Ranking the Top 6 Picks Since 1996 Based on PER
Whether it was Billy King passing on Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki to select Larry Hughes or Ed Stefanski drafting Evan Turner while a more talented Demarcus Cousins was still on the board, each version of the front office has had its share of failures.
But not all of the selections were busts. In fact, the 76ers have drafted several pretty good players. So using PER as a guiding statistic, here is a look at the best 76ers draft picks since Allen Iverson.
6. Samuel Dalembert (Career Average PER 15.3)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Dalembert’s moody attitude was a turnoff for many Sixers fans. But you shouldn’t forget that he was a solid defensive center for many years before being traded for Spencer Hawes.
Imagine what the 2011-2012 playoff run could have been like with Sammy patrolling the paint instead of Spencer Hawes.
Draft History: 26th Pick 2001
Best Season: 2006-2007, 16.1 PER, 10.7 PPG, 8.9 RPG
Career Highlights: Averaged 11.6 PPG, 12.8 RPG in 2005 NBA Playoffs versus the defending champion Detroit Pistons
The 76ers should have taken: Tony Parker (28), Gilbert Arenas (30)
5. Marreese Speights (Career Average PER 16.2)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
It’s too bad that Marreese couldn’t get out of Doug Collins’ doghouse. He went on to be a productive starter in place of an injured Zach Randolph in Memphis.
His success in Memphis was especially painful since the 76ers lacked size and scoring during their surprising playoff run.
Draft History: 16th 2008
Best Season: 2011-2012, 14.1 PER, 8.8 PPG, 10.0 RPG
Career Highlights: After being traded to Memphis in the 2011-2012 season, he was thrust into the starting lineup for an injured Zach Randolph. And he filled in nicely, nearly averaging a double-double, 8.8 PPG and 10.0 RPG.
The 76ers should have taken: Roy Hibbert (17), Serge Ibaka (24), JaVale McGee (18), Ryan Anderson (21), Nicolas Batum (25)
4. Thaddeus Young (Career Average PER 16.5)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
Although Thad is not a star and may never develop into one, he has been one of the 76ers’ most productive players since he has been drafted.
He is the consummate energy guy and is perfectly suited for the sixth man role.
Draft History: 12th 2007
Best Season: 2011-2012, 18.9 PER, 12.8 PPG, 5.2 RPG
Career Highlights: In the 2011-2012 season, Thaddeus finished ninth in the Sixth Man of the Year award voting.
The 76ers should have taken: Marc Gasol (48)
3. Todd MacCulloch (Career Average PER 16.9)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Just based on gut feel alone, it doesn't seem right putting Todd MacCulloch this high on the list.
But lets not forget that Todd MacCulloch was a pretty good player. After all he was the starting center on a New Jersey Nets team that went to the NBA Finals.
Draft History: 17th 1999
Best Season: 2001-2002, 17.7 PER, 9.7 PPG, 6.1 RPG
Career Highlights: In 2001-2002, he was the starting center for a team that made the NBA Finals. He also lead the team in offensive rebounds and field goal percentage.
The 76ers should have taken: Manu Ginobili (57)
2. Andre Iguodala (Career Average PER 17.1)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Draft History: 9th 2004
Best Season: 2007-2008, 19.0 PER, 19.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 4.8 APG, 2.1 SPG
Career Highlights: Andre Iguodala had a break out season in 2011-2012. He led a top-five5 defensive team to within a game of the Easter Conference Finals. Also, Andre was selected to his first All-Star game.
The 76ers should have taken: Not Applicable. Andre was the best player available.
1. Louis Williams (Career Average PER 17.6)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images
As an NBA vet of seven years at 25, Louis is just coming into his prime as an NBA player. Having been drafted straight out of high school, each successive year he has continued to improve. And now he is one of the premier sixth men in the game.
Draft History: 45th 2005
Best Season: 2011-2012, 20.2 PER, 14.9 PPG, 3.5 APG
Career Highlights: In 2011-2012 he was the first player in nearly 20 years to lead his team in scoring while not having started a game. In the same season, he also finished second in the Sixth Man of the Year award voting.
The 76ers should have taken: Not Applicable. Louis was the best player available.