What do Paul Pierce and Paul George have in common besides their first names? Yep, they were both #10 overall picks in the NBA Draft. They were both solid contributors on their respective squads by year number two. And, they both became NBA All-stars shortly thereafter. I cannot continue without mentioning that, in 1998, when Paul Pierce was drafted #10, the Sixers picked Larry Hughes, yeah, the guy who was in the Nelly and Kelly video at #8. And, they did so just before Dirk, yeah, the guy from Germany who ended up hoisting a championship trophy, was picked at #9.
In more recent years, guys like Jimmer Fredette (2011) and Austin Rivers (2012) became #10 picks. No, I do not foresee Pierce-like careers for these guys. I do not foresee George-like careers either. Nevertheless, you have heard the names Brandon Jennings and Brooke Lopez before, correct? If not, look them up. They are both above average NBA players. In addition, they were both #10 picks (Lopez in 2008 and Jennings in 2009). Brook has even been in an All-Star game.
You know who else has played in the All-Star game, twice. Yep, David Lee has. That is correct; his Knick-name was FEMA, because he was never there when NY needed him. Regardless, I have always wanted David Lee to be a Sixer. Philly couldn’t land him on draft day in 2005 because that is right around the time the team just wasn’t in having First Round picks! Philly also decided NOT to grab him in free agency after his contract had expired in NY (perhaps they wanted to meet with him and he just didn’t show up?). Anyway, is there a point here? Yes, I have one. And, No, Mr. Lee was not a #10 pick.
The latest rumors have Julius Randle’s draft stock as falling due to “injury” concerns. If the kid out of Kentucky is there at #10, the Sixers will draft him. NBAdraft.net likens Randle to David Lee. This means that they think he might be able to average about 10 or so rebounds per game. I want that. The site also compares him to Billy Owens. Aside from the fact that Owens played for the Sixers … I got nothing!
Remember when the Sixers drafted the “injured” guy who was widely regarded as the best player in last year’s draft? No, not the Rookie of the Year, Yes, the big piece Philly acquired from the Pelicans in the Holiday deal; his name is Nerlens Noel. I know he has not even played in an NBA game yet. But, no, under no circumstances do I think the Sixers have another Andrew Bynum situation on their hands. By the way, that same Andrew Bynum was the #10 overall pick in the 2005 draft; and, 2005 is the same year that FEMA was drafted by the New York Knicks with pick #30.
So, now we know what David Lee’s nickname used to be. I know him for his numbers. He boasts career averages of 15 and 10 (well 9.8) in points and rebounds respectively. The key word here for me is rebounds. The Sixer per game rebound leaders over the past few years have been a combination of: Elton Brand (who is one of my all-time favorite players), Thaddeus Young (who might not be around much longer) and Spencer Hawes (who is a Cleveland Cavalier). Neither one of the aforementioned player’s has averaged 9 rebounds per game as a Sixer. So, essentially, we may need to replace all of this production (or lack thereof depending on how you see it). We have Noel and we need Randle. Spencer Hawes, the #10 overall pick in 2008 draft, could hit a jumper. I hear Randle has a pretty nice mid-range game as well.
Randle should NOT be available at #10. Therefore, I feel obligated to present you with other options. But, I can only provide ONE … other option. In my humble opinion, if it is not Randle, I’d prefer Aaron Gordon out of Arizona. I want a big man here. I want 20 and 10; I crave 20 and 10. I will settle for 15 and 9. Gordon is the guy. P.S., I have zero interest in any of the sharp shooting white boys at #10. Guys who play like Korver, Reddick and Kapono, no thank you. Mark Price maybe, but I think those days are over!