Five Players the Philadelphia 76ers Should Target in the 2009 NBA draft
With draft day coming up and the coaching search over, the 76ers turn their attention fully to the draft. The Sixers will probably be taking a point guard.
I have listed five players, some of whom likely will not be available at No. 17, which means the 76ers would have to trade up. The way I think they should trade up is by packaging Lou Williams, Willie Green, and pick 17 to trade into the lottery.
All the players are point guard prospects; however, I did not list Stephon Curry because I am sold that the Knicks take him no matter what.
1. Eric Maynor
I start with Maynor because I believe he is the best available player at 17. He is the top senior in this year’s draft and is a great offensive point guard. The most underrated player in this draft, if the Sixers were to stay put at 17, Maynor would be their guy.
Maynor is very experienced. Although he played at VCU, he is no stranger to the big stage as he single handedly stunned the world and beat Duke in the tournament in 2007. His short-range game is his strength. Maynor is average defensively, but so is Andre Miller.
I believe Maynor could run this offense if he had to simply because he is very experienced.
Lawson is lighting quick with the ball and one of the quickest ball handlers I have ever seen; however, scouts believe he is injury prone, and some people including me worry about his defense because of his size.
But he knows how to win. He had a great tournament leading his Tar Heels to the national title.
He is a little guy who is a streaky shooter and great getting to the rim, kind of like another little guy who played in Philly.
He also averaged more than six assists per game last season and 16 points and made guys like Wayne Ellington a lot better. The Sixers have invited him to work out, and he sounds optimistic about coming to Philly and says he would be comfortable running a half-court offense.
3. Jrue Holliday
Holliday had an extremely disappointing freshmen season, only averaging eight points playing out of his natural position.
Holliday has the most range, so I simply cannot tell you if he will be available at 17. Scouts have ranked him as high as No. 4, and NBAdraft.net has him at No. 24.
Holliday impressed scouts at the combine. He is an enigma, but he believes that he can be a floor general at the NBA level. The Kings, who pick fourth, are very interested in him, and I have him going to the Kings. But if the Kings pass up on him, he may fall to 17.
He is unproven, but his upside may be too tough to pass up. And if the Sixers are serious about him, they may have to trade up.
4. Johnny Flynn
If you have noticed, Flynn has been the player who was questioned due to his height, buthe has shot up the boards due to his impressive workouts and play at Syracuse.
Flynn, like Lawson and Brandon Jennings, is under six feet and lighting quick with the ball. Flynn tends to shoot too many three-pointers at times but realizes he needs to improve his consistency.
He is a natural leader. If the Sixers are serious about Flynn, they must consider trading up because Golden State at No. 7 is very serious about him. He will go nowhere past the Pacers at 13, so the Sixers would definitely have to trade up to the mid lottery to get Flynn.
5. Brandon Jennings
My personal favorite point guard prospect, Jennings ,like Holliday, confuses many scouts. Some people, including me, have him as the best point guard in the draft not named Ricky Rubio.
Jennings, more known for his decision to skip college and play in Europe than the fact that he is an extremely skilled point guard, had some good games in Europe but also a lot of DNPs. Scouts can only judge him on his high school highlights.
Jennings is coming with a chip on his shoulder due to the little respect he got in Europe. The Kings are seriously considering him at pick No. 4, but if he slips past that, he may fall out of the lottery.
Sixers GM Ed Stefanski would have to get his team past No. 13 where the Pacers pick. Jennings is a true point guard, unlike Lou Williams. Jennings is the complete package with great court vision, potential, and offensive creativity. Stefanski has to consider this, and if Jennings gets passed fourth, the Sixers would have to pull the trigger and trade up. Jennings would be the spark this team needs. He would fill the seats and be the point guard of the future.