyle O'Quinn: ESPN (36), DX (42)
- Doron Lamb: ESPN (34), DX (21)
- Andrew Nicholson: ESPN (25), DX (32)
- Terrence Jones: ESPN (12), DX (10)
- Arnett Moultrie: ESPN (19), DX (26)
- Quincy Miller: ESPN (21), DX (19)
- Moe Harkless: ESPN: (20), DX (17)
- Marquis Teague: ESPN: (23), DX (28)
- Darius Johnson-Odom: ESPN (57), DX (46)
- Scott Machado: ESPN (37), DX (80)
- Kim English: ESPN (62), DX (54)
- Hollis Thompson: ESPN (45), DX (59)
- Mike Scott: ESPN (47), DX (55)
- Michael Eric: ESPN (UR), DX (UR)
- Henry Sims: ESPN (42), DX (61)
- Tu Holloway: ESPN (49), DX (49)
- John Shurna : ESPN (75), DX (70)
- Alex Young: ESPN (64), DX (94)
- Terrell Stoglin: ESPN (67), DX (75)
- Zack Rosen: ESPN (81), DX (85)
- Herb Pope: ESPN (94), DX (73)
- Renardo Sidney: ESPN (96), DX (100)
- Ricardo Ratliffe: ESPN (66), DX (72)
- Mindaugas Kupsas: ESPN (UR), DX (UR)
- Temi Adebayo: ESPN (UR), DX (UR)
- Maalik Wayns: ESPN (101), DX (74)
- Scoop Jardine: ESPN (UR), DX (UR)
- Terrence Henry: ESPN (UR), DX (UR)
- Dominic Cheek: ESPN (112), DX (UR)