2011 NBA Draft Grades: Consensus On Sixers Pick Is "Ok"

With the 16th overall pick in last night's draft, the 76ers took center Nikola Vucevic from USC. Our pals over at Liberty Ballers more or less hate the pick, but it hasn't seemed to draw much criticism nationally. Of course, it would seem tough to criticize most picks in this draft given how subpar it really was. Vucevic might be just a "meh" pick, but it was just a "meh" draft. It doesn't seem likely that this pick was ever going to set the franchise back or move them forward in a significant way. Of course, that doesn't the team shouldn't be trying its best. So what are people saying?

Here's a roundup of what is being said around the net.

Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo's The Dagger - "There aren’t many true centers in this draft, which is why 7-foot, 260-pound Nikola Vucevic’s stock has climbed steadily, culminating with him going 16th to the 76ers. Vucevic isn’t especially athletic, but he has a sturdy frame, good touch around the rim and the ability to knock down an open mid-range jump shot if his defender doesn’t respect his outside game. He fills a need for a Philadelphia team that started Spencer Hawes at center last year."

ESPN's Chad Ford - "The Sixers wanted size and got the biggest player in the draft. Vucevic is huge and skilled. I doubt he'll become a star, but he's going to be solid on both ends of the floor."

Nick Prevenas of Fox Sports - "76ers need size, so why not take one of the biggest guys in the draft? Vucevic wasn't a hot prospect heading into last season, but posted tremendous measurements at the combine (6-11.75 in shoes) and showed deft touch around the hoop during workouts. Vucevic is tremendously skilled. He can score with either hand and shoot it out to 20 feet. He's not very fast or athletic (much like current Sixers Spencer Hawes and Marreese Speights), but he can score and rebound."

SBNation's Tom Ziller - "Vucevic was considered a late first-round pick or worse before impressing at the NBA Draft Combine in early May. Vucevic measured as one of the biggest players in the draft and figures to have a quick impact on defense and the glass for a Sixers team without remarkable depth in the frontcourt. Philadelphia has Elton Brand on a long-term deal, but starting center Spencer Hawes is a restricted free agent."

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