There have been many types of reactions about how well the Sixers did last Thursday in the draft. Some wanted them to take players like Chris Singleton. Others were looking for a trade to move up (isn’t everybody outside of the lottery looking to move up?). But, to me, the Sixers made the right move. You can get a decent wing-man in any draft but a good Center is hard to find and this team’s number one weakness is lack of a good Center. Next year’s draft is projected to be heavy in talent anyway so they may find their way to a better player. I could go one but let’s look at this grade from The Bleacher Report. It’s the highest grade out of the 9 grades I found. The other grades are after the jump.
Bleacher Report: B+
Vucevic is a big-time sleeper with definite potential to impact the Sixers right away, with a gaping hole in the middle of the lineup.
Point guard Jrue Holiday said that the team needed to target size in the draft, and it looks like the executives in the front office agreed. He’s got incredible range and stands a legitimate seven-feet tall.
With his ability to rebound and do the dirty work down low, he’s a supreme value this late and it wouldn’t be surprising to have him be among the most prolific producing rookies next year if given the proper playing time.
Allen is a hometown kid who can come in and help the Sixers from the onset down low.
He’s got decent range for a player of his size, and he can also bang with some of the bigger guys he’ll face at the NBA level.
SB Nation: C-
The Philadelphia 76ers picked up big man Nikola Vucevic in the 2011 NBA Draft. You expect a good grade, don’t you? Think again!
Gained: Nikola Vucevic, Lavoy Allen.
Gave up: Nothing.
Synopsis: Most mocks had Vucevic here for the past couple weeks; even SBNation.com’s pathetic mock drafter, Tom Ziller, got it right! But that doesn’t make it a good pick. Not at all.
You’ve gotta beware these workout wonders. Before the NBA Draft Combine, where Vucevic measured as the biggest player in the draft, he was a borderline first-round pick. He played at USC for three years. He’s a well-known entity by the people who play closest attention, and he was a borderline first-round pick until everyone realized he was tall. That’s not good!
Fit has to be balanced with talent. The Sixers needed a big man and can probably give Vucevic more early minutes than they could a wing. But guys like Chris Singleton looked like such better prospects, it’s hard to cheer such an uninspiring punt.
Sporting News: B-
The Sixers wanted size. They got it — Nikola Vucevic was the biggest player at the Chicago combine.
Ball Don’t Lie: C+
This is sort of the opposite feeling that I have about the Knicks, ending up with the same grade.
I like Vucevic’s game. He can shoot, boards like crazy and is a better athlete than some analysts gave him credit for. This is a good NBA player. I just wonder where he fits in Doug Collins’ system, and amongst that loaded frontcourt in Philadelphia. I get that you have to draft the best player available, but I also wonder if the next team in Vucevic’s career is his best team available.
Allen? Not feeling it.
NBA.com: They didn’t have a grade but the Sixers were in the “Head of Class” section along with 8 other teams.
The Sixers were looking to improve themselves up front and Vucevic fits the
bill. He rocketed up the charts after measuring 6-foot-11 3/4 in shoes and 259
pounds at the Chicago pre-Draft camp and more than holding his own against the other
center prospects in Chicago and in subsequent workouts. He should provide some
offensive pop for a team that didn’t get much of that from its bigs last season.
Allen is a local (Temple) product with an active body who could sneak into some
minutes in the rotation next season.
Sports Illustrated: B
Nikola Vucevic (No. 16) had a chance to go as high as No. 14 to Houston, primarily because he was one of the biggest players in the draft at 6-10. But he had impressed in workouts, too, with teams as high as Sacramento (No. 7 at the time) not necessarily considering him for their pick but allowing him into the periphery of the conversation. The Sixers badly need bigs and are trying to speed up their rebuilding process.
Sir Charles In Charge: D
The Sixers reached for a post player, I didn’t understand it. The Sixers could move back to as far as 24 and probably still had a solid chance to grab Vucevic. I think he will fit the Sixers well, he has the tools to be a solid starting center. Can’t hate the player, just feel they could have fleeced a team with the prospect of moving this high.
CBS Sports: F (ouch!)
Everyone in the world projected the 76ers to take Jordan Hamilton here, and lo and behold, he was still on the board. Nobody predicted the USC underachiever — and with good reason.
Huffington Post: C+
Nikola Vucevic gained traction through workouts as he tested out as the draft’s tallest players and proved to be one of its more versatile ones as well. He is a natural pick-and-pop player — something he stressed during my interview with him Thursday night — and should blend in nicely alongside Jrue Holliday to give Philly another weapon in its offense.
I didn’t get the LaVoy Allen pick at all. Maybe staying close to home will help the Temple grad? Honestly, I thought he was a reach, even at 50.
As high as “B+” and as low as “F”. A wide range of grades for the team. What’s my grade; you ask? Oh you didn’t? Well I’m still gonna tell ya. I give it a “B”. They got who they needed. They could’ve taken a risk. Not like it would kill their contending status. Just about anybody is better than Hawes. It’s a step in the right direction. In such a weak draft, would there be much of a difference if they went with another big man? For all we know, it could be like the draft in 2000. Did any stars come from that? No not really. Plus, I always give a rookie at least two years before I give any label to a player (star, solid backup, role player, bench filler, or bust).