Strong forwards could interest Sixers in draft

Baylor's Perry Jones III is athletic, capable of working inside and out, and has a nice touch near the hoop.
Baylor's Perry Jones III is athletic, capable of working inside and out, and has a nice touch near the hoop. (DAVID J. PHILLIP / AP)
Posted: June 27, 2012

The 76ers have enumerated as their biggest concerns both becoming bigger and more athletic, and they also want to find players who can put the ball in the hoop.

They will have the opportunity to do this on Thursday when they have the 15th, 45th, and 54th picks in what is believed to be a very deep NBA draft, especially for teams in search of big, athletic forwards.

Although it is not a foregone conclusion that the Sixers will select a forward, as the draft drew closer the Sixers populated their workouts with big players. On Tuesday, they will work out Illinois center Meyers Leonard.

Here's a look at four players in the draft (with last season's statistics) who could be wearing the Sixers' red, white, and blue uniform later this year:

Terrence Jones

Forward, Kentucky, Sophomore

6-foot-8, 244 pounds

Skinny: Jones is a talented athlete who will develop with good coaching; there is plenty of room for growth, both physical and mental. He has a 7-3 wingspan. Capable of playing either forward position at the NBA level, he is a good rebounder who can play both inside and outside. There are some questions about the consistency of his energy level. If he brings it - and he will have to if he's to reach his vast potential - he could become a very good NBA player.

Key statistics: 12.3 ppg., 7.2 rpg., 1.3 apg., 1.6 turnovers, 1.3 steals, 1.8 blocks, 29.3 min., .500 FG, .327 3PT, .627 FT.

Arnett Moultrie

Forward, Mississippi State, Junior

6-10, 249.

Skinny: He's a great rebounder already, something that NBA scouts tend to say usually carries over from the college game to the pros. Moultrie is a big-bodied guy, but he's anything but immobile. He does need to get stronger. What Sixers coach Doug Collins will like in him is his high motor and a willingness to defend, especially at the rim, which is a Sixers weakness. Moultrie has the ability to step outside and hit the jumper; he can face up to the basket.

Key statistics: 16.4 ppg., 10.5 rpg., 1.2 apg., 2.4 turnovers, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks, 35.8 min., .549 FG, .780 FT, .444 3PT.

Perry Jones III

Forward, Baylor, Sophomore

6-10, 235.

Skinny: Though he is projected to be a lottery pick, some question his motor. Many expected to see more development in Jones from his freshman season, but there wasn't a great deal. He's very athletic, capable of working inside and out, and he has a nice touch around the basket. As gifted as Jones is, the criticism of his game was glaring in the NCAA tournament, despite his leading Baylor to the Elite Eight.

Key statistics: 13.5 ppg., 7.6 rpg., 1.3 apg., 1.7 turnovers, 0.8 steals, 0.6 blocks, 30.7 min., .500 FG, .696 FT, .303 3PT.

John Henson

Forward, North Carolina, Junior

6-10, 220.

Skinny: He's a very good rebounder and shot blocker, two important tools that will carry him during what could be a nice NBA career. He is North Carolina's all-time leader in blocked shots per game, at 2.56. Henson is very athletic and has great length (7-5 wingspan). The knock on him is that he is weak and is not too crazy about contact. He needs to develop his outside game at the next level.

Key statistics: 13.7 ppg., 9.9 rpg., 1.3 apg., 1.3 turnovers, 2.9 blocks, 29.1 min., .500 FG, .511 FT.


Contact John N. Mitchell at jmitchell@philly.com or follow @JmitchInquirer on Twitter. Read his blog, "Deep Sixer," at www.philly.com/deepsixer

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