Best Options for Philadelphia 76ers in the First Round of 2013 NBA Draft
The disappointing saga that is the Philadelphia 76ers season can't come to an end soon enough for head coach Doug Collins.
Is it Collins' fault for how miserable the team has played, or are the players to blame?
Sure, fans can look at the fact that Andrew Bynum may play as many games in his 76ers career as me. Fans can blame the bust that is Evan Turner. Fans can blame the front office for deciding to let Lou Williams walk in favor of a guy who goes by "Swaggy P"—referring to Nick Young for those unfamiliar.
Whatever the case, the Sixers have to rebuild (Sixers fans must be tired of hearing this) and mold a competitive team around All-Star Jrue Holiday.
They can do so directly through the NBA Draft. By the looks of it, odds are the 76ers will have a first round pick within the top 12 (probably 10, 11 or 12 to be exact) to go along with two second-rounders—both within the top 40 overall.
While there are probably no superstars lurking in the shadows of this draft class, there are some who can make an impact shortly into their NBA career. Here are three players at different positions I think would fit well with the 76ers and who they should look into drafting come late June.
Alex Len, Maryland, 7'1", C
Seeing that this draft is top-heavy with big men, Len will probably see Nerlens Noel and Cody Zeller taken before him. If he is available when the Sixers are up to pick, this is an automatic choice.
Len stands out among the other candidates for the Sixers first-round pick based off his size alone. A seven-footer is an invaluable asset in the NBA. While Len didn't have a breakout season as many projected, there is plenty of potential.
Going off the assumption that the 76ers do not re-sign Andrew Bynum, Alex Len could slide into a backup center role behind Spencer Hawes.
Len certainly has the capability to be a double-double machine when it comes to scoring and rebounding, replicating what former Sixer Nikola Vucevic is now doing in Orlando.
Adding Len would mean the possibility of mixing and matching the Sixers frontcourt. Collins would have the opportunity to play Thaddeus Young at power forward with either Hawes or Len at the center.
There is also the idea of moving Young to small forward as a swing player, thus moving Hawes to forward and having Len play the center or vice versa.
This was supposed to be the plan with Bynum, but we all see how that worked out.
Hopefully Len provides different, successful outcomes.
Victor Oladipo, Indiana, 6'4", SG/SF
The 76ers are all-too familiar with a Naismith Player of the Year candidate, and his name is Evan Turner, who won the award in 2010. For this reason and this reason alone, Sixers fans may want to pass on Oladipo, not wanting to risk another disaster.
I dismiss this notion.
Oladipo is much more athletic than Evan Turner was or ever will be. He takes after Turner in that both can finish strongly around the rim, although the 76ers would hope Oladipo could do so at a more consistent rate.
Oladipo has the versatility and length to play at the shooting guard or small forward. This quality in a player is a luxury in that he can guard multiple positions on defense, potentially acting as the Sixers 'stopper' on defense.
Pairing up with Jrue Holiday in the backcourt could make for plenty of athletically-induced sparks of excitement in front of what are hopefully larger crowds at the Wells Fargo Center next year.
Finally, Oladipo plays the game hard and relentlessly. His passion oozes emphatically until the final buzzer sounds and he wears his heart on his sleeve, something Philly fans are sure to love, appreciate and respect.
C.J. McCollum, Lehigh, 6'3'', PG/SG
I view McCollum as the "diamond in the rough" of this year's draft class. After a broken foot ended his season, many people forgot about McCollum.
Hopefully everyone except the 76ers front office.
A talented player like McCollum doesn't lose skill and passion for the game overnight, nor over eight to ten weeks, the amount of time McCollum was sidelined with his injury, which ended his collegiate career.
A healthy McCollum can score in bunches, something the Sixers have lacked since Allen Iverson departed.
McCollum is quite the package on the offensive end of the court. He can shoot the lights out and drives the ball strong, usually resulting in drawing a foul or finishing over a taller defender.
Unfortunately, his size hurts him on the defensive side of the ball. Lou Williams had the same problem, but people overlooked it because he could score the ball and create for himself, just like McCollum, who is undoubtedly stronger than Williams.
There is not a single player on the current Sixers roster that drives the ball and draws fouls at a regular rate. Getting to the line is a specialty of McCollum's.
Currently there is an evident drop-off at the point guard position when Jrue Holiday exits games, but that drop-off is unfortunately inevitable with the maligned roster of the team.
Adding McCollum would add shot creation and instant scoring, something the Sixers second and third rotations struggle to make happen.
No offense to Jeremy Pargo or Royal Ivey (alright, maybe a little offense), McCollum's potential as a consistent scoring backup point guard outweighs anything the two of them have proven.