Sixers Draft Options: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Down with KCP? Yeah get to know him.

Before I actually talk about important, draft-related things, I need to comment on his name. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has a wonderful name. Like, one of the best names I've ever heard. There's so much going on there. First, "Kentavious" is just an excellent name. I have no idea what it comes from or how it was conceived, but it's just the best. The name "Kentavious" might not be unique, but it's close enough to it that typing just "Kentavious" into Google results in just draft profiles and college stats links.

And Caldwell-Pope is pretty awesome as well. No offense to my father's side of the family, but I'd much rather be named Sean Caldwell-Pope than Sean O'Connor. I mean, come on, he gets to combine both into one awesome name. Then, he gets to shorten it to KCP, some great initials too. Everything about his name is awesome. He's already a better draft prospect than Mason Plumlee based on this alone.

Ahem...

Rich ventured on the path of taking a guard in the first round on his draft primer post on the other hyphenated guard in the class (Michael Carter-Williams) and the mysterious Dennis Schroeder. I agree with that and want to expand on that idea later in this post, since that's probably the best reason for drafting KCP. Honestly I'm not a huge fan of Kentavious Caldwell-Pope's game.

That's not to say I'm against him or think he's a bad prospect - I think he has too much Swaggy in him currently. According to the ever-dependable DX, Kentavious took a lot of jumpers - too many compared to his at-rim attempts based on his superior athleticism. He shot nearly 39% from three on a high volume, surrounded by little talent, but the lack of at-rim attempts is concerning. He also rarely passed, though that could be at least somewhat attributed to the aforementioned teammate problems.

But there's things working for him that haven't worked to this point for Nick Young. While Swaggy P may not be good on D overall, when engaged he was actually a decent man defender, though good grief could he not grasp team defensive assignments whatsoever. There is no possible way that KCP could be that disengaged from team defensive principles, and unlike Nick Young, Kentavious has some lateral quickness and length to spare.

As Danny Green showed throughout (most) of the finals, players who can hit open catch-and-shoot threes - though DX notes that KCP is actually better pulling up - and play decent defense can help a basketball team a ton. Caldwell-Pope looks to have that potential if he can rein his shot selection in, become a consistently high-effort defender, and stay within a role. The talent is there - the question is whether or not it can be harnessed and controlled to make an effective NBA player.

With KCP, that hasn't really happened before. He was THE MAN at Georgia, mainly because everyone else was terrible. He created most of his own offense, but he probably won't be efficient enough at the NBA level to be that type of player. It would require lots of coaching and development to change his game to become a 3-and-D guy. Maybe he can get that here, but I'd like his chances better if surrounded by better players and better competition.

It's no secret that the Sixers need all the talent they can get. Someone like KCP would help in the talent department, considering the weak wing rotation the team employed last year (the Damien Wilkins starter experiment, anyone?), but he would be in a similar situation to his college team. That won't be best for him, nor would it be best for us.

While Chad Ford and other "experts" expect the team to take a big, as if that's a glaring single need while no others need to be addressed, that couldn't be further from the truth. The Sixers had 2 legitimately good NBA starters last year, and neither of them played a wing position.

And in this draft, wings are rarer than bigs. Gorgui Dieng and Rudy Gobert look to be available after the 15th pick, Plumlee could go in the 20s, and Lucas Nogueira and Jeff Withey may slip all the way out of the first round. The Sixers have two second round picks that could return a big not too different than one they may choose at 11. The wing crop isn't particularly deep either - behind Caldwell-Pope, there's only one or two surefire first rounders at the position.

Taking KCP at 11 may be the best value proposition if he remains on the board, unless there's a drastic slide from the near-consensus top 7 (including the community board). The Sixers could always draft him and attempt to sell him to the highest bidder - they could maybe get a later first rounder and some other assets. If that doesn't work out, they have a player who should get ample playing time, hopefully we rein him in and grab more talent, and hopefully he pans out. Most mocks have KCP going at 9 or 10, as the Timberwolves need a ton of shooting, and the Blazers could use bench talent anywhere.

But really though. KENTAVIOUS! That's the most important thing, probably.

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