Be on the lookout for the pre-draft workouts to begin sometime this week at PCOM. The 76ers hold both the No. 16 selection and No. 50 selection in the 2011 NBA Draft, scheduled for June 23. We've already covered, from a variety of angles, the potential options for the Sixers with their first-round pick at No. 16 overall. If you want to read about the possible international selections, you can find that here: International. If you want to read about the outside possibility the Sixers select a guard, you can find that here: guards. And if you want to read about the potential big men available for the Sixers, that would be here: big men.
Today, per multiple e-mail requests, lets take a look at who might possibily be available when the Sixers make their second-round pick at 50th overall. Obviously we've focused the last two weeks on the first-round selection because it's a rarity that an impact player is drafted so late in the game. But it's happened before, and what follows are a few intriguing players who might -- and we repeat, might -- be available at that 50th spot. Some of the following prospects have widely varying predictions on their draft potential.
1. Jeremy Tyler, C-PF, 6-foot-11, currently playing overseas, only 19 years old. Some mock drafts have Tyler falling to the Sixers with the 50th pick, but ESPN's most recent draft prediction has the San Antonio Spurs taking Tyler with the 29th pick of the first round. It seems that Tyler's showing at the Draft Combine improved his standing. He's listed as about the 30-35 best prospect available in the entire draft, so the likelihood that he slips all the way to 50 is decreasing by the minute. Tyler is originally from San Diego. He has a 7-5 wingspan. His assets are his size and leaping ability (and his potential), but there are concerns about his maturity as he skipped his final year of high school to play in Israel and played this past season in Japan.
2. JuJuan Johnson, PF, 6-10, 220 lbs, from Purdue. He's 22 years old. Johnson's status is quite similar to Tyler's: a bubble first-round pick. Many mock drafts have him falling to the second round, it's just unclear whether he'll fall enough to still be on the board with the Sixers second-round pick. He has a 7-2 wingspan and showed a great vertical (38 inches) at the combine. His assets are his athleticism, running ability, explosion, but there are concerns about his bulk and his basketball IQ. Still, Johnson is older and more seasoned than some of the other second-tier, big men prospects on the board (i.e. Tyler and Nogueira).
3. Lucas Nogueira, 6-11 center from Brazil, only 18 years old. Before fan favorite Bismack Biyombo leapt onto the scene with his performance at the Nike Hoops game, Nogueira was on the radar. He has pure raw athletic ability, but needs to add polish to his offensive game. He can block shots, he can rebound, and he has a motor, but he shouldn't be expected to score consistently his first few years in the league. He is listed as a first-round bubble pick and the 5th best center available in the draft (according to ESPN). He's listed as the 36th best overall prospect, which again makes it iffy about his availability come the 50th pick. Usually when it gets into the second round, teams are much more likely to take a flyer on a guy who stands 6-11 and has a 7-5 wingspan.
4. Keith Benson, C, Oakland, 6-11. Now Benson is a guy that could very easily be available when the Sixers make their second-round selection. He's widely predicted to be a second-round pick and is considered the 49th best prospect (and 6th best center) in the draft. He has a 7-4 wingspan and played four seasons at Oakland University, averaging a double-double his junior and senior seasons. He is long and lanky and runs the floor well, but he doesn't have much stength. The knock on Benson is that his motor is weak, he can't defend the center position, and he takes plays off. But that's the good-bad you're going to get with the 50th pick of the draft.
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