Some thoughts on some prospects
Now that summer has begun I have spent a lot of time watching film on many of the prospects. Here is what I think about them in regards to our Sixers.
First thing everyone thinks about now is his back. Backs are scary and all for big men, but don't let that cause you to forget that Embiid shows a lot of promise as a pro. He draws a lot of comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon and it actually looks quite accurate. The dude can ball out. He's only been playing ball for a few years, has great measurables, and moves like no big man I've seen in the league (yes...including Dwight). If he falls to three, I would have absolutely no problem picking him over Exum or Vonleh. You do not miss out on a once in a decade player because he may have a back problem. If we pick him I will have full confidence in his health because our doctors got to take a look at him.
I like Parker too. His defense is scary in the sense that it is disgusting in the sense that it sucks in the sense that oh my god learn how to stay in front of your man. Besides that, Parker can absolutely ball out. We all know that. We all know he is one of the most pro-ready players in a while. His comparisons to Carmelo are very accurate and I would not be opposed to taking him at three either. However, if the draft goes Embiid and Wiggins in the first two picks I could easily see us taking Vonleh. That may sound ridiculous but I don't think Hinkie or Brown will be fond of Parker's defensive abilities. (more on Vonleh in a second).
I'm a lot higher on Vonleh than a lot of guys. He's only 6'8 without shoes but he is long as hell. He has decent bulk and is very athletic. I really like his ability as a stretch four. The guy has a very good shot that has some room for improvement as well because of his solid form. His handles are amazing for a guy with such long arms. It's tough to compare him to someone in the pros right now. If I had to compare him to one pro, I would have to say Kevin Garnett. That may sound like way too ambitious of a comparison but like I said, I'm a major fan of Vonleh. His ability to dribble from the perimeter or drain a three makes him the perfect compliment to Noel and I think he can really create some mismatches most nights.
I think Wiggins is a very good player, but he is very raw. My favorite player comparison for him is with Paul George. They both are a bit raw offensively but are absolute studs on the defensive end. I think Wiggins would be a great fit alongside MCW as he doesn't need the ball in his hands as much as Parker. His ability to play and cover the SG position is a major positive. The Sixers could take him at 3 and have great length in their starting five. Realistically, they could have a 6'7 guy in MCW being their shortest guy. Wroten coming off the bench at 6'6 would be scary as well. I would love the defensive potential with this pick.
Game after game it was always tough to fall in love with Gordon. His offensive game leaves a lot to be desired and he just looks goofy with the ball in his hands. Sure, he is a good athlete but his handle looks iffy and his jumper is gross. He has been drawing comparisons to Kenneth Faried from nbadraft.net, but I like a comparison to Kawhi Leonard a lot better. This week has reminded how essential it is to have a guy to defend the best players in this league. Could Wiggins cover Durant? Yea. Could he cover LeBron? I don't think so. I think Gordon's ability to cover all of the best wing players in the league as well as any PF in the league with success would be a major asset. Taking Gordon at 8 (if we trade Thad) or 10 would be perfectly okay in my book. If we ever want to make it late into the dance, we will need a guy like Gordon.
I despise the comparisons to Dwyane Wade. They are not the same player. They don't move the same at all and are built completely differently. They're both 6'4 shooting guards. That's where the comparisons end. And yes...I did just call him a shooting guard. He's only 6'4 but he is long as can be. I believe he has a 6'9 wingspan. That is more than long enough to cover a shooting guard in this league. If we take Parker at 3 and Smart is around at 8 (if we get it) or 10 I would be very fond of the idea of taking Smart. Parker's ability to drain threes consistently would make me feel better about taking a SG who isn't that great of a shooter. I know Wiggins can shoot the lights out as well but I think his value is maximized as a shooting guard (I am very aware that I am in the minority in this belief).
Randle could never be Batman but I can definitely see him succeeding in a Robin role. He doesn't have the size to take over games in the pros but I absolutely think that he can be a Zach Randolph in the sense that he will be an absolute bruiser but also show off some handles and athleticism a la a young Lamar Odom. I like Randle as a stretch four with Nerlens. I think he could fall to 10 due to his height as well as the new minor injury news.
I absolutely love this kid. I got to watch a couple of his games and the one thing that consistently stood out to me is that he is 100 percent an NBA player. He's a freak athlete, can drain threes with a quick release, and can defend the shooting guard position thanks to his length. I really really really like LaVine with the tenth pick. I don't think there is a single guy in the NBA anyone can compare him to right now. The Russell Westbrook comparisons are not accurate; LaVine can shoot the lights out. Physically he is exactly like Crawford, however his game isn't comparable.
I'm not a fan of Hood in the top ten picks. He can't defend. It's that simple. He is a career bench player that will always be taken out of big games because of his inability to guard anyone. The dude can drain shots and has a very impressive offensive repertoire but I do not want him on our Sixers if we have to use a top ten pick on him.
I love Harris' game. He hustles, can shoot, and has solid handles. He can cover really well too. However, he is short. So short that his decent 6'7 wingspan cannot make up for his lack of height. I do not want Harris with one of our top ten picks. I am hooked to the idea that we can have one of the longest teams ever.
I like Saric a lot. He has great potential, a solid handle, an okay jump shot that looks like it will improve tremendously, and a tough demeanor. I also like that he is an international player that may stay another few years. I actually like that. Why? Because we have a lot of picks and this is a deep draft. If we took someone else at 10, that guy would be a rookie on our team playing pretty big minutes. Saric, on the other hand, will be overseas and we will more than likely keep an extra one of our draft picks to groom a rookie. Maybe we would package two second rounders and take someone like Payne in the late teens early twenties. That would be amazing. Saric would get big minutes overseas and improve while we get the chance to coach up another rookie and give him big minutes. A couple of years down the road we have some stud young guys, scoop up a big free agent, and bring in Saric....dynasty right away.
No. Reminds me too much of Jodie Meeks. The dude can shoot and shows the ability to drive and whatnot. However, we should be able to grab guys that can shoot in this draft and we won't need guys that can only shoot.
I think he will have a good NBA career. I don't think he ends up like Adam Morrison. If he finds the right system, he will be a very valuable offensive asset. This is not the offense for him, however.
Payne is my boy. I really really like him. I would be perfectly okay with taking him at ten. He isn't a great defender, rebounder despite his length and strength. However, I would love to see what he can do with Nerlens. He can shoot the three ball and has great athleticism. I would love to see us package some twos and grab him sometime in the first.
Another guy I want to see us draft. This guy has good height and athleticism. He needs to bulk up but we can wait. Give him a couple of years overseas and he could be a star in the NBA. I like his potential and he is someone we should absolutely experiment with.
That's enough thoughts on players. This is what I would love to see happen on the 26th:
Trade Thaddeus and Pick 47 for 8th Pick
8th Pick: Dario Saric
10th Pick: Julius Randle
Trade 32nd Pick and Cash to Rockets for 25th Pick (Rockets want to save money using a 2nd rounder and also get some cash to help them go for a big free agent)
25th Pick: PJ Hairston (I honestly would be okay with him at 10)
39th Pick: Russ Smith (a nice scoring point guard when we need one)
Trade 52nd Pick to Knicks for future 2nd rounder (they have no picks...gonna want one)
Trade 54th Pick to OKC for Kendrick Perkins (expiring contract and bench depth as backup C with Sims) (Perk is expendable in OKC. We could use another backup center and Perk is a decently pricey vet whose salary money OKC may want to use on someone else)
How would the team look?
Russ Smith (solid scoring PG off the bench. Lou-esque)
Hollis Thompson (good length. Backup wing. Shooter)
Tony Wroten (still young and raw. Solid energy off bench as 1 or 2)
Henry Sims (looking forward to seeing him grow)
Kendrick Perkins (I like Perkins a lot. Brings some tenacity to the team)
J-Rich (savvy vet. Maybe a few minutes a game?)
Moultrie (never playing)
Aldemir: I like Aldemir. Reminds me of Tiago Splitter a little bit.
Kazemi: dude hustles his balls off. Tough to compare him to anyone but I definitely see him coming over and becoming a fan favorite in the next few years. Can defend and rebound like a man.
Saric: He is going to want to stay for a year or two in Europe. Fine by me. Let Randle develop a little bit. Saric is a mismatch nightmare when he finally comes over. He would probably be a top five pick if he played college ball. Patience is going to be a virtue with this squad.
I still have some faith in Wesley Johnson. I could see him taking a prove-it deal with the young Sixers. Maybe a one or two year deal with a player option for another. He could still be a good NBA player. Other than that, I think we save our money. One year deals or prove it deals like that or nothing.
Note on Hairston: I'm obviously a fan of Hairston since I have us trading back into the first to snag him. The guy seems to have turned his life around and was balling out in the D-League. I know the D League is a bit of a joke but Hairston is a stud. He has great size and can shoot the ball. It would be tough to say no to him at 25. Hell, I would be okay with taking him at 10. I think he is a major talent. He is the only player in this draft that I would be okay with taking after we take Wiggins and pushing Wiggins down to SF. I like LaVine as a SG prospect but Hairston's build and length makes me okay with Wiggins going to SF.
Comment Please. How realistic are the trades? What do you think about the picks? Would anyone be okay with us taking Vonleh at three over Embiiid? Wiggins? Parker? Hairston at 10? How about old man Payne at 10? Am I crazy for thinking about taking multiple international guys and letting them develop. You'd have to think one of them would pan out, right? Maybe Porzingus and Saric?