The Philadelphia 76ers were officially eliminated from the Eastern Conference playoff race on Tuesday...and unofficially eliminated months before that. The time has come, then, for a Sixers 2014 draft war room update.
According to ESPN's Chad Ford (subscription required), the Sixers have Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins at the top of their wish list:
In the midst of a 20-game losing streak, the Sixers have had Wiggins atop their board all year and believe he'd be the perfect complement to Michael Carter-Williams, Nerlens Noel and Thaddeus Young. The athleticism on that team would be crazy.
Indeed, that would make for a ridiculously long starting lineup. Carter-Williams is one of the tallest point in the league at 6'6," and Noel has a 7'4" wingspan, according to the site NBADraft.net.
Add to that lineup veteran power forward Thad Young and small forward Wiggins—who was measured as having a 6'11" wingspan at the 2012 LeBron James Skills Academy, per NBADraft.net—and you have the makings of an almost freakishly big group, even for the NBA.
That kind of length, youth and athleticism would compare favorably to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who have elite size and athleticism at nearly every position.
The big difference, of course, is that the Thunder have a player in Kevin Durant who can hit a jumper from anywhere on the court. And that could be a problem for the Sixers.
For all his considerable gifts, Carter-Williams does not have a reliable jump shot. According to Basketball-Reference, he is shooting just 31.7 percent on jumpers this season.
Can Wiggins help the Sixers with his jumper? Indeed he can, according to The Topeka Capital-Journal's Jesse Newell:
If we were making a scouting report off this, we'd say three things:
1. Wiggins is a great catch-and-shoot player. Don't let him get a shot up before he dribbles.
2. Wiggins is dangerous when he dribble to get it inside 17 feet, where he's a good jump-shooter.
3. Wiggins is a gifted 3-point shooter and can't be left alone.
That sounds like exactly the kind of player Philly needs.
Of course, the Sixers aren't the only team interested in Wiggins. Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck went very public with his belief that the Canadian native would be donning the green in 2014, per the New York Daily News' Kevin Armstrong:
NBA commish Adam Silver, speaking at BC event, notes two Canadians on Celtics roster. C's owner Wyc Grousbeck shouts, "Wiggins next year."— Kevin Armstrong (@KevinGArmstrong) March 12, 2014
If Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie is truly set on picking Wiggins, he must hope that the ping-pong balls break his way. If they win the lottery, nobody can stop them.