The NBA Draft is less than two months away. With the Sixers missing the postseason after entering the season with such lofty expectations, here’s a look at some of the decisions that have led to this point.
While it is much easier to dissect a decision after the fact; for instance, the trade for Andrew Bynum. Regardless, here is the draft selections made by the Sixers over the last decade, and analysis of each draft.
2003: In a draft regarded as one of the best in NBA history with talents like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony, the Sixers had just a late-second round pick. Enough said. On the bright side, the Sixers didn’t have the second overall pick. If they had, we know that they would have made the same franchise-crippling mistake that the Detroit Pistons made, and drafted Darko Milicic over Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.
2004: “With the ninth overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select Andre Iguodala.” It’s hard to blame the Sixers for this pick. Iguodala was a jack of all trades in Philly. He played suffocating perimeter defense, made plays for others, scored, rebounded well, and mentored younger players in his later years under Doug Collins. A few notables taken after Iguodala were Al Jefferson, Josh Smith, J.R. Smith, and Kevin Martin. With that said, the Sixers made a rare solid pick.
2005: In 2005, the Sixers may have gotten their best value in comparison to their draft position. Without a first-round pick, the team wasn’t on the clock until midway through the second round. With the 45th pick in the draft, the Sixers selected Louis Williams. Williams was the best player off the bench during his time here, and even led the team in scoring last season before heading to Atlanta.
2006: The Sixers had the 13th pick in the 2006 draft, and used it on Thabo Sefolosha. Sefolosha has been a solid pro, now with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Rajon Rondo was still on the board when the Sixers were on the clock, and was eventually taken 21st overall. Paul Millsap, soon-to-be-free-agent, slipped all the way to the second round before Utah took him 47th. It’s hard to put the blame here on the Sixers for passing on these guys in favor of Sefolosha, especially Millsap, who had a second round draft grade according to everyone.
2007: Thaddeus Young was the Sixers lone selection in the first round in 2007, taken 12th overall. Not much criticism can come of this draft; Thad has proven himself to be a capable change-of-pace power forward in the NBA. In his first season as a full-time starter, Young established himself as the most consistent, hardest working 76er.
2008: Ha! This is by far the pick that should be scrutinized the most. Not only is this easy to blame the organization for now, but the pick drew much criticism from the day of the draft. The Sixers took Marreese Speights of Florida with the 16th pick overall, passing on the likes of Roy Hibbert, Javale McGee, J.J. Hickson, Ryan Anderson, Serge Ibaka, Nicolas Batum, Nikola Pekovic, DeAndre Jordan, and Omer Asik. It is far too simple to say this pick was a bust simply because of Speights’ inability to produce, but the pain in knowing the number of impact guys remaining in the draft is astronomical.
2009: Jrue Holiday. Not much to say here. Jrue Holiday made his first All-Star appearance this season and established himself as one of the NBA’s up-and-coming stars. Ty Lawson was still on the board when the Sixers were on the clock, but no harm done.
2010: Evan Turner was selected 2nd overall in 2010, and was instantly dubbed the savior of a struggling franchise. It hasn’t been that smooth of a transition to the NBA for Turner, and he hasn’t been as consistent as expected from the Naismith Award winner at Ohio State. Anyone who tells you the Sixers made the wrong decision here is delirious. John Wall was the consensus fist pick; Evan was the consensus second. However, DeMarcus Cousins, Greg Monroe, and Paul George all went after Turner, and have had more productive NBA careers thus far.
2011: Ah, Nikola Vucevic. Vucevic was selected 16th overall by the Sixers, and after just one season was shipped to Orlando in the blockbuster trade for superstar center Andrew Bynum. Doug Collins has taken much criticism for hindering the growth of the 7-footer from USC in his rookie year, especially after blossoming into a budding star with the Magic. Vucevic has established himself as a double-double threat on a nightly basis after playing only sparingly in Philly. Kenneth Faried was taken after the Sixers’ selection, along with Chandler Parsons and Isaiah Thomas, who were both selected in the second round.
2012: It’s too early to tell what Maurice Harkless and Arnett Moultrie will amount to in the NBA, but both look to be promising for their respective clubs. Harkless was another piece in the Bynum trade, and showed glimpses of an above-average player in Orlando this season. Moultrie rarely played early in the season, coming back from a pre-draft ankle injury, but showed promise late in the season. The Sixers apparently had Moultrie in the top ten of their draft board so getting him late in the first round was a steal in their opinions. With a new coach and most likely more minutes, it should be interesting to see what Moultrie has to offer.
Needless to say, the Sixers have put themselves in a whole with some of their recent draft choices, but some weren’t as bad as they are made out to be. Of course it’s easier to sit here and criticize a struggling organization for not selecting players that we now know are impact players, some All-Stars, when they had the chance.
Just to give you something to ponder, here is what the Sixers’ roster could look like if they drafted differently.
- Center – Nikola Pekovic, Roy Hibbert
- Power Forward – Kenneth Faried, Serge Ibaka
- Small Forward - Andre Iguodala, Nicolas Batum
- Shooting Guard -Paul George
- Point Guard – Rajon Rondo
- Sixth Man – Louis Williams
Tags: Al Jefferson Andre Iguodala Arnett Moultrie Chandler Parsons DeAndre Jordan Demarcus Cousins Evan Turner Greg Monroe Isaiah Thomas J.J. Hickson J.R. Smith JaVale McGee Josh Smith Jrue Holiday Kenneth Faried Kevin Martin Louis Williams Marreese Speights Maurice Harkless NBA Draft Nicolas Batum Nikola Pekovic Nikola Vucevic Omer Asik Paul George Paul Millsap Philadelphia 76ers Rajon Rondo Roy Hibbert Ryan Anderson Serge Ibaka Thabo Sefolosha Thaddeus Young Ty Lawson