The Sixers drafted St. John's freshman Maurice Harkless last night. Like any 15th overall selection, he’s talented enough to have a high-upside, but has enough question marks (in this case, strength and shooting) to not warrant a top-ten pick. That’s fine. But what’s not fine is the fact that THE SIXERS KEEP DRAFTING THE SAME PLAYER. Stop me if you’ve heard of these guys before– Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner. All at various points in their careers, those three players all play that swingy, 2-to-3 position, which is exactly what Harkless projects to be: a small forward.
For once, I agree with what John Smallwood wrote this morning: [Philly.com]
I admit, I was confused by the Harkless pick. The scouting skinny on Harkless is that he is great athlete, attacks the rim and is great in the open court. His weaknesses include an inconsistent perimeter shot and some issues with ballhandling.
I was seeing not only Young, but also Andre Iguodala and Evan Turner.
Even with Thorn talking about Harkless' "growth plate" and saying that he might eventually be able to play power forward, his selection alone raised more questions than answers.
Legitimate big men were still on the board when the Sixers picked, including North Carolina power forward Tyler Zeller (7 feet, 250), St. Bonaventure power forward Andrew Nicholson (6-9, 240), Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger (6-9, 280), and Syracuse center Fab Melo (7 feet, 274). All seemed better suited to fill an immediate need for the Sixers.
That was quite similar to what CBS Sports NBA writer Matt Moore wrote: [CBSSports.com]
This was somewhat baffling because the Sixers have guys at his position — Andre Iguodala andThaddeus Young. Harkless is young and will take some time to develop, but he's got a chance to be a quality starter in the league. He's long, rebounds well and can also get to the basket and finish. He can be brought along slowly, but the reward could be tremendous.
CSN’s John Gonzalez? Same thing: [CSNPhilly.com]
If you’re wondering why the Sixers, a team that already has a few tweeners in the 6-6 to 6-9 height range (among them Andre Iguodala, Thad Young and Evan Turner), you aren’t alone. Unless, that is, you have a cushy national TV gig, at which point you evidently loved the pick. When the selection was made, one of the ESPN talking heads said the Sixers needed to “get better inside” and “they did that tonight.”
I suspect you can find similar reviews everywhere. Now, if the Sixers have a move up their sleeve, one that will get rid of one of their swing players and land a legitimate big man or a top-flight guard (which neither Turner nor Jrue Holiday are at this point), then we’ll change our tune. For now, though? Why?
Doug Collins tried to answer that question in an email sent by the team, calling Harkless: A terrific athlete with tremendous upside.
Stop the music, stop it right now. A mid-first round NBA draft pick that’s athletic and has upside?! Someone call Jay Bilas. He needs to see this.
The Sixers also traded for the Heat's 27th pick, Arnett Moultrie. In the second round, they added some monster from the Republic of Georgia that no one has ever heard of.
The guy from the Delco Times sort of liked the move for Moultrie: [Delco Times]
The Sixers handed over one of their second-round picks and a promissory note for a perfectly non-lottery first-round selection next year. Miami, meanwhile, selected Mississippi State power forward Arnett Moultrie — at 6-11, a true low-post player and physical force — when he dropped to No. 27 and passed him along to the Sixers.
It was precisely what the Sixers needed as they ready themselves for the July 1 start of free agency. At the moment they have eight players under contract: the two rookies, Young, Andre Iguodala, Evan Turner, Jrue Holiday, Elton Brand and Nick Vucevic. They are confident they will get something done with Lavoy Allen. That’s nine.
No sense in talking about the Phillies other than listing the pitchers that have have taken the mound in the last two days: Kyle Kendrick, Brian Sanches, Jeremy Horst, Raul Valdes, Joe Savery, Michael Schwimer, Jake Diekman, Chad Qualls and Antonio Bastardo.
Are you still wondering why 11 runs in two games weren’t enough for a win?
Cliff Lee pitches tonight, and it would be really swell if he could find some consistency and make that $125 million contract worth it for the top-heavy, over-relying on five guys, no-depth, mis-transacted and poorly constructed Phillies.
NHL free agency begins on Sunday, and Paul Holmgren is likely going to hurt himself or someone else. Our running commentary will pick up once Sunday rolls around. We probably jumped the gun a bit on putting in live on Tuesday, but we’ll feature it once things pick up.
Congrats to My Couch Pulls Out… I Don’t on their Will Ferrell quizzo victory last night at Drinker’s:
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