Sunday, June 29, 2008

The 76ers get their Big Man in the Draft

This years NBA draft was wasn't all that exciting, contrary to what Dave Stern or ESPN would have us believe. Part of that is due to the mediocre talent pool that is college hoops these days. With the glut of players with only a years college playing experience. This draft was more about potential.

The other reason the draft was not so hot was that its pretty tough to beat last year. The Oden vs Durant debate and myriad of trades made for a compelling story. Nothing like that this year. Sorry ... Rose vs Beasley doesn't come close.

The Sixers read the tea leaves well this year. They elected not to have a draft day party. Not much chance of generating a buzz. The Thursday's online poll "How interested are you in tonight's NBA draft", more than 70% of the respondents were only interested in who the Sixers drafted (37%) or they weren't interested in the draft at all (35%).

The Sixers brain trust had a plan and there was not enough fireworks in the draft to sway them. The 2008 draft was all about potential. The top 10 prospects were all about the guards ... the Sixers needed a big man (with potential) ... easy ... take your pick. When pick number 16 rolled around the big man was Marreese Speights (rhymes with weights) a really big guy for Florida. Not a tall guy that needs to beef up or a beefy guy who will never be tall enough. Mo is 6'10" in stocking feet and 245 pounds. But capable (we're told) of playing the Sixers new brand running basketball.

Last week-end, I got word from a friend who knows someone from Speights family in St. Petersburg, that he (Speights) had been told by the Sixers that he would be the guy. I didn't believe it at the time, but I don't really have a problem with it now.

When asked about the Sixers draft pick on 78% of the respondents said they are okay with the Speights pick.

So on to the next step of the master plan ... free agency. After putting a check mark in the big man column, the Sixers need to find somebody who can shoot. That's another tall task.

So Ed, what's the plan?

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