Hey kids! Guess what? It’s time for the second exciting installment of Who I Would Draft If I Were Sam Hinkie!!
A quick review: Last week, I advocated pretty much “Any Player Whose Name Doesn’t Rhyme With Schmabari Schnarker, but preferably The Guy Whose Name Rhymes With Schmandrew Schmiggins.”
So, that one was easy. This one is harder. A LOT harder. Mostly because we have no idea of who’s going to be left on the table when #10 rolls around. So we’re purely in the area of conjecture. But since conjecture is where we all live at this point, unless you are in fact Sam Hinkie, and if you’re reading this, Sam, I love you, and I’ll love you even more if you draft Wiggins
Also, please call me back about that job I applied for in your front office…
Anyway. I’m going to sort of tier these guys, since we don’t really know who’s going to be there. I’m not putting the guys within a tier in order.
Tier 1: Not Likely to be Left At #10
It’s theoretically possible that one of these guys could drop this far. After the Big 4, the rest of the top 10 would include these guys, plus Smart, probably Saric, likely McDermott, possibly Juice Nurkic, and a couple of dark horses like James Young, Rodney Hood, Tyler Ennis, Nik Stauskas, and Gary Harris. Possibly even LaVine (although I really doubt it). So, based on stuff like team needs (maybe someone after Utah wants a PG, so they go with Ennis, maybe they’re desperate for a shooter, so they grab McBuckets), GM preferences, etc., suddenly, one of those interesting power forwards fall to #10. It’s not all that unimaginable that one of them is there. If so, that’s your guy. No question. Any of the three of them. Love them all, for different reasons.
Tier 2: Most Likely to be BPA at #10
Honestly, I’m not thrilled with any of these guys. They all have huge holes in their games, issues, or just ain’t that great. People love Saric or they hate him. I hate him. I don’t think he has a whole game you can stitch together out of what he does well. Also, he seems like a bit of a whiny sack of shit, and may not even decide to come over in the end. Pass.
I honestly don’t know that much about Juice Nurkic to speak intelligently about him, so I can only paraphrase what DraftExpress has to say about him: He’s humungous. I mean humungous humungous (7’0 in shoes, 280 lbs). He seems to run the floor pretty well for a guy that big, and has a nice shooting touch for a physical big man. He seems to get steals and blocks, although his rebounding is kinda “meh” overall for a physical 7-footer. He could use some of the Brett Brown conditioning program, to be sure, and he’s no Nerlens Noel in terms of hops.
James Young has a lot of potential, he’s athletic, seems to have the basis of a good outside shot, and he’s really young. He’s an interesting prospect. That being said, he’s kind of crappy at basketball.
Stauskas, to me (and me only, everyone seems to love him), is a guy that just screams bench player. Productive bench guy? Sure. But bench guy nonetheless. And I have nothing to go by, here. I just don’t have any strong feeling about him whatsoever. I suppose that’s not enough to entirely eliminate him from consideration. But I wouldn’t be thrilled with the pick.
McBuckets. I loathe McBuckets. He’s like every JJ Reddick jump shooting unathletic white guy, except not as good. The guy has feet of cement, hands of steel, and the athleticism of…well, me, pretty much. He’s an 8th man bench shooter who will have trouble getting his shot off in the NBA. The epitome of a college player. He should have gone to Duke.
Tier 3: Kind Of A Reach At #10
Some people kinda like Gary Harris. He does a lot of things pretty well, nothing terribly, and nothing amazingly. He’s a little short by NBA shooting guard standards. He’s not terribly athletic. He is a decent shooter, a good defender, a smart player, and a tough kid. I like him a lot, actually. He’s going to be a steal at #20 or so. He’s the kind of guy I love having on my team, but he’s a reach here. On the other hand, I’m not even positive my head would explode if they took him at #10, assuming the Tier 1 guys are all gone.
I go back and forth on Rodney Hood. He seems to have a lot of potential, he’s athletic, and reputed to be a shooter. But somehow, he doesn’t seem like he’s all that great at it. Except when he is. You get the idea.
I simply don’t know enough about Ennis to speak intelligently, except I remember a point during the season where he was skyrocketing up mock drafts, even into the top 10, and then somehow wasn’t anymore. He seems to be a nice young point guard that would be OK on a team that needs a nice young point guard, which really isn’t the Sixers.
Zach LaVine is another guy you either love or hate, sometimes irrationally. People are in love with his insane athleticism and his occasionally good jumpshot. People hate his complete lack of anything resembling basketball skills. There are people who would be really psyched to get him at #10. There are people who think he should be a second-rounder. I have no idea, but maybe at #32…
So. After all that, where are we? No idea, if none of the cool Tier 1 power forwards fall to #10. I really dislike Saric, although I’m sure everyone would be very excited if he were the pick. I detest McBuckets, and I can’t imagine he’d be the guy anyway, although someone is going to fall in love with the shooting and take him around there.
What I would like to briefly cover is the increasingly-frequent comments I see on the Interwebz where people are like “The Sixers can’t just draft these raw prospects, they need to get some guys who can really play and contribute right now.”
My question in response is: Why?
They have zero to play for. While they shouldn’t be actively tanking in the same way this season, I don’t think anyone really needs or expects them to be legitimate contenders, or even a playoff team (where their pick would go to Boston, anyway). The “right now” kind of role player who does one thing really well is someone you get to fill in holes once you know what the foundation looks like. The bench shooter, the scrappy defensive specialist, the steady backup point guard, etc., are not guys you need to actively be seeking right now. At most, you can look at guys with one of your five second-round picks (or whatever you might get back in the late first for Thad Young) who might be able to play those roles when your foundation is ready to need them. You don’t need them at #10. You need a guy who is going to be part of that foundation, or is at least reasonably likely to be so. There’s no hurry to find the polished role players yet. We’re not winning anything this year, or maybe even next year, depending on who they get with #3 and #10 this year, progression from MCW, how Noel looks, etc.
Relax. Stockpile the highest potential. Swing for the fences. This is not the time to play it safe. This is the time you shove the whole big pile of chips to the middle of the table and hope for a pair of aces. Because the 9 of Clubs just won’t get it done.