The Sixers are loaded with second round picks this season. So, why not take a look at some of the potential steals.
Aaron Harrison (shooting guard – Kentucky)
This kid has ice in his blood and is not afraid to take the last shot. Good, crafty scorer. He uses his body to get to the line and create shots for himself. Could be strong off the bench and be a solid role player in the NBA. He doesn’t have great athleticism, but his strength and size makes up for it. However, it does worry me that his shooting numbers have significantly decreased (27% from three) this year. Part of his appeal last season was his groomed shot, but he has definitely struggled this year. We’ll have to pay attention to how he improves down the stretch. Defensively, he worries me because he isn’t as athletic as some players. Doesn’t have a large wingspan (6’8) either, so I don’t see him being able to stay in front of elite players. With that said, if the Sixers don’t take a guard in the first round and Harrison declares, he could be a great early second round pick and could serve as a strong role player.
Rakeem Christmas (power forward – Syracuse)
The Philly native has been super successful this year in his senior campaign. People might say he’s a tweener but I disagree. He is perfect for the power forward position offensively and should be athletic enough to keep up defensively. His productivity at Syracuse this year (18 points, 9 rebounds) shows just how effective he can be when given the opportunity on the offensive end. Christmas is fantastic around the rim (56% from the floor while taking about 12 shots a game) and has significantly improved. As he keeps improving his jump shot and developing his post skills, he will continue to get his way on the offensive end. Defensively, he is a strong rebounder and a great shot blocker (2.5 a game this year). It does worry me that he hasn’t played a lot of man at Syracuse because that is what most NBA teams run. That is an aspect that he will have to work to hone. He could be a great role player and seventh man in the near future. Christmas tough and doesn’t back down from competition. He is superior athletically, and his body gives his unique advantages. He shouldn’t have a problem in the NBA with a 7’3 wingspan. Sixers fans should keep an eye out for this sleeper.
Will Cummings (point guard – Temple)
The Temple star will not be a second round pick. But if given the chance, he will be a fantastic undrafted free agent sign. However, Cummings has struggled on offense and defense this season. He is shooting 17% from beyond three and looking at 2 turnovers a game. He’s also averaging 2.5 fouls a game. On defense, he lacks the athleticism and size to cover effective opposing guards. So, you’re probably wondering, why sign Cummings? He has the intangibles that make up an NBA player. A natural leader and competitor, Cummings never backs down from trouble. I honestly believe if a team gives him a shot, his toughness will shine and catch someone’s eye. He is never scared of the limelight. He also is a crafty finisher and has definitely improved around the rim. For much of his career, he struggled to score close the basket, but throughout the last 10 games (15.2 PPG and a FG% of 48%) he has definitely fixed that. The kid loves basketball, loves getting better, and loves leading. Will Cummings could be a potential blue collar NBA player for a long time.
Alan Williams (power forward – Santa Barbara)
Big Al is a player not many NBA fans have heard of before this article. The UCSB star has been more than effective in his four seasons at the school. For three years straight he has averaged at least 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks. The young man has been way more than productive. Last season he averaged 43 points per 100 possessions. You can whine about his size and where he would play in the NBA, but you cannot turn away from the productivity. Even against #8 ranked Kansas, Williams managed 22 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks. The 6’8, 265 pound senior would be a great late second round addition, and could be a fantastic bench scorer in the NBA.
First picture courtesy of http://imgick.syracuse.com/
Second picture courtesy of http://www.whipradiotu.com/