When David Stern strides to the podium tonight to announce the Sixers selection in the 2013 draft we might get our first glimpse into Sam Hinkie's team-building strategy. Or maybe we'll just get to see how he handles a late lottery pick in a terrible draft. Either way, at least something will happen, and the stakes aren't particularly high.
I believe I've spent exactly the appropriate amount of time evaluating this year's crop of incoming "talent" (very little). However, I do have a plan heading into the draft, and an outcome I'd be happy with. It goes like this. At #11, I'm hoping for McCollum. I think he's probably gone by then, but he's probably the best shooter in the draft and he'd be a strong backcourt mate for Jrue. At worst, McCollum would be an adequate backup PG, which I see as a need whether the ultimate goal is to tear the team down and rebuild or to improve immediately. I wouldn't give up a legit asset to move up and get him. If you can get it done with one of the second round picks, some cash, or by jettisoning Evan Turner, by all means, pull the trigger. If McCollum is off the board, I want the Sixers to reach for either Schroeder or Muhammed. Take a guess as to which of those guys is going to be off the board first, and take him. Schroeder fits the same role as McCollum, with more defense and ballhandling/less shooting. Muhammed could be a three who can score, which is also a need. I also think he's going to be the guy with the biggest chip on his shoulder when he gets into the league, and that can be a powerful thing.
Part two of the plan is get back into the first round and grab either Muhammed or Schroeder (depending on what you did at 11). Buy a pick, trade Turner. Whatever.
Part three is to cross your fingers that Jeff Withey is available at #35. Of the bigs in the draft outside of Noel, Withey is the guy I like the most. At some point, it would be great for the Sixers to draft a big who isn't a complete zero on the defensive end. Just to change things up. With the other second round pick, take a guy you can stash for a year or so.
The ideal outcome would be McCollum, Shabazz, Withey and let's say Alexandre Paranhos. Stockpile some young guys on cheap contracts, give yourself the flexibility to put together a bad roster this season, if that's the plan. Most importantly, change the culture of taking smalls who can't shoot and bigs who don't play big.
If you're feeling glum about tonight's draft, keep this in mind. There's no chance the Sixers will waste the #2 pick on a petulant superstar in his own mind and then look back three years from now trying to figure out how to get rid of him because he's making a ridiculous $6.7M to give you below replacement-level production. The worst case tonight is probably the Sixers drafting Tyler Hansbrough version 2.0 (only without the physicality and pseudo toughness).