In the 2006 NBA draft the Philadelphia 76ers owned the 13th pick and were in the midst of trying to get the team back in to playoff contention. The draft itself was predicted to have no real depth outside Texas big man LaMarcus Aldridge and Italian forward Andrea Bargnani. At best most players were predicted to have good but not great careers. The Sixers missed out on jumping up in the draft to select a top-tier player so they choose to draft a player from the southern hemisphere.
Philadelphia selected long wing man and three-point shooter, Thabo Sefolosha from Brazil. It looked as if the Sixers may have finally given Allen Iverson a great shooter from beyond the arc that could stretch the floor, or so we thought. Just three picks later at 16 , the Chicago Bulls selected Rodney Carney from the University of Memphis. Almost immediately the teams swapped picks and Carney was on his way to the “City of Brotherly Love.” Quite frankly it looked like a great fit for the Sixers at first glance. Carney was coming off a solid season at Memphis where he became a top player in Conference USA. Carney was the only senior to be named a starter and named the Conference USA Player of the Year. He was strong, athletic and could finish with authority around the rim.
It seemed as if the Sixers had the final piece they were missing to go along with Chris Webber and Allen Iverson. Rodney Carney would go on to finish the season averaging 6.6 points per game and finished with the second highest three-point percentage of any Sixer that season at 37.4 percent. Once Iverson was traded and Webber decided to step away, Carney was expected to step up and become the third scoring optional. His numbers did slightly improve during that time. All the hype of trading for him seemed to be paying off depending on who you asked at the time.
Not long after that season the Sixers were still truly no better than they were before Carney arrived. Carney would play just 205 games for the Sixers and his rookie total of 6.6 points per game would be his best average of his career. There are some notable players who were taken after Rodney Carney that the Sixers could have traded for instead. Rajon Rondo, who was selected 21st by the Phoenix Suns. He was traded to Boston where he became an All-Star point guard and helped the Celtics win a title. Kyle Lowry went 24th to the Memphis Grizzlies and has now become a household name in Toronto leading them to a second round playoff appearance in 2014, Even in the second round, a guy by the name of Paul Millsap from Louisiana Tech went late at 47th overall and he has done great things in the league since his arrival.
Oh yea, are you wondering how Thabo Sefolosha turned out? Well he played three seasons with the Bulls before being traded in 2009 to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has played in 551 career games and has helped Kevin Durant in some great playoff runs. He is a higly valued role player in Oklahoma City and although his numbers wont impress you he is a fan favorite. Thabo has great size and is a superb three-point shooter. In 2011-212 he shot a career best .437 percent from downtown. He is also known for his great play on defense and was rewarded with being named to the NBA All-Defensive Second team in 2010. Once again his overall numbers are not shocking but he has found his place in the NBA , which is more than we can say about Rodney Carney who is no longer in the league. He is currently playing overseas in the Philippines for the Talk N Text Tropang Texters.
If you could go back and have control, who would you bring to Philadelphia?