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Ricky Rubio: How He Could Become a 76er

BEIJING - AUGUST 24:  Ricky Rubio #6 of Spain lays the ball up past Dwight Howard #11 of the United States in the gold medal game during Day 16 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at the Beijing Olympic Basketball Gymnasium on August 24, 2008 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Andrew HollandContributor IJune 5, 2009

One of the advantages of being stuck in the 'land of the mediocre' in the NBA is the joyous ritual of the NBA Draft. 

Is Sixer nation excited?

SN: (inaudible grumble)

Not even a little bit?

SN: (silence)

Okay, the Sixers have gotten kind of stale despite shelling out wads of cash to up-and-coming and declining players. But the Sixers may have the chance to make some moves this offseason that could liven things up at the Wachovia Center. 

One possible rumor that has floated around has been trading up to Memphis' No. 2 pick for Marreese Speights and the 17th selection. In turn, the Sixers would select Spanish star Ricky Rubio, and have their point guard of the future. 

Why it would work for Memphis: They need an athletic big man and have a glut of guards. Memphis has guards Mike Conley, O.J. Mayo and Rudy Gay on their roster and would have trouble finding a spot in the rotation for Rubio. 

Speights has shown signs of being able to become a solid contributor on the offensive end when given minutes and would give Memphis an offensive option from a big man more consistently. 

Why it would work for the Sixers: Star power—the Sixers need an identity and lack any outgoing personality on their roster to be able to sell to the average sports fan. Thaddeus Young is a tremendous player and could have the talent of a superstar, but he has no excitement in his personality. 

Rubio, on the other hand, has been a star in Spain for years, and has relished the spotlight. He's become a global phenomenon and rarely buckles under the pressure. Plus, his style of play alone would excite the basketball scene in Philadelphia. 

Why it wouldn't work for Memphis: Memphis could opt to draft Hasheem Thabeet. 

Despite this being a deep draft and Memphis' ability to get a quality selection at No. 17 along with Speights, Memphis may opt to hold onto the selection and draft the defensive presence of Thabeet.

Why it wouldn't work for the Sixers: Upside of Speights—while Rubio would bring a personality to the team, one could argue that Speights has a higher upside than any of the bigs in this draft. 

With the current state of things between Samuel Dalembert and the Sixers, the team could use all the big names on their roster come the start of next season. 

 

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