Draft day preview: rumors, picks, expectations

We're pretty sure there will be no shortage of rumors flying as the minutes tick down to tonight's 2011 NBA Draft, which begins at 7 p.m. and will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. There have already been some interesting options flying around (pretty sure we've all heard this Andre Iguodala-to-the-Lakers rumor, which, by the way, is not true). The 76ers -- Rod Thorn, Ed Stefanski, Doug Collins, & company -- will be making and fielding calls to see what kind of deal could be made today. Could the Sixers find themselves with a lottery pick? That's unlikely, but like nearly every team in the league, they have inquired with the Minnesota Timberwolves to see what the cost of such a move would be. Whatever happens tonight, it'll happen first on Twitter, so you can follow here: Deep Sixer

The Sixers will enter tonight's action with the No. 16 and No. 50 picks in the draft. If none of these league calls snowball to something legitimate, the Sixers will walk away from tonight's draft with one solid rotation player and one long-shot addition to the roster.

There are exactly 5 minutes between the 30 first-round selections and exactly 2 minutes between the 30 second-round selections. If my math is correct, and it probably isn't, the Sixers should be on the clock around 8:20 (adding a few extra minutes for typical excess in the beginning of the broadcast). What follows are three scenarios for tonight. Let's caution that, while these scenarios are educated guesses about moves the Sixers are considering/have considered, the team has been very mum (as they should be) with what they might want to do tonight.

1. The likely scenario: the Sixers are making and fielding calls all the way up through the final seconds, but no move particularly strikes their fancy. Although some of the NBA's legendary moves have been made on draft day (think Dallas snagging Nowitzki), it's a high-pressured environment, done against a clock, and it's intense to pull the trigger on something under those conditions. Couple that with the impending change in ownership and it's unlikely the franchise makes a splashy move. 

The result: Sixers stick with their pick at No. 16 and will continue pursuing trade options with Iguodala in the days afterwards. The pick (most likely): Nikola Vucevic. Surprise selection, if he drops: Marcus Morris. Two others to watch as the draft progresses: Chris Singleton and Alec Burks. 

2. The Sixers execute a trade based primarily on current NBA players, but that also includes a swap of picks. If this does happen, obviously this will have been a trade the Sixers have been discussing for longer than today. Possible option: Sixers trade Andre Iguodala, Marreese Speights, Andres Nocioni, and No. 16 pick to the Golden State Warriors for Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins, and No. 11 pick. Works money wise, each franchise is getting something it wants, although there are obvious questions about how the Sixers' defensive presence would be affected by taking on Ellis. Let's not get into that here.

The result: the Sixers then have the No. 11 pick, they have a scoring guard, and they have a center, which would likely shift their pick to focusing on the best power forward or small forward on the board. Obviously we don't know who would be available. Would Bismack Biyombo? Maybe Tristan Thompson or perhaps Chris Singleton.

3. The Sixers execute a trade based primarily on acquiring a top-level pick in the draft. As opposed to the scenario above, which is focused on trading for current NBA players, this move would be built around acquiring the pick. Possible option (and don't get bogged down in the details here, cause trades involving picks make heads spin): Sixers trade Iguodala to the Timberwolves for the No. 2 pick and salary to make it work. Just focus on the meat of this trade: Iguodala for No. 2 pick.

The result: The Sixers select Derrick Williams with the No. 2 pick and put together a trio of Jrue Holiday, Williams, and Evan Turner. They stay true to their young core and add another up-and-coming piece.

As we said above, all three of these options are constructed based on gathered evidence. We'll be staying on all developing trades/moves as the hours progress. Should be an interesting night. 


Each week, Kate will check in from the road and answer fan questions about the Sixers. Click here to ask Kate a question or e-mail her at kfagan@phillynews.com.