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This guy. (Greg Oden)That guy. (Kevin Durant)We were all hoping magic would happen last night, and this guy would be heading to Philly with the number one pick. Or maybe we’d get number two, and it would be that guy. Both were extreme long shots, and neither happened, so it’s time to move on. This is no time to hang your heads Sixers fans, this team played above .500 ball after the Iverson trade last year, and they could wind up with a much better roster going into this season, if everything plays out the right way. Let’s take a look at the options for the Sixers in the coming months:

Best Case Scenario

The Sixers find a way to trade up for the number 1 pick without including Iguodala in the deal. This is the longest of long shots. There’s no way I’d deal that pick, and I don’t think there’s any way the Blazers will either. That being said, if it’s picks the Blazers want, the Sixers have 4 in the first 38. They don’t have many attractive contracts, Andre Miller’s expires at the end of this year, but he’s probably more valuable to a team that is a solid point away from a championship. That’s not Portland.

Trading for the number two pick is also a longshot.

Second Best

The Sixers package picks #21, #30 and a player (Green, Carney, possibly Dalembert, possibly Korver) to obtain another lottery pick (#5–#11), and retain #12. This is probably the ideal situation, and it is possible. I’ll get into who I think the Sixers should take later, but if they can get another pick at the top of this draft, they could address their two biggest needs, and obtain two potential All Stars.

Third Best

The Sixers stand pat with their picks, and get lucky. This is entirely possible with the teams who are drafting ahead of them.

Fourth Best

The Sixers package their picks and one of their core players to get a “superstar” in a trade. They kill their cap situation, and severely hamper the future of the franchise. This is the worst-case scenario. The names being blown around by the rumor mill include Jermaine O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Zach Randolph and Shawn Marion. Of the group, Marion would be the best addition, but his contract is large, and getting a deal done would be next to impossible unless the Suns were willing to take Dalembert and Willie Green back. For the record, I think both Green and Dalembert would thrive in Phoenix’s offense, but if they trade Marion it’s going to be a payroll move, and Dalembert’s deal isn’t exactly a bargain.

The Draft

Definitely not going to be there at 12:

  • Greg Oden
  • Kevin Durant
  • Yi Jianlian
  • Corey Brewer
  • Al Horford

Probably gone by 12:

  • Brandan Wright
  • Mike Conley
  • Joakim Noah

Possibilities at 12:

  • Julian Wright
  • Spencer Hawes
  • Roy Hibbert
  • Jeff Green
  • Acie Law
  • Al Thornton
  • Nick Young

Obviously, if anyone from the top five drops, the Sixers have to take him. In the “probably” category, I don’t want Noah. Absolutely do not want him. I’m also skeptical about Conley. He can handle the ball, yes, but he has no jumper. I just don’t see him scoring enough at the pro level to be worthy of a pick this high. If Atlanta takes him #3 I think they’re going to regret it. Wright, you definitely take.

Of the possibles, this is the order in which I’d rank them.

  1. Julian Wright
  2. Roy Hibbert
  3. Jeff Green
  4. Al Thornton
  5. Acie Law
  6. Nick Young

It looks like Hibbert and Green may go back for their senior years at Georgetown. This would be a huge blow. The mock drafts I’ve seen so far have the Sixers taking Green at number 12, and I’d love that pick. I think any of the top four guys on this list could make an immediate impact on the team, and set them up for the future. I’m on the fence about Law. He showed some big-game gumption this year, but do the Sixers really need another tweener guard?

If Green and Hibbert do not come out, I think it’s imperative for the Sixers to do whatever it takes to move up in the draft and get either Horford, Brewer, Brandan Wright or maybe even Yi. They have to come out of this draft with an impact player, and if Green and Hibbert are out, the talent is going to thin out by #10.

Later in the first round:

ESPN’s Chad Ford has the Sixers taking Josh McRoberts at #21 and Glen “Big Baby” Davis at #30. McRoberts, I like. Davis, I don’t. Fat guys and the NBA don’t mix well, and I realize Charles Barkley was able to lose the weight and keep it off throughout his career, but he was the exception, Eddy Curry is the norm.

Depending on what the Sixers do with their first pick, there are several players I’d like to see them grab at #21.

  1. Rodney Stuckey
  2. Josh McRoberts
  3. Jason Smith
  4. Javaris Crittenton

If they get Green at #12, they have to go for a true PF here, McRoberts or Smith. If they get a big man at #12, then Stuckey would be ideal, with Crittenton a close second.

At #30, I think the Sixers should take a chance. Odds are, this player won’t make the roster, so don’t play it safe. Here are the three players I want the Sixers to target at #30:

  1. Rudy Fernandez
  2. Marco Bellinelli
  3. Sean Williams

Fernandez and Bellinelli are both prototypical long Euro guards. Fernandez has the better outside shot, and they both could be immediate contributors at the 2. Wiliams is a huge, huge risk. He was dismissed from the Boston College team after 15 games this year, and he’s had several “character issues,” but he also averaged 5 blocked shots per game last year. Moses could keep the kid in line and this is really lottery-calibur potential at the end of the first round. Chad Ford has the Knicks taking him at #23, but if Isiah doesn’t roll the dice on him, I’d be happy with him at #30.

If the Sixers keep all of their picks, here’s my ideal lineup for the ‘07–’08 season:

  • PG: Miller, Lou Williams
  • SG: Stuckey, Fernandez, Carney
  • SF: Iguodala, Korver
  • PF: Dalembert, Hunter, Randloph/Asmundsson
  • C: Hibbert

Here’s a more realistic view:

  • PG: Miller, Lou Williams
  • SG: Iguodala, Bellinelli
  • SF: Jeff Green, Korver
  • PF: McRoberts, Hunter, Randloph/Asmundsson
  • C: Dalembert

Whichever way you slice it, the Sixers are a + .500 team as long as they don’t do something self-destructive (stupid trade), and they will be in the playoffs next year. Write it down.

UPDATE: Hibbert is going back to Georgetown, Green is still in the draft at this point.

by Brian on May 23 2007
Tags: Basketball | Sixers |