Chad Ford updated his mock draft today with information on players that are staying in the draft. Even though some players projected to go before and around the Sixers projected 11th pick backed out (most notably Marcus Smart), Ford still believes the Sixers end up with the youngest of the basketball playing Zeller brothers, Cody. His take (note: Insider only)
While there still are a few scouts clinging to the Zeller bandwagon, it's gotten less crowded over the past few months. While there are a few teams with which Zeller fits ahead of the Sixers' pick, this looks like the most obvious fit. With the exception of Spencer Hawes, the Sixers just don't have a lot of size. While I don't think Zeller is worthy of a top-five pick anymore, he's a good value here.
First off, I take exception to Hawes being considered to have size. If you're 7 feet tall but act like you're 6 feet tall, are you really 7 feet tall?
Second, I'm not much of a fan of Cody Zeller, so much so that I keep calling him Tyler accidentally and am not making a concerted effort to correct those mistakes. He's tall but not particularly long - he reportedly has a wingspan of only 6'8", which is three inches shorter than his listed height - so I'm not sure if he can be a good defensive center. And he's also not that strong, which hurts him as a finisher on offense and as a post defender. He needs a lot of work before be can become a good NBA player.
And third, I have to beat the dead horse, being stuck in a no-win situation at 11 is exactly why we wanted the Sixers to tank. In my opinion, this is a draft where you really wanted to be in the top 6 or so (some would argue top 8, I'm not going to fight them, but I'm personally only liking the values of the top 6). While no superstars are assured, the value lies in the top picks of the draft, like pretty much every other year. However, a steep drop-off seems to occur in the middle of the lottery - the top 8 picks are pretty set in stone aside from the order they are drafted in. After that, the 9th pick is anyone's guess. Ford currently projects C.J. McCollum, from Lehigh, who missed nearly the entire season and whose NBA position is fairly uncertain, to go 9th, because there really aren't any better options and everyone else played themselves out of good draft position.
So, are we looking forward to the draft now?