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Sixers Tread Water In Draft

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While the Sixers front office pats itself on the back for drafting Moe Harkless and Arnett Moultrie, two guys projected to go in the top 20, in reality they've added similar pieces to a roster in desperate need of skills these guys do not possess.

Moe Harkless is only 19-years-old, he's got great size for a small forward and according to Rod Thorn's medical analysis, he's still growing. That's great, but when I look at him, I see a guy who's going to have the exact same problems as Thad Young. He played the four in college, and everyone is saying he's going to be a three in the pros, but it's extremely difficult to play the three in the pros without a jumper and/or a handle, and he clearly does not have either. He shot 20% from three and 29% on all jumpers last season. I don't question his defense on the wing, I think he'll be a very good defender on the wing, but I question whether he's going to be able to give you anything offensively, and I don't think this is going to be a short term problem, either. Eventually, he's going to be pigeonholed into being a small four with the same weaknesses as Thad at the position. Even if he does somehow develop enough offensive skill to play small forward, the jumper is never going to be a strength, which means he's going to need to be paired with a wing who can really shoot. Everything we've heard this summer is that Evan Turner is here to stay. How, exactly, is that going to work? You simply cannot succeed in this league with a shooting guard who can't shoot playing next to a small forward who can't shoot. It's never going to work.

Even though he's only 19, this seems more like a short-term move to me. Collins looked around the league, especially at the two teams who met in the Finals, and thought the team needed another wing defender to be able to counter lineups Miami uses with LeBron at the four, or OKC with Durant at the four, or even Boston with with Pierce at the four. Harkless should give the Sixers more flexibility to attack those types of lineups, but really is that the hole the team needed to fill with the #15 pick? I guess there could've been worse selections, but ultimately this team is in such desperate need of two things (shooters and physical big men) that I thought a trade up would've been the way to go.

I like Moultrie a lot more at #27 than I did at #15, but again, he's not really anything new for this team. He's a big who I'm afraid is going to be more than happy taking jumpers. A terrible weak-side defender, but a good rebounder. I think he's going to get absolutely eaten alive on the pick-and-roll, but he should be an upgrade over Spencer Hawes. One thing I really liked about the footage I've seen is how he moves without the ball. He'll get easy looks at the hoop from Jrue and Iguodala (if he isn't traded) and he can convert them, which was something on the wish list.

The problem I have with the Moultrie pick is it cost them their first rounder next season. So basically, they came into this draft with four picks (#15, #45 and #54 in 2012, and probably something like #15 in 2013) and came away with 2 players, neither of which really fits a need, neither of which is ever going to be a player who you can build around, neither of these guys has that kind of upside and I don't think Harkless really has the upside of being a starter unless you get rid of one of the guys you already had penciled in as a starter on your roster.

When you're drafting at #15 you have to temper expectations. Of course, moving up from 15 should've been an option, and when Andre Drummond slid, it should've been executed, but here they are. With those four draft picks at their disposal, and no untouchable guys on their roster, they came out of this draft with a redundant wing whose ceiling is probably a sixth man, or maybe a starter whose offense you can hide on a certain kind of team (a team the Sixers aren't even close to having) and a biig man who is a liability on the defensive end.

Two new mismatched pieces to add to the hodgepodge of a roster they've assembled over the past half-decade. Not exactly a master stroke for new ownership.
by Brian on Jun 29 2012
Tags: Arnett Moultrie | Basketball | Draft | Moe Harkless | Sixers |