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2011 NBA Draft and Andre Iguodala - Monta Ellis Trade Could Transform Sixers In a Big Way

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As the 2011 NBA Draft quickly approaches us on Thursday evening, the Sixers have some gametime decisions to make about the makeup of their young, talented lineup.

Many players, including local prospects, have been participating in Sixers pre-draft workout sessions.

Markieff Morris Could Be The Sixers' 1st Round Pick

One of the prospects getting the most attention is power forward Markieff Morris from Kansas. At 6’9” and 241lbs. he would provide much needed help underneath the basket. Elton Brand is another year older and there seems to be no promise for a legit center to fall to the 16th spot in a mediocre draft this year.

Morris wouldn’t really need to change much to his game to make an impact. He has strong low post footwork with a delicate finish at the rim. That’s something he could definitely teach Spencer Hawes. Morris is also effective from the perimeter and seems comfortable taking those shots when needed. Defensively he has an aggressive nature to his game and is highly effective on the boards. An in between game seems to be missing but at age 21, he will have time to develop those skills.

A Philadelphia native, Morris would be my pick for the Sixers considering he’s still on the board at the 16th pick. I can see the strength and size of Morris and the quickness and toughness of Thaddeus Young causing some problems for other big men around the league. Both Jrue Holiday and Lou Williams will have a nice added offensive weapon in Morris to facilitate the ball to in the post as well as in the open floor.

Could The Andre Iguodala - Monta Ellis Trade Happen?

Another big piece of the roster puzzle for the Sixers is deciding what they will do with Andre Iguodala. Sources are now saying the team is trying to deal their star forward to another team before the draft on Thursday. Knowing whether Iguodala is going to be on the roster will play a part in their draft pick. The deal that makes the most sense to me would be trading for Warriors’ leading scorer, Monta Ellis.

The Sixers will be getting a true scorer and a possible go-to-guy in tight monta ellisgames. This is a skill that the Sixers had looked for in Iguodala, but he could never deliver on a consistent basis.

Acquiring Ellis will also free up an opening for small forward Evan Turner, who has a lot of promise - and will play a big role in the future success of this young ball club.

Turner started to gain some confidence in his first post season against Miami-  averaging 8 points and 5 rebounds in only 19 minutes a game. Under the coaching of Doug Collins, Turner could develop into a premier offensive threat along side Ellis and Jrue Holiday.

This trade option will also be easy on the Sixers payroll. Each player's current salaries are close enough that the swap could be made without any other additional considerations and meet league salary-cap restrictions. The one downside in this potential trade is the defensive presence that the Sixers will lose in Iguodala. Overall the Iguodala/Ellis trade makes the most sense for the direction the Sixers are headed in.

The one piece that is still missing in this line up is a dominant center. This has been a void in the Sixers'  lineup since Moses Malone in the early 80’s when they were a true championship contender. With the 16th pick in a weak draft, and little to no options in free agency, it could be a while before this void is filled. Until that time, this team needs to stay young, fast and healthy if they have any chance of making it out of the first round in the coming years.

Contact Matt Schetter at mschetter@comcast.net

Photo credit: AP

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