NBA Draft 2011: Top 10 Players on the Radar for the Philadelphia 76ers

Posted on June 6, 2011


The Sixers’ season has come to end, but there is still more on the way, specifically the NBA draft. This year 76ers Philadelphia holds the 16th and 50th overall picks in the draft.

The draft is probably the most important event for coach, GM and owner. These picks are players for the future and you have to look hard for the right one. It seems easy, but it is certainly not.

We’ve all seen the busts come and go like Marvin Williams, Darko Milicic, Adam Morrison, etc. But these guys were incredible and had so much upside entering the draft. So why did they not develop in the NBA when they were great in college or overseas?

Well, none of us may know the real reason, but there are just some players where talent doesn’t translate into the NBA.

Basically, no matter how good a player is coming into the draft, or how much guarantee there is for someone, a team is always taking a risk.

The Sixers played a great season and made a huge turnaround, but now they have to improve on that and get even better. The lineup has some loopholes now and for the future, but the improvements start in the draft.

Jamie Skeen, VCU

HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 02:  Jamie Skeen #21 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams goes to the hoop against Matt Howard #54 of the Butler Bulldogs during the National Semifinal game of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship at Reliant Stadium on A

Jamie Skeen would be a target for the Sixers in the second round and would be considered a bit of a reach. Skeen is projected to be a mid-to-late second-round pick, but he put on a great performance during that NCAA tournament.

After spending his first two years at Wake Forest, Skeen had a decent junior year and a very solid senior year with VCU.

He proved that he can dominate the boards while scoring a lot of points. He is the type of guy who is capable of a double-double and could be a low-risk option as a second-round pick for Philly.



Keith Benson, Oakland

TULSA, OK - MARCH 18:  Keith Benson #34 of the Oakland Golden Grizzlies goes up for a shot against Alexis Wangmene #20 of the Texas Longhorns during the second round game of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 18, 2011 in Tuls

The Sixers could go after Benson with their second-round pick. There are only two centers projected to be drafted in the first round, and both are supposed to be lottery picks.

Benson was second in the NCAA last year in blocks per game with 3.57. He has a great wingspan and is very athletic for his size.

The 6’11” center just may be the player the Sixers go with to potentially solve their needs at the position.






JaJuan Johnson, Purdue

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 20:  JaJuan Johnson #25 of the Purdue Boilermakers looks to pass against Ed Nixon #50 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams in the second half during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on Marc

JaJuan Johnson would be a reach at the 16th pick as he is projected to be a late first-rounder.

Johnson has great size and also comes along with a heavy dose of athleticism. However, he does not have the best post skills as a power forward should have.

Although I do not think the Sixers will pick him, they cannot ignore his upside, potential and college career with Purdue.

Jordan Williams, Maryland

GREENSBORO, NC - MARCH 10:  Jordan Williams #20 of the Maryland Terrapins shoots against Tracy Smith #23 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack during the first half of the game in the first round of the 2011 ACC men's basketball tournament at the Greensbor

At full potential, some scouts believe Williams could be the next Carlos Boozer of the league. He is a sophomore out of Maryland with great size and strength.

Like Boozer, he can rebound well and has broad shoulders. In his last season with the Terps, he averaged a double-double per game: nearly 17 points and 12 rebounds per game.

The bulky power forward has potential and will most likely be a late first-rounder. Although the Sixers will most likely not take him, he is definitely a possibility if they want to have a long-term replacement for Brand.





Markieff Morris

TULSA, OK - MARCH 20:  Markieff Morris #21 of the Kansas Jayhawks goes up for a dunk against the Illinois Fighting Illini during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at BOK Center on March 20, 2011 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ro

Though he is said to be the less talented Morris twin, Markieff Morris is still projected to be a borderline lottery pick.

Morris is an all-around solid power forward. He is strong, has good size and plays strong defense. He is a finisher and he is a very tough and gritty player.

Morris’ hometown is Philadelphia and it would be great to see him in a Sixers uniform, but I do not think he will fall to the Sixers’ pick.







Trey Thompkins

CHARLOTTE, NC - MARCH 18:  Trey Thompkins #33 of the Georgia Bulldogs dunks the ball while taking on the Washington Huskies during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena on March 18, 2011 in Charlotte, Nor

Trey Thompkins had extremely-high expectations entering his junior year. In fact, his draft stock was projected to be as high as an early lottery pick by the end of the season.

For a 6’10” power forward, he has a great jump shot and he also has good post skills. Thompkins has great size, but he is not that athletic.

He can hit the three ball, similar to a Channing Frye-type big man, but I think Thompkins is better on the post.

Although Thompkins did not meet his high expectations, the potential is still there and he would definitely be worth the reach.

Chris Singleton, Florida State

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 25:  Chris Singleton #31 of the Florida State Seminoles goes to the basket against Jamie Skeen #21 of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the southwest regional of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the Alamodome on Mar

Chris Singleton can play small or power forward, he is a shutdown defender and he is very athletic.

But one thing that intrigues me the most about Singleton is his success in the transition offense. Singleton runs the floor really well and is a good finisher. He would be the perfect fit for the 76ers’ transition game.

Singleton’s game fits perfectly into the Sixers’ system, but I am not sure if the Sixers would want to have another combo forward next to Thaddeus Young. However, if the Sixers do not re-sign Young, then Singleton could be a nice option to fill that spot. Young has proven it has a very effective role.




Kenneth Faried, Morehead State

DENVER, CO - MARCH 19:  Kenneth Faried #35 of the Morehead State Eagles dunks the ball against the Richmond Spiders during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 19, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Justi

Kenneth Faried is an athletic beast who dominates the boards. Not only that, but he is also a great defender.

The one thing that scouts see as a flaw in him is the fact that he is just 6’7″ or 6’8″ and he will be very undersized in the NBA. However, we have seen players like Paul Millsap and DeJuan Blair have successful starts and they are undersized as well.

It will be interesting to see how Faried will turn out in the league as many fans have placed doubts on him and do not believe he will remain the beast he was in college.

I think there is a good chance he could be a solid big man or be wearing a Sixers uniform for that matter.



Donatas Motiejunas, Lithuania

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 08:  Donatas Motiejunas of Lithuania tries to get past Gordon Hayward of the United States defends during the U19 Basketball World Championships match between the United States and Lithuania at North Shore Events Centre on Jul

Many NBA scouts have been comparing Motiejunas to Andrea Bargnani and even Dirk Nowitzki. He is a seven-foot power forward with a great jump shot, and he would be a great replacement for Elton Brand.

Motiejunas was supposed to enter the draft last year and he was projected to go as high as a top-eight pick. He has a lot of potential and is projected to be a late lottery pick this year.

If he falls to Philadelphia, he would easily be the right, ideal option. He can pass well and can play the center position. That way they are not missing out on the passing skills that Spencer Hawes provides.

Motiejunas can hit the long ball, he has good post moves and he is a solid passer. He could be the answer for the Sixers and if he is available, do not be surprised to see the international guy in a Sixers uniform.

Bismack Biyombo, Congo


Bismack Biyombo is from Congo and is one of the scarce centers in the draft. He is projected to be a late lottery pick, but there is always that chance that he falls down a few slots.

The biggest hole in the Sixers’ lineup this season was no doubt the center slot. Biyombo is a true center and probably the only one in the draft. The Sixers should seize the opportunity if he is there.

He certainly has the size and potential to be great, and under a coach like Doug Collins, he just adds more reassurance.

If he does fall, I don’t see why the Sixers would pass on the center with a 7’7″ wingspan. He is just 18 and he would have a lot of time to develop in the league.

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