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Here's a bunch of stuff I dug up on the Sixers new PF project, Marreese Speights.

  • Chad Ford's take on the pick:
I like this pick for Philly. Speights has a lot of talent and he fits a need for Philly. He's an excellent offensive player who can score in the post and facing the basket, and he can rebound. He is kind of a poor man's Elton Brand.
A poor man's Elton Brand? I wonder if they'll be able to pair him up with the rich man's version.

Now, my take: I like the pick. I was fully prepared to come out of this draft angry, very angry. Anthony Randolph or DeAndre Jordan looked like the pick and I didn't want either guy. The Kevin Love dream died early on, the shooters I liked slipped away minutes before the Sixers picked. Everything was lining up wrong until the Warriors jumped on the grenade and took Randolph.

When #16 came up I was happy they took Speights. I probably would've preferred Arthur, but in hindsight Speights makes more sense for a couple of reasons. Number 1, he has true PF size. Not just height, but size and strength. He's listed at 6'10", 245 pounds. Tall enough, bulky enough without being a load. This is big, as PhillyFriar said in the live draft, he isn't a tweener. Second, while Speights may be a work in progress, the area in which he needs work is defense. While in and of itself, that's not great news, the fact that he's already an accomplished scorer with a variety of inside moves, great hands, and a decent jump shot to 15 feet, is. It seems every project on the Sixers roster is a freak athlete who can defend but needs to work on his offensive game. Speights comes in with the ability to score, something which has obviously been hard to learn for many on this roster.

Will he contribute this year? That remains to be seen. He's a big man who can run and rebound. That alone should get him into the rotation pretty quickly. He's an efficient scorer (shot 62% from the floor last year), which is also a good indicator. I think there's a decent chance Speights could find himself in the rotation pretty early on, depending.

Depending on what, you ask? Well, depending on what happens next for this franchise. Like I said earlier, the draft was only the first step to this offseason, and by no means the most critical. The next date to circle on your calendars is Monday, June 30th. That's the deadline for Elton Brand to opt out of the final year of his deal with the Clippers. If he opts out, I'd say there's a very good chance he's coming to Philly. If he doesn't, there is still a sliver of hope, but a small one.

Monday is step two, we'll regroup and reassess after that and get ready for the next step, no matter which direction it is in. For tonight, what do you guys think of the newest Sixer? Would you have rather had Arthur? Someone else who was still on the board? Thoughts in the comments, as usual.

Early nickname candidate: Crazy Speights.

by Brian on Jun 26 2008
Tags: Basketball | Marreese Speights | NBA Draft | Offseason | Sixers |