Blogs > Deitch on the 76ers

Daily Times staff writer Dennis Deitch covers the 76ers

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Greetings from PCOM in a completely unreachable section of Philadelphia! So, anything been happening in the world of sports today?
If you can stop crying into the sleeve of your completely worthless Mike Richards sweater for a while, I'll be making live updates and comments on the draft here until it comes time to start writing about the Sixers' selection.

Keep refreshing this page and I'll keep typing away. Let's do this ...

1. Cleveland: Kyrie Irving, Duke. Well, the Cavs deserve to eternally stink for this. You can find 10-12 point guards like him in the league, and usually this type of guy goes in the 8-14 range. Much rather have Williams & then Knight at No. 4. Dummies.

2. Minnesota: Derrick Williams, Arizona. OMG THE WOLVES ACTUALLY DID SOMETHING RIGHT IN A DRAFT. Wes Unseld could've gotten that one right.

3 Utah: Enes Kanter, Turkey (Kentucky, kind of). Solid pick. Dude is a horse. Comparing him to Horford might be a little excessive, but then again the person who said that works for ESPN, so ...

4. Cleveland: Tristan Thompson, Texas. It's official: Cavs have butchered this draft. This dude's best offensive asset is that he gets to the line a lot, yet he is a TERRIBLE free-throw shooter. That is useless in my book. Sorry.

5. Toronto: Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania. That's proper. He's actually a center, unlike Bargnani.

6. Washington: Jan Vesely, Czech Republic. It isn't clear how talented a pro this guy will be. What is absolutely clear is his lady friend is perhaps the most attractive 6-6 woman in history.

7. Sacramento: Bismack Biyombo, Congo. Hey, the only thing working against him is that he has absolutely no offensive skills whatsoever. The Bobcats are actually getting this pick, proving Michael Jordan should've quot while he was the greatest player in history.

8. Detroit, Brandon Knight, Kentucky. He slipped a bit. Think the Pistons got nice value here. Certainly isn't this much distance between him and Irving when it comes to potential.

9. Charlotte: Kemba Walker, UConn. Undersized point guard. Hard worker, but he's going to have a hard time guarding in the NBA.

10. Milwaukee: Jimmer Fredette, BYU. This is actually the Kings' pick. Sac-town has a backcourt in Fredette and Tyreke Evans that will score a lot and give up even more points.

Still no Kahwi Leonard ...

11. Golden State: Klay Thompson, Wash St. This is setting up well for the Sixers ...

12. Utah: Alec Burks, Colorado. Now it is REALLY setting up well for the Sixers.

13. Phoenix: Markieff Morris, Kansas. Wow, the Morris brother everyone said would be taken later in the draft does first.

14. Houston: Marcus Morris, Kansas. That was the team thought to be the one which might snag a big man ahead of the Sixers. They are getting a big guy. Montiejunas?


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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Making a Mockery of the Draft

How the draft pans out from my point of view. (Note: there's no way in hell this is how it goes):

1. Cleveland (from L.A. Clippers): Kyrie Irving, PG, Duke. That's the prediction for the selection, not who the selection should be.
2. Minnesota: Derrick Williams, PF, Arizona. Strong, smart, tough, relentless, nice shooting touch ... what's not to like about this guy? Wolves might want to consider trading Kevin Love instead of this pick.
3. Utah (from New Jersey): Enes Kanter, C, Kentucky. He never got to play for the Wildcats, but those in the know have seen enough of the Turk to consider his talent All-Star quality someday.
4. Cleveland: Jonas Valanciunas, C, Lithuania. Cavs had a good experience with another Lithuanian center in Zdrunas Ilgauskas, and this kid has better feet and scoring touch.
5. Toronto: Brandon Knight, PG, Kentucky. Maybe the Raptors make a deal to move up and make sure they get Knight, but they could use an athletic floor leader like him.
6. Washington: Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Diego St. Wizards can team Leonard up with John Wall and Jordan Crawford for an extremely athletic trio.
7. Sacramento: Kemba Walker, PG, Connecticut. Smallish, but paired next to Tyreke Evans should balanced the size problem.
8. Detroit: Jan Vesely, PF, Czech Republic. Needs to fill out, but has a nose for the hoop down low.
9. Charlotte: Jimmer Fredette, G, BYU: Bobcats could keep him, but a few teams are itching to trade up for the Stormin' Mormon.
10. Milwaukee: Marcus Morris, PF, Kansas. The first of the Philly twins should go by this pick, but it might not be the Bucks. The late-lottery teams are itching to trade out of here.
11. Golden State: Donatas Motiejunas, PF/C, Lithuania. He has been dropping hard in many mock drafts, but I don't buy it. Way too much skill in this 7-footer to get him out of the lottery picks.
12. Utah: Chris Singleton, SF, Florida State. Jazz always seem to find some experienced college player who can step in and contribute, and Singleton has NBA-ready defensive skills.
13. Phoenix: Klay Thompson, SG, Washington State. Maybe the worst draft ever for shooting guards. This guy can be a slightly better version of Kyle Korver. And he's the first shooting guard selected.
14. Houston: Markieff Morris, PF, Kansas. Rockets always make a smart first-round pick. Always. Motiejunas won't get past them, but if he's gone the other Morris is a nice consolation prize.
15. Indiana: Alec Burks, SG, Colorado. He's young and showed poise as the go-to guy for a lousy program.
16. 76ERS: Nikola Vucevic, C, Southern Cal: If Motiejunas can't be had, this is the next-best option. Has Spencer Hawes' outside touch, but a stronger body and hits the boards.
17. New York: Bismack Biyombo, PF/C, Congo. Eh, let the Knicks take the Yinka Dare clone.
18. Washington (from Atlanta): Tristan Thompson, PF, Texas. His best asset is getting to the free-throw line. His worst asset is free-throw shooting. Who the hell wants that?
19. Charlotte (from New Orleans via Portland): Marshon Brooks, SG, Providence. He certainly isn't reluctant to shoot the rock. Bobcats could use a scorer.
20. Minnesota (from Memphis via Utah): Tobias Harris, SF, Tennessee. Smart player who put up nice numbers as a freshman in the SEC. He could be a surprise lottery guy.
21. Portland: Kenneth Faried, PF, Morehead State. He unquestionably can rebound. You accept that skill at this stage of the draft.
22. Denver: Trey Thompkins, PF, Georgia. The Nuggets want to move up. The last time they had a first-round pick they took Julius Hodge with the pick they received from Orlando for trading Jameer Nelson.
23. Houston (from Orlando via Phoenix): Iman Shumpert, SG, Georgia Tech. Impressive athlete who could work well alongside Kyle Lowry.
24. Oklahoma City: Nikola Mirotic, PF, Montenegro. Thunder can afford to draft and wait on this kid.
25. Boston: Nolan Smith, G, Duke. Celtics need to prepare for life without Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Smith can give quality minutes from the get-go.
26. Dallas: Jordan Hamilton, SF, Texas. Mavs go for a local guy with a nice spot-up shot.
27. New Jersey (from L.A. Lakers): Davis Bertans, Latvia. He's 18 and a long way from contributing, but the talent is there.
28. Chicago (from Miami via Toronto): Keith Benson, PF/C Oakland. Bulls like big men who can defend.
29. San Antonio: Darius Morris, PG, Michigan. The Spurs love finding late pearls, and Morris has a chance to be a nice insurance policy for the former Mr. Eva Longoria.
30. Chicago: JaJuan Johnson, PF, Purdue. Pretty polished guy you don't mind having under contract for four years.

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76ers Draft -- Is Motiejunas The Guy?

The 76ers have worked out a lot of guys this month who have absolutely no shot of being their first-round choice in Thursday's draft.

Monday, however, was different.

The Sixers hosted Lithuanian 7-footer Donatas Motiejunas for a solo workout at PCOM, and when it comes to what the Sixers could use, no one in this draft might fit the bill better than this guy.

According to Sixers draft guru Courtney Witte, Motiejunas measured at more than 7'0" in his bare feet, and the 20-year-old isn't a beanpole. He has put on more than 20 pounds in the past year, and he is carrying his 240 pounds solidly.

He's left-handed. He has a Type-A personality. And while he has grown up as a perimeter big man, he told the Sixers he believes his destiny
is to play center and to develop a low-post game.

Motiejunas has fallen out of favor with some because of some inconsistent workouts. But he has shown his shooting touch at high levels of competition. The guy can shoot. So what if he was off-line with some shots in an empty gym, solo with a bunch of middle-aged dudes staring at him?

There are concerns about whether he has the capability to rebound. They say this about almost every Euro guy because rebounding is a different animal in the international game. He has length, size and good hands. I'll wager the guy can rebound when asked to do so.

That Motiejunas worked out for the Sixers tells you something. His stock has fallen a bit in recent months, and the Sixers might sense an opportunity. Teams in the Nos. 10-13 range are willing to listen to offers to trade down. If Motiejunas is still on the board as the draft gets in that range, it would not be a shock to see the Sixers try to package Marreese Speights and/or a future No. 1 to move up and take Motiejunas.

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