What 76ers Should Do With 11th Pick
After finishing 34-48 in the 2012-13 season, the Philadelphia 76ers landed the 11th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. We asked several HOOPSWORLD writers what the team should do with that first-round pick. Here are several options for Philadelphia.
Draft Gorgui Dieng
Going from a .415 winning percentage to being a playoff team in the Eastern Conference isn’t as monumental of a turnaround as one might think. Despite finishing the 2012-13 NBA season 14 games under .500, Philadelphia was in the postseason race all year long. The Sixers finished just four games back of the Milwaukee Bucks for the eighth and final playoff seed in the East, and a healthy Andrew Bynum would’ve made a substantial impact for Philly.
Not surprisingly, especially with Bynum set to test the free agent market this summer, center will be an area of concern for Philadelphia heading into the offseason. Should the 76ers feel Bynum will likely bolt, or if the franchise just wants to acquire solid depth at the position, a big man could be on the agenda.
In one of the deepest drafts in recent memory at the center position, value can certainly be had at the 11th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. One option for Philadelphia could be Louisville standout Gorgui Dieng, who was a proven winner during his time with the Cardinals. The Sixers are also still in the market for a head coach but drafting a young and talented defensive stalwart like Dieng could make a solid first impression.
Because he’s believed by many to be a raw talent at this point, Dieng has been projected all over the first round in various mock drafts around the web. If there’s a run on centers, which is certainly possible early in the first round, Dieng could be the best option for a Sixers team with an undeniable need at the position.
Another project, France’s Rudy Gobert, could also be an option should he fall to 11th but Dieng seems to be a more conceivable option at that spot.
- Derek Page
Draft Kelly Olynyk
When Sam Hinkie took over as the new general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers, he inherited one of the biggest questions facing any GM in the league today. Should he re-sign Andrew Bynum or let him walk away? This is a tough decision, especially when you consider that Bynum cost the Sixers a former All-Star in Andre Iguodala and two promising young players in Nikola Vucevic and Maurice Harkless.
Whether or not Hinkie plans to bring back Bynum, it’s clear that the Sixers need help at center. Bynum is an injury waiting to happen, so even if he’s with the team next season it will be important to have his replacement waiting in the wings. Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk is no Bynum, but at pick No. 11 he’s an interesting prospect.
Olynyk finished his junior year ranked second overall amongst his peers, thanks in large part to his ability to score at will. He ranked in the 95th percentile in half court offense and 89th percentile in transition, so he’s almost as good running the floor as he is when the offense sets up and lets him go to work. The catch, and you knew there had to be one for him to be on the board beyond the top 10, is that he’s not much of a defensive presence. He ranked in just the 29th percentile against post-ups and in just the 43rd percentile in man-to-man defense. He may give up as much on the defensive end as he gives his team on the offensive end.
Still, Philly needs a center, and Olynyk is a solid place to start.
- Bill Ingram
Draft Steven Adams
As the others have pointed out, the Sixers will almost certainly use this pick on a center. They need some frontcourt depth, especially if they are ready to part ways with Andrew Bynum this summer. Because this draft is loaded with talented centers, Philadelphia will have plenty of options at No. 11 if they choose to draft a center.
However, Steven Adams has already started separating himself from his peers and he should be the Sixers’ pick.
In recent weeks, Adams has been moving up draft boards due to his size and potential. He’s a legit seven-footer and he weighed in at 254.5 lbs. at the draft combine in Chicago. That’s an impressive frame for a 19-year-old, who may not even be done growing.
Because he’s still a teenager, he also has more upside than other center prospects like Mason Plumlee, Kelly Olynyk and Gorgui Dieng, which should help his draft position.
While Adams wasn’t considered a lottery pick entering this process, he won teams over during the interview process and NBA decision-makers are starting to realize that he may be one of the best big men in this draft class.
The 76ers really can’t go wrong with any of the talented big men that are available, but Adams seems like he would be the best fit alongside their young core of Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young.
- Alex Kennedy