Let me go on record that I’m happy that the Sixers are picking 3rd. I was legitimately expecting 4th or 5th. 4th might have been OK, 5th would have been kinda disastrous, 5th while losing the New Orleans pick would have made me pretty much cut myself out of pure unadulterated emo-ness. But 3 and 10 is all hunky-dunky by me. So. No bitching about that.
Now. Given that we have at least a tolerable draft position, who to take?
1. Joel Embiid – I’m pretty sure he doesn’t make it to 3. Pretty sure the only way he falls that far is if his back isn’t working, and shows signs of being a permanent problem. So, either way, do not want (if we were picking #1, that would be a whole different discussion). I still have some concerns about his fit with Nerlens Noel (Luv ya, Nerlens!), but I’m less worried about that than I am about that back.
He’s 19 years old, and hasn’t put the normal wear and tear on his body that other elite prospects have, because he’s only been playing for three years. He shouldn’t be getting stress fractures in his back yet. Leave that for us Olde Folkes, Jo-Jo.
2. Andrew Wiggins – I’m not blind to his faults. He doesn’t have a great handle, and that prevents him from being as aggressive a finisher as we might like. I don’t buy into the the whole “Lacks Killer Instinct” narrative bullshit storyline, I suspect it’s more of a “needs to grow into his own abilities and gain some confidence with them” situation. When he tightens up his handle, he will be more confident. When he is more confident, he will be more aggressive. When he’s aggressive (and under control) he can tap into his limitless physical ability…
I need a cold shower. I’ll be right back.
3. Jabari Parker – Conversely, I’m not blind to his positives. He has a polished offensive game, with lots of ways to score, is a good (if streaky) shooter, moves well without the ball, and is, by all reports, a really nice and high-character guy. On the other hand, he plays no defense whatsoever, nor does he seem to care to, even for Coach K, who can generally convince his kids to play defense. He possesses only marginal athleticism. For a guy with such supposedly high basketball IQ, he’s a really bad passer/creator for others (although it’s possible that he had shitty players around him). He wasn’t great against good competition, and came up tiny against Mercer(!), although to be fair, Wiggins wasn’t good in the tournament either.
Not a fan. He’s a one-dimensional player who I suspect might well struggle against NBA defenders, making him a zero-dimensional player at the next level. I don’t want to waste the #3 overall on a bench scorer. I keep hearing how he’s the “safe” pick, the most likely surefire NBA star. How is that, exactly?
Look. I’m exaggerating slightly (Gee, now there’s a fucking shock!). I do think he’ll be an NBA player. If we somehow picked him 10th, I’d be doing the Mike Levin Monkey Joy Dance…
At 3, not so much. It’s a thin line…between love and hate.
4. Dante Exum – You’ve seen the highlights reel. I’ve seen the highlights reel. None of us have seen anything else, just the highlights reel. So, much like Jon Snow, we know nothing.
Except for Brett Brown, who was his coach.
So if they do pick him at #3, I’ll be OK with it, because I know they’re not picking him blindly. Also, he *is* pretty impressive on the highlights reel. I know he’s missing a jump shot right now, but he seems like an Alpha Scorer (like, I admit, Jabari Parker), with elite athleticism (unlike Jabari Parker).
I’ll buy that for a dollar!
My kid wants me to pay attention to him now, so I’ll do the #10 and some thoughts about the second round later this afternoon. He outranks you clowns.