Okay, so the draft is over, and the Sixers took Nikola Vucevic and Lavoy Allen with their two picks.
Vucevic was projected to be a late first/early second round pick, but workouts, measurements, need, and scarcity sent Vucevic up the draft board.
Vucevic, originally out of Montenegro, went to high school and college in the U.S., spending the past three years playing for the USC Trojans.
I would need to take more of a look at him, but he should provide instant competition to Spencer Hawes in the middle. He averaged 17 and 10 for USC last year but was unimpressive for his size as a shot blocker.
According to Draft Express, he impressed scouts with his sheer size and post-up ability. He also has a face-up game with a solid mid-range jumper. And he’s younger than me, turning 21 as the season starts. However, he’s graded out as a bad athlete in the draft. It could be an Aaron Gray situation – there could be a use for him, but it may not be as a full-time starter. I hope he turns out better than that, solidifying our center spot.
I haven’t seen him enough to truly grade him. Hopefully, I can find some videos on Vucevic and maybe scout him for myself.
Lavoy Allen, though. Him I can evaluate.
If you read this site regularly, you may know that I’m a Temple University student and that I tutor athletes. While I haven’t tutored Lavoy Allen, I have seen him play a lot of basketball. I’ve also seen him in person and have a few things to say about him.
Allen is tall, a legit 6’9″ with good touch. He’s a solid rebounder and good help defender, and he can hit from 18 feet rather consistently. He has been frustrating to watch at times as a fan just because it seems he could be so much better, but he was clearly the best player on Temple’s team the last 3 years.
He’ll need to improve to make it in the NBA, though, in a variety of ways. He needs to get bigger, play with a more consistent motor, and develop a more consistent jumper.
Allen is stick-thin: you could probably see this from the highlight tapes, but he has almost no weight on him. He’ll need to bulk up big time to defend against NBA-sized bigs like he can in college. I actually believe he can be a very good defender – he has length and makes good rotations, but he’ll get pushed around if he doesn’t get bigger.
His “motor” will also need to improve at the next level. He can get disinterested on the court, though much of this reputation is classified incorrectly. I would say Allen is more passive than disinterested – he never seemed to want to be the “guy”, which is a problem with his talent in college. But that won’t stop him from being a role player in the NBA, where that expectation isn’t there. A change in roles could lead to this improvement, but he’ll have to fight for his spots in the NBA, unlike college.
Finally, he needs to become a more consistent shooter. As I mentioned above, he has some range. But he shot only 48% and didn’t hit jumpers consistently. While he was the center of the Temple offense, I feel he could use some work here.
The Sixers aimed to get bigger tonight and they did. Will it actually work out? That’s yet to be determined.
And in case you’re wondering, Andre Iguodala is still a Sixer.