The 2012 NBA Draft is almost here. On June 28, fans like me will finally learn who the Philadelphia 76ers will select with the 15th overall pick. Since trading up seems to be off the table, there is no reason to think that they will move out of that position. Most people think that the 76ers are leaning toward choosing a power forward. As a fan, I would be surprised if the team went in any direction other than that. With that in mind, here are my final impressions on the five players the 76ers are most likely to draft.
The Mississippi State star brings size, something that the 76ers badly need. At 6'11", Moultrie would give the 76ers the kind of inside presence they really need. He proved that he could both score and rebound in college. He averaged 16.4 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in his last year of college. If Moultrie can provide those stats in the NBA, he will be a star. It might take time, but his size and talent would make him a strong addition to the team.
Henson starred for three years at North Carolina, a program that has been known to produce great players. In his last year, he averaged 13.7 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. Those are the kinds of numbers that will appeal to the 76ers. They want a power forward with size and scoring ability, and Henson gives them both. His scoring has improved each season, and he can also block shots. He averaged nearly three blocks per game over the course of his college career.
Perry Jones III
Jones is another big power forward, but one that doesn't excite me as much. He can score as well as Moultrie or Henson, but he's not a rebounder. In two years at Baylor, Jones averaged 7.4 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game. To me, that is a player that doesn't maximize his potential. The 76ers can't afford to risk taking a shot on a guy that probably won't become the power forward they need.
Jones has a lot of buzz since he was a key contributor on a Kentucky team that won the national title. After a standout freshman season, his role was reduced as a sophomore since the team leaned on a number of key freshmen. When you're talking about a draft choice, you don't want to see any signs of regression. Jones is also smaller than the other candidates and might be more suited for the small forward position. I don't think the 76ers should choose him.
Ross isn't a power forward but he is still a guy that fits a need for this team. He can play both small forward and shooting guard, meaning that the team can use him in a variety of ways. He brings scoring potential, something that is lacking with the 76ers. He averaged 16.4 points per game as a sophomore and shot nearly 50 percent from the floor. His explosive offensive ability could help this team immediately. In addition, he averaged a respectable 6.4 rebounds per game last season.
Mark Paul is a Philadelphia resident and lifelong 76ers fan.
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