May 22, 2013, 1:26 PM EST
The Sixers had a very small chance of winning one of the top three picks last night and, of course, they didn’t.
The No. 1 overall pick went to Nick Gilbert again (insert preferred conspiracy theory about the NBA still making The Decision up to Cleveland), and the Sixers stayed in their expected draft position at No. 11.
So who will GM Sam Hinkie take 11th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 27?
We’ve compiled this early list of day-after-lottery mock drafts. The general consensus sees the Sixers drafting a big, and most of these guys are not high on Thad Young as a power forward.
That said, given the changeover in the front office and the makeover this roster is expected to undergo, even if the team does need a big man — Lavoy Allen, Spencer Hawes and Kwame Brown’s contracts all expire next summer — the best player available may likely win the day.
That seems to be the route CSNPhilly.com’s Sean Kane went in his mock. His draft is the only one on our list that doesn’t have the Sixers taking a big.
[mock drafts below]
Sean Kane, CSNPhilly.com — C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh
If he’s still on the board, this is a no-brainer for the 76ers. McCollum should go anywhere from eighth to 12th in the first round, and if Hinkie really likes him (as I feel he should) then he may have to move up a spot or two to grab him. The Sixers have two of the first 12 picks in the second round, picks that could be used to move up in the first round. With apologies to McLemore, McCollum is hands-down the best shooter in this draft. The Sixers desperately need someone who can stretch the defense and consistently knock down three-point baskets. McCollum shot over 51 percent from long range before a foot injury in January cost him the rest of his senior year at Lehigh. He can play either guard position, he can get to the basket and is an above-average ballhandler and passer.
McCollum has great intangibles, as well. He’s a high character guy who will continue to work at his game throughout his career. The biggest knock on McCollum is the level of competition he played against in the Patriot League. But he would have been a star in any league in the country, as he proved by scoring 30 points to single-handedly beat Duke in the first round of the 2012 NCAA tournament.
Chad Ford, ESPN — Cody Zeller, C, Indiana
Ford: The Cody Zeller bandwagon is officially filling up again. All it took was an incredible display of athletic prowess at the draft combine to convince NBA teams who had soured on him to give him another look. Of course, we all knew Zeller was athletic, but few knew he was capable of what he did at the combine. Zeller is trying to make the transition to the 4 and seems like an obvious fit in Philly, a team without a legitimate 4-man on its roster.
Jonathan Givony, DraftExpress.com — Cody Zeller
The 76ers enter a new era with head coach and de facto personnel decision maker Doug Collins stepping down, being replaced by Houston Rockets assistant GM Sam Hinkie and a coach yet to be determined. Philadelphia has one terrific piece locked up in point guard Jrue Holiday, but has plenty of holes to fill. A player who compliments the strengths and weaknesses of Evan Turner, whose lack of range from the perimeter is a concern, would fill a major need at shooting guard. Power forward and center are two others. Besides undersized-but-athletic Thaddeus Young, there are plenty of question marks.
John Goodman, CBS Sports — Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh
Had a difficult adjustment this past season to the college game, but he’s big, strong and plays hard. Adams may be a project that’s worth the risk.
Matt Moore, CBS Sports — Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville
The Sixers need a big man with a pulse. Re-sign Bynum, don’t re-sign Bynum they have to stop playing Thad Young at the four and relying on Spencer Hawes. Dieng gives them a high level big that can rebound with a monster upside.
Fox Sports — Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, Gonzaga
The Sixers are forced to start over at the center position after trading away a lot of assets for an absolute dud in Andrew Bynum. Olynyk was arguably the most dominant big in the country and despite Gonzaga’s flame-out in the tourney, he was solid. He lacks great athleticism and quickness, but shows the skill set of a 10-year veteran. Olynyk’s ability to defend the pick-and-roll has led scouts to believe he can make it defensively in the league.
Steve Alexander, Rotoworld — Rudy Gobert, C, France
Andrew Bynum didn’t exactly work out and Spencer Hawes, despite some very nice runs this season, still may not be the long-term answer. Gobert looks like an impressive big man. He has a massive 7’9” wingspan and moves very well for a guy standing 7’2”. He should be able to clean the glass and play well enough offensively to make an immediate impact in the league. However, he’ll likely have to play behind Thaddeus Young and Hawes, at least for part of his rookie season, if not all of it.
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