It’s been a while since I wrote re-drafting the 2010 pick for the Philadelphia 76ers, but with the offseason in a lull, it seems like the right time to continue this series of articles. With that in mind, the Sixers had a solid draft in 2011.
They came away with Nikola Vucevic and Lavoy Allen at the 16th and 50th picks respectively. Vucevic didn’t have a long tenure with the 76ers due to the Andrew Bynum trade, but he did become a two-time All-Star with the Orlando Magic. For his career, he’s averaged 16.9 points and 10.4 rebounds. However, in his only season (rookie) with the 76ers he averaged 5.5 points and 4.8 rebounds.
Allen was a solid role player for two and a half-season with Philly before being traded to the Indiana Pacers. He eventually faded out of the NBA due to his inability to stretch the floor a the power forward position and being too small for a center at 6-foot-9. During his tenure with that in mind, he averaged 4.4 points and 4.6 rebounds.
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There were better selections the Sixers could have made with their first and second round picks respectively.
With the 16th and 50th picks, the Philadelphia 76ers select…
Let’s start with the 16th pick. This was a loaded draft and the Sixer barely missed out on Kawhi Leonard who was selected 15th. Other future stars like Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving, and Klay Thompson were also selected earlier in the draft. However, there’s one star that was still available to the Sixers.
Originally selected 30th by the Chicago Bulls, Jimmy Butler is the player that Philly should have picked at the 16th spot. Butler is a five-time All-Star and four-time All-NBA player. He didn’t have a quick start to his career but he developed into a two-way star and a clutch performer.
Under a tough coach like Doug Collins, Butler would have probably developed in the same fashion as he did in Chicago. There’s a decent chance that Butler could have saved fans from “The Process” or could have been a young cornerstone to build upon during that rebuild. The Butler era in Philadelphia would have started a lot sooner and probably been much longer than it eventually was.
Then there’s the 50th pick and in most seasons Allen would have been the current pick, however, not in 2011. In this draft, the Sacramento Kings selected the best player who ever was selected with the 60th pick. Isaiah Thomas quickly became a spark plug of scoring off the bench early in his career and could have taken over the role that Lou Williams left the following offseason.
Thomas was a two-time All-Star and made the All-NBA team. At one point, he was in the MVP conversation until injuries derailed his career. Hopefully, he can make a comeback, but even if he can’t, he was still by fair would have been the best choice with the 50th pick.
The Philadelphia 76ers could have come away with two All-NBA caliber players from this draft. That’s not to say that Vucevic and Allen were bad choices, but they could have had Butler and Thomas instead, which would have been a steal.