Although the Sixers are on a roll lately (two in a row is a roll, dammit), the only date in June that's circled on their calendar is the 2015 NBA Draft. Philadelphia is looking to continue to build their way through the draft to eventually one day make the playoffs, which we've been told is a real thing. They will inevitably blessed with a high draft pick once again, although the pick itself is dependent on god's will and some ping-pong balls.
But with conference play underway in the college basketball season, we figured now would be a perfect time to unveil Liberty Ballers first big board of the year. Nine of LB's college basketball experts have spent hours laboring away at their boards, knowing very well the dumb things they say could haunt them for years to come, like when I said Alex Len would be a better choice for the Sixers than Nerlens Noel. My credentials speak for themselves.
Anyway, each writer who participated was asked to submit their top 15, which I then compiled into a top 20. When calculating out the averages, I assigned the value of 20 to a player who may not have appeared on an individual's list. There were a couple ties on the boards this year, which is quite the rarity.
These were also put together with the Sixers needs in mind and not just general talent, but who are we kidding, they need basically everything.
Honorable mentions just outside the top 20 include: Christian Wood (UNLV), Jerian Grant (Notre Dame), and Tyus Jones (Duke).
20. R.J. Hunter - SG, Georgia State, 21 years old
AVG: 18.67 Ballots: 2/9
Mike Baumann (ranked him #14): "An older mid-major player without killer athleticism isn't my ideal pick, but you're not looking for ideal in the teens. Mostly, the Sixers' collective inability to hit an open jumper is driving me up the fucking wall, and Hunter can at least do that."
T-19. Frank Kaminsky - F, Wisconsin, 21 years old
AVG: 18.44 Ballots: 2/9
Dave Reuter AKA WIBR (ranked him #11): "Stretch big man who shoots 38% behind the arc. Quirky, Hawes-like (without the politics) and a Twitter feed with some potential. Fans would probably hate it if the Sixers grabbed him with the Heat pick, but he'd be fun as hell."
T-19. Sam Dekker - F, Wisconsin, 20 years old
AVG: 18.44 Ballots: 2/9
Mike Levin (ranked him #11): "Welcome to the slow-developing 3-and-D Revolution, Samuel. Please have a seat next to Kawhi and Gordon. Solomon is out getting drinks, and Quincy is just using the loo. I'm your host, JIMMY COT DAMN BUTLER."
17. Cliff Alexander - PF, Kansas, 19 years old
AVG: 18.33 Ballots: 2/9
Roy Burton (ranked him #12): "Will Cliff Alexander ever be a consistent double-double threat? It's far too early to say, but he is an explosive athlete and a productive rebounder who has the tools to be something special. Give Alexander a decent big man coach and a mid-range jumper, and he'll be a problem at the next level."
T-16. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson - F, Arizona, 20 years old
AVG: 18.22 Ballots: 3/9
Kyle Neubeck: (ranked him #15): "Full disclosure: I hear so many people complain about the Sixers not having any 'Philly guys' when I discuss them with non-diehards that I am praying they get one to make my every day interactions more tolerable. He's the best of the lot."
T-16. Trey Lyles - F, Kentucky, 19 years old
AVG: 18.22 Ballots: 2/9
Derek Bodner (ranked him #12): "Lyles has shown some touch from the mid-range, and projects well as a face-up big who can attack the paint off the dribble, while also contributing on the glass. This late in the draft, I think he has the tools to be worth a selection."
14. Caris LeVert - SG, Michigan, 20 years old
AVG: 16.22 Ballots: 5/9
Mike Levin (ranked him #9): "Possibly the shootiest/slashiest/wingiest guy in the draft. Despite being the best player on a badddd Michigan team, he's shooting 40% from deep. Silk don't even begin to describe it. Can create for himself and others. Kevin Martin, maybe? A more shooty Alec Burks? Would adore him with that Miami pick."
13. Montrezl Harrell - PF, Louisville, 20 years old
AVG: 14.78 Ballots: 7/9
Mike Baumann (ranked him #12): "My love for Montrezl is well-documented. I'm comfortable betting big on his motor and athleticism, and his long arms mitigate concerns about his height playing at the 4. He is also by far the most fun player in this draft class, and all things being equal, fun is worth seeking out."
12. Kevon Looney - F, UCLA, 18 years old
AVG: 11.67 Ballots: 9/9
Jake Pavorsky (ranked him #9): "Looney is going to be a lottery pick, yet I still think he's super slept on. He's got a crazy wingspan and uses it so well, especially when attacking the boards. He's got plenty of room for growth offensively, but if he can continue to improve his jump shot that already has good form, he is going to be really good in the NBA."
11. Myles Turner - C, Texas, 18 years old
AVG: 10.67 Ballots: 9/9
Matt Carey (ranked him #12): "He's got excellent touch for a big man, and is a solid rebounder as well. With that said, I can't imagine a scenario where he'd be a Sixer short of him plunging on draft night.
10. Willie Cauley- Stein - C, Kentucky, 21 years old
AVG: 10 Ballots: 8/9
Dave Reuter (ranked him #12): "Leaping up the draft boards, but I would be stunned, and pretty disappointed if the athletic UK big ended up being a Sixer with their first round pick."
9. D'Angelo Russell - G, Ohio State, 18 years old
AVG: 9.44 Ballots: 9/9
Matt Carey (ranked him #9): "Russell might be the only true pure scorer in this draft, and I both love him and am terrified of him."
8. Kelly Oubre - F, Kansas, 19 years old
AVG: 9 Ballots: 9/9
Kyle Neubeck (ranked him #7): "I was not surprised when he stumbled out of the gate -- Bill Self either doesn't care about or doesn't know how to get the most out of his wing players (hey Andrew Wiggins!). Now that he's getting time to stretch his wings, he's rising back up boards. May end up the top wing on my board when all is said and done."
7. Justise Winslow - F, Duke, 18 years old
AVG: 6.67 Ballots: 9/9
Kyle Neubeck (ranked him #5): "Has come back to Earth just a bit after a scorching start, but I loved this guy entering the year and am not stopping now. Gets after it on both ends, and will enter the league with ACC and international reps under his belt at a young age. Plus, think of all the Justice puns!"
6. Mario Hezonja - SG, Barcelona, 19 years old
AVG: 6.56 Ballots: 9/9
Jake Pavorsky (ranked him #8): "He's finally getting some playing time in Barcelona, and really starting to show off what he can do. Hezonja is a great three-point shooter, and can very quietly throw down some vicious dunks. He's fun and he's foreign, but I'll be stunned if he's available within five selections of the Heat pick."
5. Stanley Johnson - SF, Arizona, 18 years old
AVG: 5.11 Ballots: 9/9
Jake Pavorsky (ranked him #4): "Johnson can do nearly everything. Good defender and rebounder, can handle the ball and get to the rim with relative ease. If he can knock down catch-and-shoot three's in the NBA, then he's gonna be unbelievable. However, I don't think Philadelphia would consider him unless they fall out of the top 3."
4. Kristaps Porzingis - PF, Sevilla, 19 years old
AVG: 4.56 Ballots: 9/9
Derek Bodner (ranked him #3): "Another big man, right? Yeah, I know. Here's the thing: not only do I think he's one of the five most talented players in the draft, but I think he fits perfectly with Joel Embiid. His ability to hit from the perimeter, both from the catch and running off a screen, will be a great help to a post scoring, post passing big like Joel Embiid. And he can also provide some weakside shot blocking help."
3. Karl-Anthony Towns - PF, Kentucky, 19 years old
AVG: 2.89 Ballots: 9/9
Matt Carey (ranked him #2): "Towns is no consolation prize, and he's a better fit for the Sixers as currently constructed than Okafor."
2. Emmanuel Mudiay - G, Guangdong, 18 years old
AVG: 2.78 Ballots: 9/9
Mike Baumann (ranked him #1): "I put Mudiay at number one more because of a positional tiebreaker than anything else -- I've never been a big MCW fan, and I like that at age 18, Mudiay's already held his own against grown-up competition in China. Even so, I'd be totally cool with Towns or Okafor at number one."
1. Jahlil Okafor - C, Duke, 19 years old
AVG: 1.11 Ballots: 9/9
Roy Burton (ranked him #1): "Sure, Okafor may not fill the Sixers' most pressing need at the moment, but you simply cannot pass on a player who is the consensus number one talent in this year's class. 6' 11" 19-year-olds with soft hands and excellent footwork don't come around that often, and when they do, you draft them without thinking twice."
Here's each individual big board:
|RHJ||LeVert||Tyus Jones||RHJ||Dekker||Kaminsky||Jerian Grant||Harrell||LeVert|
How did we do? Share your big boards below.