Whom might Sixers like at No. 10 in NBA draft?

Creighton's Doug McDermott is a possibility for the Sixers with their 10th pick.
Creighton's Doug McDermott is a possibility for the Sixers with their 10th pick. (Associated Press)
Posted: June 25, 2014

WHILE THE third pick in the draft has rightfully garnered the most talk when discussing this Thursday's draft for the 76ers, it is the team's second pick in the first round that could prove just as important.

Pick No. 10, should general manager Sam Hinkie choose to hold on to it, could go a long way in determining his team's future. Will the Sixers go with a shooting guard, thus freeing up some driving space for rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams? Could they decide to go with a big, bulking front line player whom they envision playing alongside the ultra-athletic Nerlens Noel? Do they go with a crafty scorer or a playmaking forward?

All of those types of players could still be available to them at 10, and here's a look at some who still might be available.

Doug McDermott (22 years old, 6-8, 218 pounds): His numbers simply jump out at you from his senior year at Creighton - 26.7 points a game, 53 percent shooting from the floor, including 45 percent from the three-point line and 86 percent from the foul line. He also grabbed seven boards a game. The offensive numbers are impressive, given that he was the focal point of every opposing defense and didn't rely only on skills but also on smarts to get his points. Add to that he rarely turned the ball over. There are some concerns about athleticism and lateral quickness and whom he could cover in the NBA, but maybe that's all just overthinking. Perhaps his game will translate just fine in the NBA. If the Sixers do take Dante Exum with the third pick, McDermott could be the shooter they'll be looking to get at 10 to open the floor for their MCW-Exum backcourt. Provided he's still there. He has bounced all over the place in mock drafts.

Nik Stauskas (20, 6-6, 207): In a draft that has a good amount of capable shooters, Stauskas is the cream of the crop. Talking to McDermott about the Michigan product in Chicago, McDermott could only shake his head when asked how impressed he was with Stauskas' shooting. He entered Michigan with a specific skill set but this past season added so much more to his game and averaged 17.5 points, while shooting 47 percent from the floor. He can now take defenders off the dribble with either hand, needs very little space to get off his shot and is comfortable with a sideline pick-and-roll, a common play in the NBA and something he ran a lot at Michigan. He'll have to learn to play bigger and stronger in the NBA, on both ends of the floor. But he should be able to become more comfortable with that as he adds bulk. He could be the dead-eye "two" guard for this organization for a long time.

Aaron Gordon (19 in September, 6-9, 220): A freak of an athlete, Gordon got most of his 12.4 points at Arizona by running the floor and using his crazy jumping ability to get put-backs. He would be a great fit in Brett Brown's uptempo style with his ability to outrun the opposition down the floor. His problem offensively is that he was an afterthought at that end for a deep Arizona team. He doesn't possess a real offensive game in the halfcourt, is inexperienced at pick-and-rolls and post-ups. But for a team that doesn't really want to play in the halfcourt all that much, perhaps Gordon is high on Hinkie's list.

Dario Saric (20, 6-10, 223): Should the Sixers select him, he would be a draft-and-stash, as ESPN reported yesterday that Saric had reached an agreement with Turkish team Anadolu Efes, which could keep him overseas for a couple of years. If you haven't checked out any video on Saric, make a point to do so. The highlights are pretty fun, as he is a very versatile player with plenty of flair. He sees the game extremely well, one or two plays ahead of his opponents in the Adriatic League, where he played this past season. He has a very good nose for the ball, and a really good feel of where defenders are and what they are going to do at all times. He doesn't play particularly big, but 6-10 is 6-10. His ballhandling and passing abilities would be fun to see in Brown's offense, though he does try to do too much at times and thus turns the ball over a ton. He certainly impressed in the championship game of his league, going for 23 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks.

Zach LaVine (19, 6-6, 181): This name keeps floating around the Sixers at 10, and he fits the mold for a rebuilding team, in that much of the attention on him focuses on potential and how good he might become. He is more of a transition scorer than spot-up shooter and was another player who really wasn't the focal point of his team's offense (9.4 points per game). He is explosive going to the basket off the break, one of the best open-court dunkers in college basketball. He started the season at UCLA on fire, making 42 of his first 97 (43.3 percent) three-point attempts, but then fell off the rest of the season and made only six of his final 31 (19.4 percent). His shooting style would make some cringe, but the results are better than the mechanics. He is not very strong going to the rim in halfcourt and doesn't really translate to a solid NBA "two" guard right now.

Gary Harris (20 in September, 6-4, 205): One stat epitomizes the game of the Michigan State product very well: Seventy-five percent of his shots under Tom Izzo were jump shots. At this point, Harris (16.7 points as a Spartan this past season) is not very good at breaking down his defender off the dribble to get to the basket. He can create some space to get off his shot, because he is very physical and can dip a shoulder and pull up, but his lack of height will hurt him in getting off shots in the NBA. He is smart and plays very good defense, but simply doesn't have much in his offensive arsenal. He often takes long two-pointers, something Brown sort of despises.


On Twitter: @BobCooney76

Blog: ph.ly/Sixerville

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