NBA Draft 2011: 4 Players Who Will Sell Tickets for the Philadelphia 76ers
The 2011 NBA Draft doesn't bode well for any franchise who is looking for a franchise-changing player. Instead, it is filled with quality prospects who are expected to log quality minutes.
Therefore, if you are expecting your team to draft the next Kevin Durant, you will have to wait a year or two. Instead, this draft is littered with Jason Terry's and Manu Ginobili's.
This dilemma isn't great for Philadelphia 76ers. While anyone would love to have a guy like Terry or Ginobili, the fact of the matter is that they might have to wait a year or two.
With Comcast, the current owners of the Sixers, getting ready to sell the team after flopping big time on contracts (see Andre Iguodala, Samuel Dalembert), a new look is coming. Whomever the new owners may be, the will have to worry about filling the often-vacant Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia.
With that in mind, here are four prospects who could help the 76ers organization continue to blossom while also filling the seats with unexpected play that transforms them into the Jason Terry's and Manu Ginobili's of the universe.
Bismack Biyombo -- Center -- Congo
Rumors are swirling about whether Bismack Biyombo is actually 18 years old or not. Some believe he is 24 years old. Regardless, Biyombo could be fool's gold or pure gold.
Pundits of the NBA Draft have knocked the NBA for overevaluating talent from Africa. Therefore, Bismack could become the next Dikembe Mutombo or the next Mouhamed Sene.
The ideal comparison is to Oklahoma City big man Serge Ibaka.
Biyombo, regardless of how old he actually is, stands in at 6'9". His wingspan and aggressive defense suggests that he will log significant minutes immediately. Those will have to come off the bench as he is expected to be more developmental, especially offensively.
The speed he maintains with his feet makes him a lock to be selected high due to the expectations that his footspeed and wingspan will help him guard the interior.
His troubles will come offensively as he lacks any prowess with his left hand and will have trouble passing the ball.
Still, with the Sixers expected to be a playoff team for the foreseeable future but not a NBA championship-caliber team, they may have the time to develop a prospect like Biyombo. Despite Biyombo's upside, he is not ready yet.
It may take a couple of years. With the crop of average Joe's in this year's draft, this could be a significant positive for the Sixers when regarding who to take this year.
Down the line, if it pays off, the Sixers might have their own Serge Ibaka after taking a "wait and see while we develop" approach like the Lakers did with the young Andrew Bynum.
Chris Singleton -- Forward -- Florida State
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The Sixers need big men. After years of bringing in athletic wingmen that can't work inside, it is time to move toward the interior. Unfortunately, I am not sure if Chris Singleton would be the guy.
Chris Singleton has the frame and look of an NBA wingman yet he plays a lot like current Sixer forward Marreese Speights in that he doesn't have the offensive game, ballhandling ability or footspeed to work the perimeter.
Instead, Singleton is built for the inside. Could he be an effective power forward in the NBA? That is the question. His leaping ability and athleticism are off the charts. Unlike Biyombo, Singleton could come in and possibly contribute offensively immediately but not on a great scale.
One thing appealing about Singleton is that he is a blue-collar worker. That is, he doesn't take plays off, will tussle in the middle with the bigs and has the strength to not get overworked or outmuscled by opponents.
Unquestionably, Singleton's defense is what makes him stand out. He has been noted as being a part-time scorer. That is, he is very streaky. Fixing his mechanics, like showing him how to square his frame up to the backboard offensively will help in the long run.
Singleton is the kind of player with unremarkable upside. At very best, he could develop into a poor man's Amar'e Stoudemire. At the worst, the Sixers could be stuck with another Speights.
Either way, the optimist would point and say that the future for the Sixers, especially underneath the basket and in guarding the bigs, could be bright and help sell tickets for the broken Sixers franchise.
Donatas Motiejunas -- Forward/Center -- Lithuania
Hannah Johnston/Getty Images
While he is being touted as the next Dirk Nowitzki, Donatas Motiejunas is still a raw player with a high ceiling. So, let's not get too excited about his prospects.
Still, Motiejunas is one of those players that a team who is slowly building itself into a formidable team might not be able to pass on, especially if that team is like the Sixers, one that is still plenty of steps away from competing in the NBA Finals.
Motiejunas is a special prospect because he is a left-handed post-player with the skill set of a small forward to go with him. What you get is a package deal. Most likely, he will play the power forward position in the NBA, despite being a 7-footer.
What Motiejunas is being knocked for is his lackadaisical play. He is known for taking plays off and shrugging off the need for more intense performance. He is still young and the lack of motivation may be due to dominating the European circuit mixed in with some immaturity.
He can shoot the rock from the perimeter plus he has a good first step. What makes Motiejunas stand out is his ability to create room and make an open shot.
The Sixers need a dynamic scorer but one that does more than put the ball in the basket. He must also be able to defend and grab some boards. Motiejunas may be that player who helps turn the Sixers into a force in the NBA East.
Tristan Thompson -- Forward -- Texas
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Tristan Thompson is similar to Motiejunas in that he is also a left-handed post player. Unlike Motiejunas though, Thompson is not a prolific ballhandler with a high ceiling in making moves from the perimeter. But, Thompson still has a high ceiling.
After passing on DeMarcus Cousins in favor of Evan Turner last year, the Sixers need to grab a big man with a tenacity for making things happen inside. Thompson is drawing comparisons to current Sixer power forward Elton Brand.
He could learn alot from Brand, even if Brand is not the same impact player as when he first came into the league.
While the Doug Collins offense does not call for it, Thompson is effective running the floor. He has good potential offensively, but defensively, he is a workaholic. The blue-collar approach that Thompson takes is fundamentally important in the Eastern Conference.
Working the low block is not a problem for Thompson. He can be a legitimate force right away, even if he has to develop into a more confident player. The Sixers need someone who can come in with some size and make their mark down low.
Thompson could be the perfect fit.