The 2011 NBA draft takes place tomorrow night and yet there still is very little consensus among the mock drafters as to who the Sixers might take. The running theme amongst the picks is certainly size, which everyone seems to agree the SIxers will focus on. Which big guy it will be, is another question.
Sitting at #16, basically right in the middle of the first round, it's very difficult to guess who might drop, especially in a draft like this. Many experts have called 2011 one of the weakest drafts in years and it's likely that the talent level after the top three or four picks down through the twenties isn't terribly varied. For instance, a guy like Bismack Biyombo will go top ten in certain mocks and fall past even where the Sixers are in others. So whatever happens on draft night is all but assured to be a surprise.
In all the mocks we surveyed, the Sixers picked six different players.
Sporting News - Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas
The Sixers could go big with Biyombo, Motiejunas or Markieff Morris. But they were impressed by Hamilton.
Hoops Hype - Bismack Biyombo, PF, Fuenlabrada (Spain)
The Sixers would like to add a beast inside to do the dirtywork and Biyombo fits the bill. Bismack's lack of offensive skills were readily apparent in his workout in Treviso. How much offensive game he can develop is debatable as is his true age. A tremendous shot blocker using his quick reflexes, length (7-foot-7 wingspan) and explosiveness to protect the rim. Nikola Vucevic and Markieff Morris are possibilities here too. If the team indeed decides to move Iguodala, a forward such as Hamilton or Singleton are possibilities.
SBNation - Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas
SBNation Writers Draft - Tristan Thompson, F, Texas
While Tristan Thompson isn't the polished, low-post scorer and defensive rebounder the Sixers need in the short term, he can develop into a possible cornerstone of the franchise with the right teaching. He'd fill the void left by Thaddeus Young (if he leaves) on the offensive glass, because Tristan was one of the nation's best at cleaning up after his teammates. With Elton Brand's contract on the downside of tradeable, he could slip into the starting lineup midseason or next year if Elton gets moved. While he's got the length, I don't think he and Brand would work well as a starting front court, so it's likely that Spencer Hawes would retain the center position for this season.
The Hoops Report - Donatas Motiejunas, PF, Lithuania
CBS Sports Ben Golliver - Chris Singleton, SF, Florida
CBS Sports Matt Moore - Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas
ESPN Chad Ford - Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas
The Sixers need size, but they also need shooting. With Andre Iguodala on the trading block, don't be surprised to see them grab Hamilton.
His ability to shoot the ball from range, combined with solid rebounding ability, could make him a surprise pick for Philly. Nikola Vucevic, Donatas Motiejunas and Markieff Morris are also possibilities here.