Tenth pick goes to Sixers, too

Posted: May 22, 2014

NEW YORK - Along with the third overall pick in the NBA draft, the 76ers will get the 10th pick in the first round from the New Orleans Pelicans.

This was determined during Tuesday's NBA draft lottery at Times Square Studios. If New Orleans had gained one of the first three picks, it would have kept the selection. The Sixers received the Pelicans' first-round pick along with last year's No. 6 selection (Nerlens Noel) in the Jrue Holiday trade during the 2013 draft.

While much speculation will be on the third overall pick, and rightly so, the 10th is also considered a big part of the Sixers' rebuilding process.

"Philly will get a good player at No. 10," said Orlando Magic senior vice president Pat Williams, the former Sixers general manager, whose team will select fourth and 12th in the first round. "I think teams selecting especially up to 14 or 15 will be getting really good players."

Sixers owner Josh Harris conceded that he would have liked the top pick, but he saw positives in getting the 10th pick in addition to No. 3.

"Obviously Jrue went lower [than 10th] and Michael Carter Williams went lower than that" in the draft, Harris said. "It is a very deep draft. I think it can be a valuable pick."

Holiday was the 17th overall selection in 2009, and Carter-Williams, the NBA rookie of the year, was selected 11th last year.

A few of the likely lottery selections attended Tuesday's event, including Arizona freshman forward Aaron Gordon, a projected top-10 pick, but not someone headed to the top three.

"I'd love to play for Philly, but it really doesn't matter where I go," Gordon said.

Another likely top-10 pick is Oklahoma State sophomore guard Marcus Smart. Smart, like Gordon, is projected to go before the 10th pick, but players have more than a month to rise and fall in the eyes of NBA executives.

Last week at the NBA's draft combine, Smart said he met with the Sixers.

"It was nice, the coaches were very down to earth and humble," Smart said. "The coaches made you feel welcome to talk to them about anything."

History shows that the No. 10 pick can be hit-or-miss. Since 1990, the first year there were 10 picks in the lottery, there have been some future all-stars at No. 10 and some serious duds.

Heading the list of top No. 10 lottery picks are 10-time all-star Paul Pierce (1998), seven-time all-star Joe Johnson (2001) and current all-star forward Paul George, who was drafted in 2010.

The No. 10 picks since George haven't stood out. Last year's No. 10 choice was Lehigh's C.J. McCollum, who had an injury-plagued first season with Portland.

In 2012, New Orleans picked guard Austin Rivers, who has averaged seven points per game in his two seasons. And in 2011, the 10th pick was Jimmer Fredette, who started just seven games in his first three NBA seasons.

Potential choices at 10 include Creighton forward Doug McDermott, Indiana power forward Noah Vonleh, and Michigan State shooting guard Gary Harris.

There will be plenty of speculation about the selection between now and the June 26 draft.


mnarducci@phillynews.com

@sjnard

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