By Tim Jimenez
Sixers fans, the NBA Draft is upon us! It’s been a fun night for me through the years, as it is for a lot of hoop heads. It is fun pretending that you know a lot about the dozens of college prospects, even though you really don’t.
I remember saying the Sixers should have taken Al Thornton in the first post-Iverson draft in 2007. Instead, they drafted some guy named Thaddeus Young. Same draft, it was obvious, as good as Kevin Durant was going to be, Greg Oden was the next Bill Russell and HAD to be taken first overall. In 2009 I was pegging Ty Lawson as the Sixers 17th pick and point guard of the future. Not a really young kid out of UCLA named Jrue Holiday.
The NBA draft, like all drafts in sports, is a crapshoot. So, I decided to kick off Talkin’ Hoops by speaking with someone who follows the NBA closely. Tom Moore is the Sixers beat writer for Phillyburbs.com and few follow the team closer than he does. You can also find him on Twitter @tmoorepburbs.
It looks like the theme of the draft this year is the parity and unpredictability. It isn’t top heavy which means a guy drafted at five might not be that much better than a guy at 12.
All signs point towards the Sixers filling the need of a big man and adding Philly product and one half of the Morris twins, Markieff Morris (6-10, 245, PF, Kansas), Nikola Vucevic (7-0, 260, C, USC) or Donatas Motiejunas (7-0, 225, PF, Lithuania). But Tom added that in this draft, you just don’t know.
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“Does Jordan Hamilton from Texas or Chris Singleton from Florida State (fall in the draft). Guys who are shooters, scorers, do they drop down there? Then you have to say alright, do we need to get a big guy? Do we take the best guy available? You have five minutes when you’re on the clock and you have to make up your mind.”
One name that Tom brought up is Bismack Biyombo (6-9, 240, C/F, Congo).
“Kind of like a cross between Dikembe Mutombo and Serge Ibaka from the Thunder, very athletic.”
Biyombo never worked out for the Sixers but Rod Thorn said drafting players who haven’t worked out for your team isn’t unusual. (i.e. Jrue Holiday)
Motiejunas is intriguing as well, and could be worth taking. If he turns into another Darko, at least he was picked at 16, not at two.
“He’s more of a finesse guy. By reputation he’s more of an offensive guy (similar to Spencer Hawes). Very good high post passer. But he’s not the shot blocker, the rebounder, the interior defensive force that they would like.”
Then there’s the Iguodala question: To trade or not to trade? Tom thinks Dre’s time has just run its course and his game is similar to Evan Turner’s. Before trading him, Tom says they have to find the right deal first.
“You can’t just make a trade for the sake of making a trade and not get fair value in return. That does not help your team. If you do trade him for Monta Ellis, Ellis scores 24-25 a game but he’s not a very good defender. So who’s going to kind of pick up the defensive slack?”
There’s a lot to talk about with the Sixers. There usually isn’t this much going on when they have a mid-late first rounder but the Iguodala rumors, and the billion dollar questions involving the team being sold and, oh yeah, a lockout looming, make this such a fascinating time to follow the Sixers and the league. Tom Moore and I talk about all of that in the first ever edition of Talkin’ Hoops.