Sixers: Go Big or Go Home

Sunday, June 22, 2008 ·

It's hard to believe that the Sixers will not try to improve their frontline with the 16th pick in the draft. Now, there will likely not be an immediate contributor at that draft slot, but they will likely be able to draft a guy they can groom for the future -- or they can get lucky a find a player like Thaddeus Young who improved dramatically over the year. They will likely look toward free agency to add an immediate contributor at the Power Forward position. Many suggest Elton Brand, but he first needs to opt out of his contract. He has come out and said that he'd be interested in playing in Philly.

Syracuse's Donte Green, Neveda's JaVale McGee, Florida's Marreese Speights, and Ohio State center Kosta Koufos are all players that the Sixers will look to draft at that spot.

For me personally, scratch Donte Green off the list. Green is more of a wing player and he will not be able to play Power Forward successfuly in the NBA. He also does not have the needed lateral quickness to defend NBA small forwards. He also fails to give consistent effort, which is something we tend to hate in Philadelphia. The Sixers will be making a huge mistake if they waste a pick on Green.

JaVale McGee, nicknamed "The Big Secret" is a 7 foot center has the potential to be a decent NBA center, but he also has been tagged with high bust potential. He's been labeled as an atrocious defender, having poor fundamentals, being extremely weak, etc. Must I go on? He has upside because of his height and his offensive range, but in the NBA, he'll need to play more like a center to be an effective starter. However, he could be a decent role player off the bench when a team is trying to spread the court and bring the opposing big man outside.

Marreese Speights is the likely first round pick for the Sixers. The Sixers love the fact that Speights trained with Joakim Noah and Al Horford during his freshman season and they've even compared him somewhat to Horford. Speights is a big body, coming in a 6'10" 245, who can not only finish at the basket, but he can also hit the jump shot. His biggest question marks are his motivation, conditioning, and his focus, but these things all tend to improve with maturity. This problem seemed to exist with almost all the Gators players last season. If the talent is there, you can work with the mind. Speights is beginning to rise a little and many people feel that he could be a starting power forward sooner than later.

Lastly, the Sixers might look at Ohio State Center Kosta Koufos. They were not yet able to get a private workout with him, but they did see him when he worked out for the Nets. Koufos is more of a finesse center as his low post moves tend to fade away from the basket. Koufos is a pretty solid defender, but he ddid not play much man-to-man coverage is freshman year because of Ohio State's 2-3 zone. However, in those rare occurences, Koufos played well and used his length to contest shots. He's a solid defensive rebounder, but is even better on the offensive end.

I'd expect the Sixers to improve the power forward position before the 5 spot, but we'll see. Koufos will definitely need at least a year to develop.

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We Hate to Lose began in October 2007. The initial purpose of the website was to provide news updates and commentary on all four major sports teams in Philadelphia. Because of time-constraints, in April of 2009, I decided to post only on my first-love, the Philadelphia Phillies.

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