Top 5 Biggest Draft Day Impacts On The Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers franchise has been rather quiet throughout the history of the NBA Draft. They may have drafted one of the greatest players of all-time in Allen Iverson, but they never really trade their top picks away. They really never initiate in any trades on draft day what so ever.
So, in an effort to make your draft day preparation more action packed, and enjoyable, here is my run-down of the top 5 moves that the 76ers pulled off that impacted the team the most.
5. Kyle Korver Makes His Mark on the 76ers
Kyle Korver came to the 76ers in a draft night trade with the New Jersey Nets. Considering he was a 2nd round pick, he produced far more points and minutes than he was projected to.
Some of Korver's career highlights were that he made it to the 3 point Shootout in two consecutive years, and in one game, made 7-8 three point attempts.
Korver had a huge impact on the Sixers franchise. Korver may have won a couple of games with longshot, and provided the steady shot that the Sixers needed, but they still traded him away.
My belief is that Korver had a very positive impact on the team, and would help the team out today. Korver's career averages are not that high, but look at his career 3 point average, .404% is very high, and that is where Korver made his impact felt.
Korver completed the team, and for a 2nd round pick, gave some very good value to the team. You cannot ask any more from this kid, because he gave us his all, was a fan favorite because of it, and thus, won the Sixers games because of his popular style of play.
4. Mo Cheeks Leads 76ers to Promised Land
Maurice Cheeks perhaps was the biggest bargain on this list. The 76ers drafted Cheeks with the 36 pick in the 2nd round of the 1978 NBA Draft. Besides being the biggest bargain, he may have held the most value as well. Out of all of the players on the list, Cheeks is the only one to possess a championship ring.
On the road to getting that ring, Cheeks had to lead the 76ers to three NBA Finals in four years. Cheeks was the court leader, and captain that the 76ers desperately needed, and drafting him payed dividends.
Some of Cheeks career highlights were that he finished his career as the all-time leader in steals, and 5th in career assists. That is pretty impressive for a guy that was drafted in the 2nd round.
Cheeks impacted the 76ers in a very big way, in of course, leading them to the Finals, and establishing the Sixers as one of the top teams of the 70's. He was a calming force on the court, and would not be denied his dream of getting that ring.
Without Cheeks, there is no doubt in my mind that the Sixers would not get their one and only championship ring.
3. Larry Hughes the Biggest Bust in 76ers History?
In a draft that featured Dirk Nowitzki, Rashard Lewis, and Paul Pierce, the 76ers ended up with Larry Hughes. Hughes career average of 14.6 points per game are overshadowed by what he could not do while wearing a 76ers uniform. That feat was help guide Allen Iverson and the 76ers to the NBA Finals.
Hughes may be considered the biggest bust in 76ers history simply because of this. He was inconsistent while on the team, and often looked lost. Hughes was a huge disappointment while on the Sixers and his play was simply terrible.
For a first round selection, Hughes sure got out of Philly quickly. After only two years, Hughes continued on his merry way around the league, and is now considered a journeyman.
Those nicknames and achievements are not something that a player sets out to do in his career, but Hughes shattered every fans worst dreams by his play in Philly, and there really no words to describe Hughes' play on the court.
2. Shawn Bradley Arrives, and Then Departs
In a draft filled with stars like Penny Hardaway, and Nick Van Exel, Sam Cassel, and Jamal Mashburn, the 76ers again showed their poor scouting skills by drafting a big man that only stayed in the city of brotherly love for two years.
Shawn Bradley was never the dominant center that the Sixers were looking for. Sure, Bradley may have been a block machine, but he never was the scoring machine that they needed to succeed in the league.
Bradley was also prone to foul trouble, and the fouls kept coming even though Bradley rarely played over 30 minutes in a game.
Bradley only played in the league for 12 years because of knee troubles, and never really helped a team the way he was projected to.
The selection of Bradley, the Sixers were set back a couple of years, and if the Sixers were to draft, say, Cassel, the Sixers may have brought a championship trophy home to Philly.
I guess we will never know, because instead of a Hardaway, or a Jamal Mashburn, the Sixers got a Shawn Bradley, a big man who never produced.
1. The Pride and Joy of Philly
I've got two words for you Philly. Allen Iverson. Iverson was perhaps one of the best players in Philadelphia 76ers history. When a player leads you to your only Finals appearance if the decade, and averages 27.1 points over his career, you know he is something special.
Iverson had many famous moments while sporting the black, and red. There was the crossover against Michael Jordan, there was the dominance of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the 2001 Finals, and then there was the game against the Orlando Magic where he scored his career high, 60 points.
Iverson was a player that gave his all to the 76ers, and represented the fans of Philly on the court. He was a guy that was willing to work to make himself better, and played through pain that people might need surgery for.
No matter how big and tough the opposing teams big men were, Iverson kept driving to the lane to dominate the team. He may have taken a lot of shots to get his points, but it worked.
Now, on to the hard part of this discussion. Has anyone ever considered that AI might be a bust compared to the rest of the guys in his draft? Think about it, Kobe Bryant, he has already won four championships while he has not even turned 30 years old yet.
Steve Nash is regarded as one of the best field generals of all-time. He was a back to back MVP winner.
Iverson may have won an MVP award himself, but he never helped his team the way Bryant and Nash did. They made their teammates better, while AI only lead his team to the Finals, only to hog the ball too much to get his teammates involved.
Regardless of the facts, Philly fans know that AI was a great player, and the best thing that ever happened to the Philadelphia 76ers on draft day.