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With the 11th pick, Sixers should draft for size

It is no secret that the Sixers need some size. If the team doesn’t decide to make an offer to ever-injured Andrew Bynum, that will leave Spencer Hawes and Kwame Brown to split center duties. It's not an ideal duo.

With the 11th pick, Sixers should draft for size

Indiana forward Cody Zeller in action against James Madison in a second-round game at the NCAA college basketball tournament, Friday, March 22, 2013, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
Indiana forward Cody Zeller in action against James Madison in a second-round game at the NCAA college basketball tournament, Friday, March 22, 2013, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)

It is no secret that the Sixers need some size. If the team doesn’t decide to make an offer to ever-injured Andrew Bynum, that will leave Spencer Hawes and Kwame Brown to split center duties. It's not an ideal duo.

Even if the team brings Bynum back, sustained health is not a guarantee, so the Sixers still need some serviceable back-up bigs in case Andrew takes a season off again.

With the 11th pick in Tuesday night’s draft lottery and two second round selections, it seems that the 2013 Draft would be an ideal time for the Sixers to stack up on size.

This draft is lacking the usual franchise-changing perimeter player or point guard. Any such potential players, like Kansas’ Ben McLemore or Georgetown’s Otto Porter, will likely be long gone by the time of the Sixers’ selection. The draft class does boast a plethora of post players however, some certain to still be available when the Sixers select.

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Assuming the team doesn’t get lucky in the lottery and jump up to a top two pick with a shot at a potential superstar, the Sixers should use this draft to stock up on size.

While none of the available bigs consistently displayed dominance during their college days - meaning that they could all be potential projects - the Sixers don’t have high expectations for next season. So they could certainly use their pick to get a player acclimated to the League.

If available, Kentucky center Nerlens Noel would be an ideal selection. But as the top-rated big guy in the draft, he will likely be unavailable unless the Sixers jump up to a top spot.

Cody Zeller, Kelly Olynyk, Alex Len and Rudy Gobert are all names that have been associated with the 76ers this spring. Some combination of these players will be available whenever the Sixers end up selecting.

One of the second round picks could also be used to bolster the bigs. Solid centers such as Pitt’s Steven Adams - who thoroughly impressed scouts at the combine - Louisville’s Gorgui Dieng or Kansas’ Jeff Whitley may slip to the early second round.

If drafted, one of these bigs could serve as a back-up to Bynum. Or, if he's gone, the rookie could split time with Hawes. That would help Hawes be less of a liability, which happens sometimes when he plays too many minutes.

Any of these prospects could be picked apart. But the Sixers are struggling, and without championship expectations there is no reason why some of this season can’t be dedicated to developing for the future. That's especially true now that Doug Collins, who is notorious for underplaying rookies, is out of the coaching picture.

The Sixers already possess a potentially explosive power forward in Arnett Moultrie, who will benefit from increased exposure this season. Pairing him with a young, improving center should set the Sixers up with a solid frontcourt for the future.

Michael Kaskey-Blomain Assistant Sports Producer
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