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On Air: The Official Blog of WSJU Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers, long removed from the glory days atop the Eastern Conference in the early 2000s, finished 27-55 in 2009-10 and, come Thursday night, will have the #2 overall pick in the NBA Draft. Having hit a stroke of luck to score the #2 pick, a very important decision awaits the franchise as to who to take.

It can rightfully be assumed that Kentucky PG John Wall will go #1 overall to Washington, leaving Philadelphia with anyone else on the board. There are two likely directions that they could go. Option #1 and the most likely is to take Ohio State swingman Evan Turner. With his size, length, and ballhandling skill, Turner would be, on paper, the best player remaining. But, the question arises, how similar is Turner to the swingman they already have, Andre Iguodala? Would it make sense for them to draft a guy with a similar skill set to their star player?

In my opinion, though they have many similar strengths and weaknesses, Turner is the better player and Iguodala doesn’t have the star power to carry a team on his back. Andre makes a great running mate that can get up and down the floor and jump out of the gym, but he’s not a centerpiece to a winning franchise.

Trying not to have two players of the same type, would the Sixers use the #2 pick to draft a big man, perhaps Derrick Favors of Georgia Tech or DeMarcus Cousins of Kentucky? With Elton Brand continuing to battle injury and being on the far back side of his career, the 6’10” Favors could fit into the role that Brand never fulfilled since his signing.

Consensus opinion is that drafting DeMarcus Cousins is rolling the dice big time, as his maturity has been questioned and he seems to be 20 pounds overweight. But, as a raw, talented 6’11” big man, he may be worth it down the road. For the Sixers at #2, taking Cousins would be too high, so perhaps they could trade down to the Nets at #3, allowing the Nets to get Turner, while the Sixers can still get Favors or Cousins, along with the 27th overall or 31st overall pick.

Whatever the Sixers choose to do, they are clearly in the rebuilding stage and will, most likely, be in the same situation next year. The most important thing for them right now is to put talented players in a place where they can succeed. Hiring new head coach Doug Collins is a step in the right direction, but we’ll see where Philadelphia goes from here.

-Dan Martin

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