With the third overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select….Kristaps Porzingis. This sounds like hell on earth to my ears, although the 76ers are reportedly “leaning towards” drafting Porzingis (via James Herbert of CBS Sports) in the NBA Draft this Thursday.
I want no parts of another project or player that the 76ers would stuff overseas for years to come and delay the rebuilding process to 2022. All jokes aside, Porzingis definitely has a chance to be a good player in this league. The best thing that is going for him is that it’s harder for scouts to find flaws in his game because there is so much unknown about him.
For me, I just don’t trust drafting Europeans. We can go down the list of guys who have been busts or who just never really turned out to be what they were supposed to be. When you consider the ratio of European players who have had great NBA careers to players who have had mediocre careers, it’s pretty telling.
The Sixers faithful is starting to get more and more impatient by the day with the process of Sam Hinkie. It is bound to work, but people in Philadelphia don’t want to wait 4 or 5 more years to see it work. The news of Joel Embiid possibly having to sit out another season, along with Dario Saric possibly waiting another two years to make his NBA debut.
Being a 76ers fan right now is so tough, we have to “trust this process” but we have yet to truly see it go into fruition. The thoughts of injury holding back Embiid is what makes this even scarier because there was the notion of a twin-tower tandem alongside Nerlens Noel, and now that is in jeopardy.
As a 76ers fan, I just want a guard who can shoot. We know what it is like to have a guy who can’t shoot in Michael Carter-Williams, who shot about 25% outside of 5 feet from the basket. Drafting a great shooter like D’Angelo Russell would mean the world to me because we’d finally be gearing towards what helps you win in the NBA today. The evidence is there with teams like the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets having tremendous success with their three-point shooting. Don’t get me wrong, having Noel and Embiid down low will eventually create havoc among other big men in the Eastern Conference. Drafting someone like Porzingis would make me really question our organization’s thinking because we would have our last 4 first-round draft picks be over the height of 6’9. It would clog our big rotation.
Overall, I think that the 76ers need to just do the right thing and draft a guard with the third pick, whether that is Russell or Mudiay. If they end up taking Porzingis with the third pick, and even worse, he decides not to play next season, the 76ers will start to lose fans quickly who have not had a 76ers team to be proud of in a very long time.