NBA Draft 2012: Top 10 Prospects for Philadelphia 76ers
Sixers general manager Rod Thorn has already stated that the team will look to draft the best player available instead of drafting for need, but that doesn't mean the best talent won't fit their needs.
The Sixers have a solid young nucleus comprised of Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young, but they need to add a physical presence or two in the frontcourt if they hope to become one of the Eastern Conference's elite contenders.
In a draft loaded with frontcourt talent, the Sixers should have no problem finding some quality big men.
Here are the top 10 prospects the Philadelphia 76ers should target.
First Round: Perry Jones
One of the draft's most versatile prospects, Baylor's Perry Jones is the kind of unique talent the 76ers should be searching for.
At 6'11'' and 234 pounds, Jones has all of the size and length necessary to be considered a power forward, although his skill set resembles that of a small forward.
Jones excels at running the open floor in transition and has surprisingly strong dribbling capabilities for a player his size.
Although he still needs to work on his jump shot, Jones is the type of versatile big man who fits with the Sixers' up-tempo style of play.
Jones' stock has been wavering over the past few weeks, so there is a good chance he will still be on the board when the 76ers select at No. 15 overall.
First Round: Terrence Jones
Similar to Perry Jones, Kentucky's Terrence Jones falls into the tweener category.
Standing 6'9'' and weighing 252 pounds, Jones is one of the most physically imposing players in this year's draft. Although the Sixers are already stocked with wing players (Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner), Jones is the type of aggressive player that could help the Sixers.
Jones' size tends to suggest that he would be a more effective NBA power forward than small forward, but his skill set translates to both positions.
With a solid mid-range jump shot and elite strength, Jones will be able to create shots in the post or out on the perimeter.
Jones is also a capable ball-handler, so he will be able to create his own shot off the dribble, especially when he's playing out on the wing.
First Round: Arnett Moultrie
Perhaps the most logical fit for the 76ers, Mississippi State forward Arnett Moultrie is the scorer and physical presence on the glass that this team sorely needs.
After a stellar junior campaign at Mississippi State, Moultrie's game looks very refined and ready for competition in the NBA.
A double-double threat in college, Moultrie averaged 16.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in his junior season. Moultrie was also very efficient shooter, knocking down 54.9 percent of his shots from the field, and 78 percent of his looks from the free-throw line.
As Elton Brand continues to age, the Sixers will need to find a replacement who is NBA-ready. Although rookie Lavoy Allen flashed promise during his first season in the NBA, he's better suited to come off the bench.
Ultimately, Moultrie provides the consistency and stability the Sixers are looking for in the frontcourt.
First Round: John Henson
With center Spencer Hawes headed for unrestricted free agency, the Sixers will be in the market for a shot-blocker in this year's draft.
North Carolina's John Henson would seem to fit the bill. With superior length (7'4'' wingspan) and good height (6'10''), Henson has the ability come in and contribute right away for a Sixer team that is thin up front.
In his junior season with the Tar Heels, Henson averaged 2.9 blocks in addition to 13.7 points and 9.9 rebounds, making him one of the elite big men at the collegiate level.
The lone concern with Henson is his weight. At 220 pounds, Henson may have to bulk up and add some muscle if he wants to compete with elite NBA big men.
With a polished game, Henson could be a low-risk, high-reward selection for the 76ers.
First Round: Terrence Ross
Now that Philadelphia 76ers' guard Lou Williams has opted out of the final year of his contract, the Sixers will be on the lookout for some scoring.
Although his spot in the first round remains unclear, Ross is a candidate to be drafted anywhere from No. 7 overall to No. 20 overall. Ross is an efficient scorer, and he could be the answer to the shooting struggles that have plagued the Sixers for years.
Ross is also capable and willing to drive to the basket, something the Sixers did not do enough of last season. Constantly settling for jumpers, the Sixers will be looking for ways to simplify their offense this offseason.
He may not be the flashiest player in the draft, but you know what you're getting with Terrence Ross.
Second Round: Kim English
One of the draft's best sure shooters, Missouri's Kim English could be a target when the Sixers select at No. 45 overall.
After playing a full four years with the Tigers, English's game is NBA-ready. While he will most likely be a three-point specialist at the professional level, English is capable of creating his own shot and, at 6'6',' has good size for a shooting guard.
English shot 45.9 percent from deep and averaged 14.5 points per game for one of the nation's elite teams last season.
With Jodie Meeks' future up in the air, English could be a more versatile threat as a backup shooting guard to Evan Turner.
With Evan Turner's shot still in the developmental stages, English could actually prove to be a very nice complement to the third-year player out of Ohio State.
Second Round: John Jenkins
The premier three-point specialist in this year's draft, John Jenkins should have no problem finding a role with his future NBA team.
Although Jenkins was an all-around scorer at Vanderbilt, he will likely be limited to duty around the perimeter at the next level.
In his junior season with the Commodores, Jenkins averaged 19.9 points per game on 47.4 percent shooting from the field. Jenkins was also deadly from deep, shooting 43.9 percent on an average of 8.7 attempts per game.
While he's an accurate long-range shooter, Jenkins could help himself by creating his own shot more often. With a strong shot off the bounce, Jenkins could turn into one of the NBA's elite three-point specialists.
Second Round: Wiliam Buford
William Buford isn't an elite shooter like Kim English, but he is a reliable shooting guard with a more versatile skill set.
Averaging over 30 minutes per game over his four years at Ohio State, Buford is one of the draft's most experienced players. While he may not be deadly from three-point range, Buford never failed to shoot lower than 40 percent in any season with the Buckeyes.
In his senior season, Buford averaged 14.5 points, 5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game in a campaign in which he helped lead the Buckeyes to the Final Four.
A candidate to be selected with the No. 54 overall pick, Buford has all of the makings of an efficient role player in the NBA.
Second Round: Ramone Moore
Following a trend of targeting players at shooting guard, Temple's Ramone Moore could be a fit when the Sixers pick at No. 54 overall.
With their final pick in the draft, the Sixers will likely be looking to take a flyer on prospective talent, just like they did one year ago.
When the Sixers selected Temple's Lavoy Allen with pick No. 50 in the second round of the 2011 draft, the consensus was that Allen would simply sit on the end of the bench, or not make the team at all. Allen proved his detractors wrong, filling in admirably for the injured Elton Brand throughout the regular season.
Moore is a decent scorer, but one the Sixers can wait on. Averaging 17.3 points per game on 42.6 percent shooting, Moore would likely be a body at the back end of the Sixers' rotation.
Second Round: Kyle O'Quinn
Another player with four years of college experience, Norfolk State's Kyle O'Quinn is a player full of energy and passion.
A perfect fit for Doug Collins' system, O'Quinn is the type of big body (6'10'' and 241 pounds) that the Sixers would love to have come off the bench.
With averages of 15.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per game in his senior season, O'Quinn possesses some nice skills in the post, but there is still plenty of room for improvement.
O'Quinn is also a capable shot-blocker, averaging 2.6 blocks per game this past season.
With a bench that's becoming smaller and more shallow, the Sixers could use a lengthy, athletic body like O'Quinn's.
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