Steven Adams, No. 11 (Mock Draft)
The Sixers select an athletic big man who protects the rim.
by Jake Fischer / @JakeLFischer
The Philadelphia 76ers need a big man. Whether that’s Andrew Bynum, Al Jefferson or a guy from the Lottery, time will tell. But for now, the media, Sixers management and fans all agree that Thaddeus Young—who’s maximum production is arguably All-Star snub-worthy—can’t be the best player in an NBA team’s frontcourt.
The media is predicting Cody Zeller and Zeller alone to be the Sixers’ selection at No. 11 on June 27. But, if you ask anyone within the tri-state area, Zeller is not the fan base’s top choice to be the big man of the future. The fans want someone who’s not just athletic and can block shots on D, but an actual low-post threat on offense, a guy who you can dump it down to in the post and he can demand a double team.
Additionally, new general manager and team president Sam Hinkie likes to draft guys with potential and see them blossom into young stars and contributing members to a team.
When you throw those three interests and opinions into a pot, mix it up, add some paprika and pop it into the oven, what do you get?
With the 11th pick in the 2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select…
Steven Adams from Pittsburgh.
Adams, a 19-year-old New Zealander who will turn 20 a week before the Draft, played just one season for Pitt. He’s 7-0, 255 pounds and is still very early in his development as a basketball player. The interesting story about Adams is that before he finished up the ’11-12 school year at Notre Dame Prep, his toughest competition overseas on the court was his girlfriend and sister.
Even with a limited background, the former Panther went out and scored 7.2 points, grabbed 6.3 boards and blocked 2.0 shots in 23.4 minutes per game as a freshman for Jamie Dixon. His best game of the season may have been the 13 and 10 he hung on the future Final Four participant Wichita State Shockers in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Building off that performance, Adams amazed scouts at the NBA’s Chicago Draft Combine with his athleticism and shot-making ability. The big man finished first in every wind sprint among the centers on Day 1 and tested very well on Day 2 as well. His was near-automatic from 15 to 18 feet during shooting drills, too.
A team that takes Adams has to know that his potential is a few years down the road. Realistically, the player he compares to the most in the NBA is Enes Kanter, who the Utah Jazz are now trying to build around along with Derrick Favers. If Adams and Jrue Holiday have a chance to develop chemistry over the next couple of seasons, the Sixers may be able to really compete with a core of Holiday, Young, Adams and two other perimeter players to be named (or brought in) later.
|2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft|