As the great prophet Cleveland(dot)com once said, the draft is Thursday. Thursday is today! THE DRAFT IS TODAY, YOU GUYS!
This year's draft build-up has been particularly interesting. In a year without a consensus number one pick, combined with a wavering team at the top of the draft, the draft has too many questions to ask. Projecting the rest of the draft after the top few is about impossible. New management in many of the top drafting (aka worst) teams has also complicated the process. Mock drafts are about as much scenario analysis - what each team does in reaction to a specific draft order - as they are about fit and a draft board.
You may already know that Cody Zeller sits at 11 in most mock drafts. We've heard that the Sixers love him. But that means nothing. He could be the pick. He could also just as easily not be. We might not even pick at all (don't bet on this). We could trade up, or down, or somehow trade players for picks or picks for players.
The Sixers have been uber-secretive about just about everything since Josh Harris hired Sam Hinkie out of beautiful Houston-land. We only know about draft workouts from sources, airport sightings, and the players talking themselves. We haven't heard from Hinkie or anyone involved with the team directly since Hinkie's introductory press conference. I haven't the slightest idea what will happen tonight, and neither do you.
Despite the secrecy, the fine writers and members of Liberty Ballers have churned out the best draft content leading up to the draft *pats self on back*. Here's the best of what we have to offer:
- 2013 Liberty Ballers Big Board - contrary to popular belief, we all don't think the same thing all the time. Here's our official big board.
- Community Big Board - the voices of our wonderful members.
- Sixers Draft Options Series: Trade Up, Trade Down, Plumlee and Zeller, Olynyk and Adams, Dieng and Gobert, MCW and Schroeder, McCollum, KCP, Karasev, and Shabazz.
- Pimp Your Second Round Prospect: the Sixers have two second round picks, makes for twice the pimping. Also, twice the prospecting. Numbers!
- Levin got a promotion. He also talked about why drafting Cody Zeller isn't the end of the world. I agree, with the caveat that I think he's got some upside.
- The mocks have the Sixers going big.
- SB Nation's NBA Sites did a mock draft. We got Bennett. But more importantly, we traded Spencer Hawes. Seriously! Why can't this be real?
The NBA Draft brings two common themes for bad franchises to the forefront: change, and hope. The Sixers needed all the change they could handle by the end of last year, with a depressing roster taking the court every night, slowly sucking the life out of what at one point was a very promising season.
Since last season ended, the Sixers organization underwent significant behind-the-scenes change. Tony DiLeo and Doug Collins are gone, replaced by Sam Hinkie and no one, respectively. And I mean that in all due respect. They've embraced a seismic change in organizational thinking, moving from "scouts" to "stats", effectively changing how they view the game of basketball. They've also cut back on the bravado which existed previously, instead opting for the highly secretive approach I mentioned earlier. It's a 180 degree change, all in two months. These changes give us hope we hadn't had before. For once, I might actually believe that hope springs eternal.
But nothing has happened with the roster to reflect the change. The hope only exists as part of the shrouded reality Hinkie, Harris, and company have created. That changes tonight. Sam Hinkie, our Great Hope, will make his first major decisions as a GM, changes intended to make this franchise better. The Hinkie Movement makes a move.
And that's about as good of a reason to get excited about tonight as any. Also, no more Bynum updates.
When: 7:00 PM, ESPN
Sixers Picks: 11, 35, 42
We'll have gamethreads, pick updates, and everything you could possibly imagine for you today and tonight. It's finally bleeping draft day! And it's change we hope to believe in!