Michael Levin at our 76ers site Liberty Ballers gave his thoughts on the first round selections of Maurice Harkless and Arnett Moultrie. With Harkless, Levin is excited about the potential Harkless has with the 76ers over the next few years:
Whether or not I love Moe Harkless as a prospect is tangential to the bigger picture. The Sixers definitely have needs with the team assembled as is, but as we've said: needs are irrelevant when you're mediocre. The most important thing for the Sixers to do was draft for talent. And Harkless has a ton of potential and, at 19, will likely not contribute right away. They aren't full-on rebuilding, but that's certainly a step in the right direction.
The 76ers were high on Moultrie when the draft started, and when he was still there at No. 27, the 76ers traded back into the first round to select the Mississippi State product. While he needs some polishing, Moultrie is a big talent not to pass over at that point in the first round:
He's got a lot of athleticism to him -- more than anyone in the Sixers frontcourt right now -- and could become a better rebounder and defender with some polishing. I still think he's a backup big, but they clearly loved him. Rod Thorn even drunkenly claimed he was "one of the top 10 players in the Draft". And by trading up to get him, the Sixers feel like they've got two of the 10 best players in the Draft. Pretty rad.
And while Levin was happy with the selections of Harkless and Moultrie, Levin was more excited about the way the 76ers drafted:
Both Harkless and Moultrie could be terrible. Or they could be franchise cornerstones. Regardless, their selections represent a different line of thinking from the previously-stale ways of the Sixers front office. We'll have more specific thoughts on everything in the coming days, but for now I urge you to cling to the growing chance that this franchise soon leaves the suffocating confines of mediocrity.
2012 NBA Draft: Winners & Losers (via sbnation)