With a final record of 19 wins and 63 losses, most people would not call the Philadelphia 76ers’ 2013-14 season a success.
However, Philly’s owner, Josh Harris, isn’t most people:
Obviously with the goal of tanking the season away accomplished and a near-record of 26 straight losses at one point under their belt, the 76ers can now officially look ahead to the future.
With two picks in the lottery, and this draft being regarded as one of the deepest in recent history, the 76ers have a real shot at landing some key contributors for their roster. With a solid nucleus of Michael Carter-Williams, Thaddeus Young and Nerlens Noel, the Sixers have potential to get back to prominence sooner rather than later.
According to DraftExpress.com, if the draft were today, then Philadelphia would have the No. 2 and No. 10 overall picks.
Obviously, if Philly still has the No. 2 pick after the lottery, it will select either Andrew Wiggins or Jabari Parker.
The more interesting question is, who should the 76ers pick at the No. 10 spot?
With the midseason trade of Evan Turner, the Sixers especially have a hole to fill at shooting guard and frankly shouldn’t deny help at almost any other position on the roster as well.
Let’s take a look at their best options.
Gary Harris: Michigan State, Sophomore Shooting Guard
Gary Harris is one of the best two-way players in the draft. At 6’4" and 210 pounds, he’s a bit undersized for a shooting guard in the NBA, but he makes up for it with excellent play on both ends of the floor.
He is a strong guard who thrives as a slasher and finishes well at the rim. He has a solid mid-range game and three-point shot, although it needs to become more consistent. He has a terrific motor and is a relentless defender.
He would be a great pick for Philly, bringing in a fresh, young player with a great scoring arsenal, as well as lockdown defensive capabilities.
Nik Stauskas: Michigan, Sophomore Shooting Guard
Nik Stauskas can flat-out shoot the basketball. This past year at Michigan, he averaged 17.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists, while shooting 44 percent from downtown.
He was the 2013-14 Player of the Year in the Big Ten Conference. Stauskas is a versatile scoring guard who can shoot it from anywhere on the floor as well as go around players and attack the basket. He is a very underrated passer and is also deceptively athletic.
He could thrive with the Sixers, providing spacing on the floor, so Carter-Williams, Young and whomever they get with their first draft pick can drive to the lane and kick it out to him for open threes.
Dario Saric: Croatia, Small Forward/Power Forward
Dario Saric may be relatively unknown to fans in the United States, but he’s very well-known in European circles. At 6’10" and 225 pounds, Saric has been a beast in the well-respected Adriatic League.
It is not officially known yet if Saric will declare for the draft or not, but if he does, Philly could be getting a steal at this spot. He can switch between small forward and power forward with ease. He is extremely skilled, with great court vision and ball-handling skills, along with having the strength to bang down low and get rebounds.
He is a solid, but not spectacular shooter. However, he possesses great toughness and is a bull when driving to the basket. He would come in right away and help the 76ers by being able to score at multiple positions, defend multiple positions, rebound and bring an overall versatility to the Philly roster that could certainly use all the help it can get.
James Young: Kentucky, Freshman Shooting Guard/Small Forward
James Young had a very solid year for Kentucky. He was up and down at times throughout the season, but his upside as a player in the NBA is immense.
At 6’6” and 200 pounds, Young has a tremendous scoring arsenal. He can shoot it from deep with a beautiful left-handed stroke and excels in attacking the basket. He is superb in transition and finishes strong at the rim.
He needs to improve his consistency on the next level, but Young has all of the potential in the world. For Philly, he could come in and very well fill the void left at shooting guard when Turner was traded.
Doug McDermott: Creighton, Senior Small Forward
Doug McDermott was the undoubted 2013-14 Naismith College Player of the Year and is in the record books as the fifth-leading scorer in the history of college basketball.
That’s quite a resume right there. McDermott faces questions about his defensive capabilities, but with his offensive skill set and three-point jumper, he definitely has the tools to have a lasting career in the NBA.
He is not just a one-dimensional player. McDermott can score from anywhere on the floor, as well as being able to take it into the post, but shooting 45 percent from downtown this season certainly doesn’t hurt his case either.
For Philadelphia, he could come in and also provide great floor spacing. The 76ers don’t really have a guy who can come in and just light it up at a high volume from deep, as well as being able to score in other ways. “Dougy McBuckets” could come in and do exactly that.