As opposed to last year's draft, where I desperately wanted the Sixers to land the top pick, and in turn Andrew Wiggins, having the third selection spot in the 2015 Draft is pretty solid for the Sixers. The team will have their choice of remaining top-5 talent, and will be in position to select the best available player.
Image via Bleacherreport.com
D'Angelo Russell seems to be the player everyone is abuzz about for the Sixers, and for good reason. The kid is a stud, and could develop into a primer point guard in the league; a position that the Sixers need to fill with Michael Carter-Williams no longer in tow. Russell is quick and athletic, with the ability to pass and shoot. Thus, he projects to fit well on the court next to Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid, who attended the same high school as Russell. Hinkie and co. still have over a month to mull over potential options, but if available, Russell seems like he would be a great fit, and an excellent addition to the Sixers' young, developing core. The prospect of landing a young talent like Russell is intriguing, as long as you ignore the team's recent history with lottery picks from Ohio State (What's up, E.T.?).
If Russell is unavailable at the time of the their selection, there will still be other high-caliber options for the Sixers to select. Mystery man Emanuel Mudiay has potential, and Justice Winslow could develop to be an excellent perimeter player; another area that the Sixers need to address. It is likely that both Jahlil Okafor and KAT will be fine before the Sixers select. If not, the team will have further options to consider.
Obviously it would have been nice for the team to land 1-6-11, but that was always unlikely. This way, despite not getting multiple lottery picks this year, the team will have a steady stream of talent coming in for the next couple years. Embiid and the third overall pick will be added this summer. The Lakers pick is only top-3 protested next season, and likely to transfer. So the Sixers will have that to couple with their own pick and the possible arrival of Dario Saric next summer. The Heat and Thunder picks will eventually convey as well. In this way the Sixers can continue to infuse new talent into the team, while developing the guys they already have.
You also can't count out the possibility of Hinkie making a move to acquire another lottery pick, as there are reportedly several available. The team also has ample cap space to spend. This summer should be a busy one for the Sixers.
It is sometimes difficult to grade or judge a player after a single season, as a multitude of factors go into a player's performance over the course of a season. It is even more difficult to grade a player after less than half of a season with a given team, but that is exactly what I tried to do for QueenCityHoops.com in regards to Al Jefferson.
Check out the entire report cards over at QCH, as they are running one for each player on the Hornets over the course of the off-season.
Name: Al Jefferson Position: Center Team: Charlotte Hornets 2014-15 Grade: C
Al Jefferson has had better seasons. Injury issues forced
the big bruiser to miss 17 games in the 2014-15 campaign, and, to the largest
extent since he has been in Charlotte, Al showed his mortality. Coming off of a
season in which he was named Third-Team All NBA, his 16.6 points per game this year
were his lowest per game since the 2006-2007 season, when he was in Boston. His
rebounds per game tumbled too, as he averaged only 8.4; his lowest per game
average since his second season as a professional in 2005-2006. He did this
while playing only 30.6 minutes per game, the least per game he has played
since that second season. Big Al just never seemed quite right all season, due
largely to the nagging injury issues. Even his field goal percentage – usually
a statistic he could hang his hat on – slipped down to 48% overall (48.2 eFG%).
Considering the Hornets’ eventual regular season flameout, combined with his
statistical skid, it is safe to say that 2014-15 wasn’t the best season for Al
Check out the full article on Philadunkia, here. The Sixers will
continue to add to their young core in this summer's NBA Draft. Depending on
how the ping-pong balls bounce in the upcoming draft lottery, the Sixers could
have from one to three first round picks in the draft. The organization
obviously needs a lot of luck in said lottery.
After the news broke
that Julius Erving, who represented the team at last year’s lottery, was
unavailable to attend this year, the team announced that Nerlens Noel would be
taking his place.
I love Nerlens Noel,
and was beyond impressed with his development throughout his rookie season. I
think he has great things ahead of him in his NBA career, and I legitimately
believe that he will compete for, if not win, multiple Defensive Player of the
Year awards. With that said however, I would have preferred the team to send
Last summer, the Sixers used a lottery pick on Dario Saric, who was not going to join the team for a couple seasons. It was a risky move, and one that tested the patience of the Philadelphia fan base.
Saric has been playing well in Turkey, but his timetable as far as joining the Sixers remains unknown. Still though, Saric appreciates the support that the team has shown him.
Check out the below graphic and quote courtesy of HoopsHype.
The visit he is referring to took place late last summer when Michael Carter-Williams, Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel. and Coach Brett Brown went to Spain to watch Saric play in the World Cup.
"We cam here to support Dario. He's a great player. It's my first time seeing him and I'm very impressed and excited about the future and having him be a part of what we're building in Philadelphia," Noel said at the time.
It is a solid sign that Saric already feels support from his NBA franchise and its cornerstone players.
Although Michael Carter-Williams is no longer with the Sixers, the team's future remains bright, and it will become even brighter when Saric finally arrives in Philadelphia.
Maybe Nerlens Noel knows something that we don't, or maybe he is just trolling the Sixers fan base.
Either way, his recently posted picture of himself and potential lottery pick D'Angelo Russell from Ohio State with simply a question mark as the caption, is intriguing.
Russell is a stud, and figures to be a top-4 pick June's Draft. The Sixers figure to have a top-5 pick in said Draft, and depending on how the ping-pong balls bounce in the upcoming lottery, they could have up to 3 first round picks. Russell is an athletic point guard- an obvious need for the Sixers - who has drawn comparisons to James Harden. It seems as though a large percentage of the Philadelphia faithful would be pretty psyched if the team landed Russell.
The fact that Noel and Russell are apparently at least cordial doesn't mean much in terms of the Sixers actually landing him in the draft, but the fact that he already has a connection on the team can't hurt.
Russell posted the same picture on his own account without a caption. He and Noel are apparently men of few words.