Small forward prospects who fit Sixers' needs

(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
(AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Posted: June 26, 2014

WITH THE THIRD and 10th pick in tomorrow's NBA draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, one thing the Sixers desperately lack is a player who can score effectively from the wing.

Though their two first-round selections will be heavily relied on, the franchise holds five other picks and needs to be weigh its options at each position.

Here are the Daily News' expected top-five players at small forward, including how they fit with the team based on the club's needs.

ANDREW WIGGINS

College: Kansas

Year: Freshman

Height: 6-8

2013-14 stats: 17.1 pts., 5.9 reb., 1.5 ast., 2.3 TO, 44.8 FG%, 34.1 3-PT%, 77.5 FT%

Comment: There's a lot to love about Wiggins. He's a freak athlete with a great first step, and has the potential to be one of the league's best perimeter defenders in as little as 2 years. Coach Brett Brown has to like that almost 18 percent of Wiggins' total offense came in transition. The potential of Wiggins is what makes him the best prospect on the wing. There have been questions about his "killer instinct," but to possibly be the third option on the floor at Kansas and still average 17/6 in his lone season in the Big 12, one of America's best conferences, yeah, he can keep lacking "killer instinct."

JABARI PARKER

College: Duke

Year: Freshman

Height: 6-8

2013-14 stats: 19.1 pts., 8.7 reb., 1.2 ast., 47.3 FG%, 35.8 3-PT% and 74.8 FT%

Comment: Parker seems to be the most complete offensive player in this year's class, so why does he rank under Wiggins? Two words: upside and defense. Though Wiggins' offensive package isn't complete, Parker lacks a defensive arsenal. No mechanics, no lateral quickness, nothing that makes a general manager or coach salivate when he's guarding the perimeter. Defense can be taught, but any team in the top five, will jump at the instant offense he'll bring their club. Should probably be a 18/8 guy for a decade.

DOUG McDERMOTT

College: Creighton

Year: Senior

Height: 6-8

2013-14 stats: 26.7 pts., 7.0 reb., 1.6 ast., 52.6 FG%, 44.9 3-PT%, 86.4 FT%

Comment: No, he's not a Kyle Korver clone. No, he's not another Jimmer Fredette. He's "Dougie McBuckets," and he's arguably the smartest player in the class. McDermott can shoot off screens, the bounce, the corner, and the gym. He can shoot anywhere in the gym if you let him. Playing for the NCAA's best perimeter team for a season, McDermott showed that he can light it up from anywhere, but, like Parker, he's not a great defender. The difference, however, is he plays smart team defense. He can blow up the pick-and-roll defensively and rebounds well for his position. But in 4 years at Creighton, he has blocked 14 shots and stolen the ball 34 times. That's a little alarming, since Wiggins surpassed those numbers in one season.

T.J. WARREN

College: N.C. State

Year: Sophomore

Height: 6-8

2013-14 stats: 24.9 pts., 7.1 reb., 1.1 ast., 52.5 FG%, 26.7 3-PT%, 69 FT%, 1.8 stl.

Comment: Don't ask him to shoot anywhere past 15 feet. Though Warren can't shoot a lick from the perimeter; no one should want to guard him out there. A true slasher who could end up being the best scorer from this class, and isn't a liability defensively like Parker and McDermott. Realistically, he's a starter in the league, likely a team's third scoring option and compares to Andre Iguodala and Trevor Ariza. This is also the same guy who scored 30 or more points nine times last season and two of those games were back-to-back 40-point outings.

RODNEY HOOD

College: Duke

Year: Sophomore

Height: 6-8

2013-14 stats: 16.1 pts., 3.9 reb., 2.1 ast., 46.4 FG%, 42.0 3-PT%, 80.7 FT%

Comment: A wing player who can score anywhere along the perimeter and can improve his slashing ability with time in the NBA. Though he's not very physical around the rim and relies way too much on his jumper, he can be serviceable in the NBA as a catch-and-shoot sharpshooter to start and continue to improve his slashing and defensive ability. Compares to a Rashard Lewis/Martell Webster type of player.

RANKINGS

1. Andrew Wiggins

2. Jabari Parker

3. Doug McDermott

4. T.J. Warren

5. Rodney Hood


On Twitter: @TylerRickyTynes

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