With the NBA Draft just weeks away, Wiz of Awes will be doing a mock draft, which we’ll break down each pick for every lottery team, including the Washington Wizards. [Completed Mock Draft: 1) Cleveland, 2) Orlando, 3) Washington Wizards, 4) Charlotte, 5) Phoenix, 6) New Orleans 7) Sacramento 8) Detroit 9) Minnesota 10) Portland ]
11) Philadelphia 76ers: Mason Plumlee, PF/C, Duke
Basic Stats: 17.1 PPG, 10.0 REB, 1.9 AST, 1.4 BLK
The NBA Draft is just six days away, and the Philadelphia 76ers still have a vacant head coaching position with tons of things needed to be addressed this off-season.
After the Sixers acquired All-Star center Andrew Bynum from the Los Angeles Lakers, we all expected them to become an instant playoff team with Jrue Holiday at the helm. Unfortunately, that blockbuster trade which shipped Andre Iguodala to Denver, didn’t work out too well for the Sixers. Bynum suffered multiple setbacks to his injured knee, which caused him to miss the entire season. Jrue Holiday managed to make the All-Star team in an injury riddled Eastern Conference, yet the Sixers couldn’t climb the standings like they did a few seasons ago.
Now the Sixers are left with rubble.
Will they attempt to resign Andrew Bynum to a max deal, knowing his issues with injuries he’s dealt with his entire career? Who will replace Doug Collins and become the new head coach in The City of Brotherly Love?
Well, those questions will eventually answer themselves, but the Sixers still have a draft process to go through, which is less than a week away.
The Sixers are in the late lottery, which gives them options. They could potentially look at trade situations in order to acquire an established veteran in exchange for their pick, look for the best player available, or draft on potential. In this case, I think it’s best if the Sixers take a player who could have an immediate impact right out of the gate.
Last season, the Sixers were last in the entire league in points per game and were ranked in the bottom half in terms of rebounding. Former Blue Devil, Mason Plumlee, is someone who could come in right away and contribute in both of those categories.
Like his brother Miles Plumlee, who also played for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke, Mason Plumlee’s stock has the potential to rise since big men tend to get taken high in the draft, due to the scarcity of skilled bigs in the NBA. Not only does Plumlee have the tools to become a productive player at the next level, his college experience will certainly help him transition to the NBA. Plumlee was third in the ACC in points and second in rebounds per game. Spencer Hawes has just one year left on his deal, and if the Sixers decide to resign Andrew Bynum, it might be their best interest to pair him up with an athletic big man.
The Sixers certainly have options, but I think they should go with Plumlee, unless someone like Cody Zeller slips to No.11. He’s a high character guy, has the tools to contribute right away, and at 23 years old, isn’t as big of a risk as some of the other prospects. Plumlee has improved every season throughout his career at Duke, and has the work ethic to become a serviceable NBA big man. In fact, Plumlee has reportedly shot the ball well from the perimeter in his pre-draft workouts, which is an aspect of his game he’s been working to improve on. With Jrue Holiday running the team, I think Plumlee could flourish in the Sixers’ system. They have the personnel to get up and down the floor in transition, which is the type of style that suits Plumlee the best.