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I Feel A Draft Coming On

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Nothing But NetWith the 17th pick in the 2009 NBA draft, The Philadelphia 76ers select…

Over the past 15+ years, the City of Brotherly Love has never really felt any love back by the NBA. We can only hope that “The Ed Triumvirate” will make the right move in the 17th position and thus in turn get the same rookie performance that recent first-rounders Thaddeus Young (2007) and Mareesse Speights (2008) had in their rookie years.

It’s pretty clear what the Sixers are lacking and that’s a perimeter lineup. Yes, they addressed part of that need in acquiring Jason Kapono. But GM Ed Stefanksi has stated time and time again that their focus will be on picking up “a solid guard.” After working out over a dozen talented prospects, there are a few obvious candidates that stick out of the proverbial pack.

North Carolina stud Ty Lawson is obviously someone the Sixers are very high on. Also high on the radar are point guards Eric Maynor from VCU and Jeff Teague from Wake Forest, and shooting guard Terrence Williams out of Louisville. All of these guards would be excellent picks and would ease the pain of the possible departure of Andre Miller. My only fear is that none of these players will be around with the 17th pick which may be why the rumors of the Sixers trading their first round pick and a veteran (Sammy Dalembert anyone?) for a package of players.

Slightly deeper picks have seemed to work more in the Sixers favor than top 10 picks. With the exception of Allen Iverson, there has been a number of disappointing top 10 draft picks for Philly that just never lived up to the hype. The 2 MAJOR picks that stick out in my mind is the ’92 draft and the 9th pick overall, Clarence “The Spoon” Weatherspoon. Spoon was the Sixers answer to the loss of Sir Charles. After all the hype and excitement behind the young star, the Sixers went on to a 26-56 record (.317) and ended up dragging their way to 6th place in the Atlantic Division. As a young fan, dedicating myself to every game of the season and consuming super pretzels to feed the troops in Desert Storm, I felt let down and betrayed. It really disappointed me because I wanted to love SPOON, but he just didn’t have the supporting cast needed to make things happen.

The very next year, the Sixers had a chance to redeem themselves. With the second pick in the draft they had a lot of options and a lot of young talent to pick from. Power forward from Michigan and future all-time NBA stiff Chris Webber was drafted number one by the Orlando Magic and was then summarily traded to Golden State. The Sixers made a brilliant pick (note the heavy dose of sarcasm), and blessed us with a 7’6” freshman from BYU, Shawn Bradley. With their new center the Sixers went on to finish with a less-than-stellar 25-57 record and another 6th place finish in the Atlantic Division. In case you were wondering who went next in the draft that year, it was future all-stars Penny Hardaway and Jamal Mashburn. Once again, we were all let down by a 7’6” pile of dung who never lived up to his hype and potential. Who knows how Hardaway and Mashburn would’ve worked for the Sixers. I just remembered wishing I was an Orlando Magic fan that year.

But let bygones be bygones shall we? I predict that the Sixers will stick to their guns and draft a young talented guard that will adapt well into the high-energy program that “The Ed Trifecta” is planning. I agree with “The Eye” and hope we can scoop up Lawson. Let’s just hope that whomever the lucky player is, he will help deliver the one thing we Philly fans care about more than anything else: WINS.