Leading up to the 2014 NBA Draft – in the stretch run now — we are going to preview each team in the lottery for their needs. Taking a look at each team’s individual strengths, weaknesses, roster, and what prospects would fit in with their current and future plans.
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After back-to-back “A.I. Era’s” in Philly the 76ers are now in the “MCW Era,” which looks to be promising. Behind the Rookie of the Year, a rookie head coach, and a new front office, the team stripped everything down and are building up with a young foundation. How long will it take for the 76ers to get back to the playoffs? Probably not that long…
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Here is the NBA Draft Fast Five.
ONE: 2014-2015 Potential Roster Review
Outside of Thaddeus Young and Jason Richardson, the 76ers only have rookie-scale contract players. The team is being built around Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams and injured forward Nerlens Noel, who have yet to play in an NBA game together. This team really does not have a “roster” for 2014-2015 and honestly didn’t have one for 2013-2014 as they played an NBA high 23 different players (tied with Sacramento) through 82 games. Only seven teams played 20-plus players last season. Overall that is not a weakness; it is strength, leading us to…
TWO: Biggest Strengths
This roster is a blank canvas for General Manager Sam Hinkie and Head Coach Brett Brown in a very talented draft with two Top-10 picks. They can paint this team however they’d like from the ground up, similar to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2006-2007, with multiple Top 10 picks over the course of a few years, building the foundation of the team for years to come. With MCW, Noel, and Young as the current foundation, the team is long, athletic, and versatile right now, which is an identity to kick this process off.
The biggest strength of this team is that they have the opportunity to choose their strengths and dictate the direction of this team through the draft going forward.
THREE: Biggest Weaknesses
A lot of times the biggest strength can also be the biggest weakness and with the 76ers they are a team with zero experience, lack true shooters, and have limitations in the playmaking department. Experience will take care of itself over time as young talent gains more minutes and confidence. That is a self-correcting weakness. The shooting and playmaking, however, can both be addressed in the draft. Here are a few numbers to chew on: 21st in 2PT FG percentage, 30th in 3PT FG percentage, 29th in FG percentage, and only 14.1 assists per game from last year’s roster. While this team needs to add talent regardless of position skill, with the No. 10 overall pick they might be able to be fussy when adding a shooter, a playmaker, or someone who can do both.
FOUR: Odds In The 2014 NBA Draft Lottery
With the No. 10 pick the 76ers had a 1.1 percent chance of winning the lottery, but in the end they won the lottery leaving with the No. 3 and 10 picks, respectively. Now there is no lottery to win, just a draft, the 76ers can be big-time players in the trade market potentially with those picks, Young, and some other rookie-scale talents on the roster.
FIVE: Recent History of the No. 10 Pick
Look, you can get a potential star anywhere, just as the 76ers did with last years No. 11 overall pick, but the 10th pick has been a nice spot for teams. This is the spot Paul George went in 2010, Brook Lopez in 2008, and Andrew Bynum in 2005. All went on to be all-star caliber players. Hidden between those picks were the likes of Jimmer Fredette, Austin Rivers, and Mouhamed Sene who have all been borderline lottery busts to this point. There are also the Brandon Jennings and Spencer Hawes types who are productive NBA players who have not quite lived up to their athletic potential and billing.
Five Prospects That Make Sense For The Philadelphia 76ers At No. 10 Overall
1. Marcus Smart: 6-3.25, 227 pounds – G, Oklahoma State
Stats: (In 32.7 MPG) 18.0 PPG 4.8 APG 29.9 percent 3PT
The duo of MCW and Smart could wreak havoc in the backcourt defensively for years to come and give the 76ers the two-headed playmaking machine that is becoming ever effective in today’s NBA.
2. Dario Saric: 6-10, 223 pounds – F, Croatia
Stats: (In 46 Games) PPG 15.7 RPG 3.4 APG 33.6 percent 3PT
Long, versatile, and a playmaker fitting the mold of both a need for this team and the foundation already in place with the current young roster. Whether Saric comes over right away or is a year away from the NBA he is dynamic point-forward.
3. Gary Harris: 6-4.5, 205 pounds – G, Michigan State
Stats: (In 32.3 MPG) 16.7 PPG 2.7 APG 35.2 percent 3PT
More of a shooter than Smart is and more of a natural off-guard to play opposite MCW in the backcourt, but also brings the defensive potential and playmaking in his own way.
4. James Young: 6-6, 213 pounds – G/F, Kentucky
Stats: (In 32.4 MPG) 14.3 PPG 4.3 RPG 34.9 percent 3PT
Not a defender and not necessarily a playmaker for others, Young is a scorer who can play the two or the three with the potential to space the floor while shooting the ball with accuracy from NBA three-point range.
5. Nik Stauskas: 6-6.5, 207 pounds – SG, Michigan
Stats: (In 32.3 MPG) 17.5 PPG 3.3 APG 44.2 percent 3PT
Here is the hired gun that is no question the shooter the team needs and provides some stability as a secondary or third option playmaker or ball-handler. Stauskas is “more than a shooter” and could balance out this team of tremendous athletes.
Best player available, playmaking, and shooting have to be the targets here for the 76ers as the No. 3 overall pick will net them the “future star” and this is an opportunity to fill a gap. If someone falls in their lap — a la MCW from a year ago — snag him up and enjoy, but if not, this is a good spot to collect a high-end role player for years to come.
What do you think?
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