Top NBA Draft Options for Philadelphia 76ers to Get It Right with No. 11 Pick
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Philly didn't have a great season, but the foundation for a strong future is in place.
The Sixers have their point guard of the future. Finding a legitimate point guard is one of the most difficult tasks for teams to succeed at, but Philadelphia has already knocked that one off the list.
Next up is finding a center that has the ability to dominate. Look around the league and search for teams that have a big man that consistently handles his business.
It probably didn't take you too long.
If the world rotates faster than usual and a healthy Andrew Bynum happens to re-sign with the Sixers, then they will be set at the two most difficult positions to fill.
The last one is a big "if," though, so the next step for Philadelphia is to solidify themselves in the 2013 draft so that they are able to build on the foundation they already have.
Let's take a look at the top NBA draft options for the Sixers with the No. 11 pick.
First up on the list is a guy who has spent his time playing an hour-and-a-half away from Philadelphia at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
McCollum has this year's Damian Lillard written all over him: everything from playing at a smaller school to his similar playing style.
Your first question might be: Why would the Sixers take a shot at McCollum when they already have Jrue Holiday at point?
The answer is because McCollum is better suited for shooting guard in the NBA.
He would be a shorter 2-guard at only 6'3" but his game more than makes up for it. His No. 1 attribute is that he can shoot the lights out of a gym. He is better at creating shots for himself than others, and that isn't a knock on him.
It's an advertisement for why he needs to be playing shooting guard.
If Philly went with McCollum, they need to be committed to getting him on the floor as soon as possible. He is an NBA-ready player who should see starter minutes. It also means that the Sixers would need to come up with a decision on Evan Turner.
The right move would be to move Turner to a sixth-man role and let him be the leader off the bench.
McCollum could end up going as high as sixth in the draft, so it's definitely possible that Philadelphia won't even get the chance to draft him.
Still, though, if the opportunity arises, then it's one the Sixers would be wise to look at fully.
Zeller's athletic measurements were off the charts at the NBA draft combine, and it brought scouts' minds back to why they saw him as a top-three pick at one point.
The big question here becomes: Is being athletically gifted enough?
In Zeller's case, it just might be.
Here is how Sports Illustrated talked about his results:
Zeller didn't participate in workouts, but his tests were among the best at the combine. Zeller checked in at 7 feet (with shoes) and 230 pounds, with a body fat of 4.5 percent. He finished first in the modified lane agility drill (2.69 seconds) and the standing vertical leap (34.5 inches) and was sixth in the three-quarter-court sprint (3.15), faster than any power forward or center. Even his wingspan -- considered one of the biggest knocks against him -- measured better than expected, at 6-10¾ after earlier reports of 6-8.
In case you were wondering, his former teammate and likely top-10 pick, Victor Oladipo, had a three-quarter-court sprint time of 3.16 seconds.
Philadelphia could see Zeller as a great safety option in case everything doesn't work out with Bynum. They also might see him as their next starting big man regardless of what happens with the Bynosaur.
Zeller struggled in the NCAA Tournament and looked significantly weaker than opposing centers.
If the Sixers think that he can get over his soft play and become a tougher competitor, he could be the right guy at No. 11.
The wild card here could be if the Sixers are willing to take a chance on a project with the potential to be a game changer.
Gobert's physical measurements are freakish. He is 7'2" in shoes with a standing reach of 9'7" and has 9.75-inch hands.
Like I said, freakish.
Scouts were less than impressed with his 25-inch standing and 29-inch max vertical, but teams won't be drafting him based on how high he can jump.
It's all about his size and length.
Gobert is one of the most likely to be a bust in this year's draft. At the same time, his success in 10 years could have a franchise laughing at every organization that felt that way.
Maybe that team will be Philadelphia.
Who will the Sixers take with the No. 11 pick?
Another option to consider would be Philadelphia deciding there is a can't-miss prospect that won't fall to them at No. 11, forcing them to make a trade and move up in the draft.
The trade would likely involve Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, the No. 11 pick and one or both of their second-round picks.
The price is obviously high and would mean the end of the Turner project as they see someone else filling that role.
A high price might lead toward a large reward, though.
The other prospects could potentially be the one that forces the Sixers to move up, but other players to consider are Victor Oladipo, Ben McLemore and Anthony Bennett.
Oladipo and McLemore could be two of the most successful players from this year's draft just based on their skill sets and athletic abilities. Bennett has the potential to be a huge small forward or an undersized but quicker power forward. His game is raw but still NBA-ready.
It's going to take a special player to make the Sixers move up.
We'll find out soon enough.
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