The Sixers’ new GM Sam Hinkie doesn’t have a coach, but he had a very busy draft last night. The Sixers traded their best player, PG Jrue Holiday, and the 42nd overall pick to New Orleans for Kentucky C Nerlens Noel, the 6th overall pick who’s out until December after undergoing knee surgery. The Sixers used the 11th pick to select Syracuse PG Michael Carter-Williams, then used their remaining 2nd-round pick on SG Glenn Rice, Jr, son of the former NBA All-Star, whom they traded to Washington for South Dakota State SG Nate Wolters (pick #38) and Oregon SF Arsalan Kazemi (pick #54).
Here’s what NBA.COM says about the newest Sixers:
Strengths – Scary shot blocker, Excellent rebounder, Good all-around defender
Weaknesses – Not a polished offensive player, Needs to get bigger and stronger, Poor free-throw shooter
NBA projection – Suffered a torn ACL and was limited to just 24 games; his recovery is progressing ahead of schedule, and in a weak draft, he’s one of the only sure bets, because at worst, he’s a player that can control a game from the defensive end.
Strengths – Great size for his position, Excellent passer, Length, Active defender, Great court vision, Good penetrator
Weaknesses – Has to get bigger and stronger, Jumper has to get more consistent, Has to cut down on turnovers
NBA projection – Carter-Williams was projected as a lottery pick. He can already impact games with his passing ability and his defensive prowess. When he adds size and strength and improves his jump shot so defenders can’t play off him and shut down his ability to penetrate, he’ll have the entire package.
Strengths – Great ball-handler, Great passer, Can get to the rim, Good jump shooter, Good free-throw shooter, Intelligent/Basketball savvy, Good size
Weaknesses – Can he defend elite point guards? Not a great athlete, Lower trajectory on jump shot
NBA projection – Wolters has a chance to make an NBA roster because of his lead guard skills. What separates him from other players who may be in the same mold, i.e. not overly athletic, is his exceptional ball-handling ability and basketball IQ. He’s able to change speeds off the dribble and create separation or get defenders leaning so he can get past them.
Strengths – Great rebounder, Tough competitor, Efficient scorer at the rim, Active defender who gets a lot of steals, Good passer
Weaknesses – No true position, Hasn’t developed a perimeter game, Unselfish to a fault
NBA projection – Kazemi was projected in the second-round to undrafted category. He’s certainly got a next-level skill—rebounding—but can he make it in the NBA as an undersized power forward, or can he demonstrate in workouts a competent enough perimeter game, something he didn’t do in college, to convince GMs he can play the three?