Thursday, July 31, 2014
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Some options for the Sixers pick from the Pelicans

By missing out on the postseason, the Sixers guaranteed themselves of landing in the lottery in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Some options for the Sixers pick from the Pelicans

Arizona´s Aaron Gordon, Michigan´s Nik Stauskas, and Michigan State´s Gary Harris. (Getty Images)
Arizona's Aaron Gordon, Michigan's Nik Stauskas, and Michigan State's Gary Harris. (Getty Images)

By missing out on the postseason, the Sixers guaranteed themselves of landing in the lottery in the upcoming NBA Draft.

Their struggle of a season and low win total will improve their opportunity of getting a pretty high pick in that lottery.

The Sixers will finish the 2013-14 season with the league’s second-worst record, better than only the Milwaukee Bucks. Their second-to-last-place finish landed them the following odds for the preferred picks in the lottery:

First overall pick: 19.9 percent
Second overall pick: 18.8 percent
Third overall pick: 17.1 percent
Fourth overall pick: 31.9 percent
Fifth overall pick: 12.3 percent

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The team is guaranteed a top-five pick, and it has the best odds of landing in the four spot, with the second-best odds for the first overall pick.

The draft’s first five selections aren’t set in stone, but there is a lot of consensus about who those five picks will be, varying only by order.

Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker (if he declares), Joel Embiid, Julius Randle, and either Marcus Smart or Dante Exum are the names mentioned most as the draft’s top prospects. The Sixers are likely to land one of them with their first pick. Wiggins, Parker and Embiid will likely be the first talents taken, with others like Smart, Exum, and Indiana’s Noah Vonleh being snatched up after, their order depending on franchise fit.

Thanks to some shrewd moves made on draft day last year, the Sixers have not one, but a pair of picks in the lauded lottery of 2014, the second one being top-five protected by the Pelicans.

Luckily for 76ers, New Orleans will finish the season with the league’s 10th-worst record, giving them only a small shot of landing in the top five. (They have about a one percent chance of getting the top pick.) Otherwise, the Pellies’ pick will go to the Sixers, and should be right around the 10th overall selection.

While there is understandably a lot of excitement about who the Sixers are going to select with their top pick, what they choose to do with their second lottery selection will be equally intriguing.

There will still be a ton of talent on the board when the Pelicans' pick rolls around, so the Sixers should have ample options to consider. Let’s take a look at some of the guys that may still be available and could potentially help contribute to the rebuild:

Gary Harris, SG, Michigan State: Harris is an extremely athletic wing player who has a solid shot and can also put the ball on the floor. With a quick release, Harris is a good spot-up shooter and could fit nicely alongside Michael Carter-Williams in the Sixers’ backcourt. His ability to shoot the three and also score in transition should be appealing to Brett Brown, as should his defensive ability.

At 6’4’’, Harris is slightly undersized for a shooting guard, his preferred position, but what he lacks in size he makes up for in effort and ability. He may be gone by the Sixers’ second selection but, if available, Harris could be a potential pick.

Rodney Hood, SF, Duke: The sophomore out of Duke is intriguing, if for no other reason than his ability to stretch the floor. At 6’8’’, Hood has solid size for a perimeter player, and he has a great shooting stroke. He is a good catch-and-shoot player, and a decent dribbler as well, affording him opportunities to create for himself. Hood is a good athlete and would fit in nicely with some of the other young, athletic Sixer players.

Aaron Gordon, PF, Arizona: Gordon is an explosive athlete that can bring a crowd to their feet with a single slam. He is a good rebounder and gets it done defensively. While he is not a go-to-guy on the offensive end, he is a good finisher around the rim, especially on ‘oops, and is a decent passer.

Gordon may be sort of a tweener at the NBA-level. At 6’8’’ he doesn’t possess the skills to be a perimeter player, but may be slightly small to bang with the bigs. He needs to improve his shot, as it often appears ugly and unreliable, and he is not very proficient outside of the paint.

If the Sixers secure a scorer like Wiggins or Parker with their first pick, then someone like Gordon, who can do a lot of different things out on the court, could be a smart selection.

Doug McDermott, SF, Creighton: McDermott was one of the most prolific scorers in the history of college basketball, and his ability to put the ball in the basket could be very valuable at the next level. While there are questions about his ability to defend, or create offense for himself at the NBA level, there are no questions about his shooting stroke. He is a big body, and has good size for a perimeter player, especially one with such shooting ability.

He needs to work on his ball-handling and creating for himself if he wants to be more than a spot-up shooter in the NBA, but he would automatically provide floor spacing, as his defenders have to respect his range.

While his defense is a major concern, McDermott could be a nice addition offensively.

Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan: Like McDermott, Stauskas’ value is in his ability to shoot. He is prolific from long-range and would also provide floor-spacing. If the Sixers wind up with a trio along the lines of Carter-Williams/Wiggins or Parker/Noel prior to the Pelicans pick, then they may be looking to add a solid shooter to open up the offense. It is no secret that Brett Brown is a fan of the three-ball, and since some of the Sixers’ shooters from this past season will be gone this summer, he may need to re-stock.

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