Here’s a fun fact: I did not watch the Philadelphia 76ers play a single second of basketball this year. No, my knowledge of the team is based entirely on what I saw on Twitter and what I just read on the team’s Wikipedia page*. As a former NBA player** and scout***, however, I feel I am more than qualified to discuss where the team should go with its first round draft pick this year.
By virtue of not doing basketball well last season, the Sixers have earned the 11th pick in tonight's NBA Draft. Now although there is very little talent available this year, that does not mean they can just trade the pick to get Jrue Holiday a date with Taylor Swift. Holy butt did he want them to though. Let’s take a look at the list of players that will probably be available once the Sixers are on the clock:
other basketball player
some other guy
Looking at the list, there is one name that really jumps out at me.
Checking in at 7’0” tall with a 5’4” wingspan, Cody Zeller is the obvious choice.
His ability to make uncontested shots from outside during practice but not in game situations is damn near unmatchable. His ability to make himself smaller around the basket with the ball in his hand to the point that he is pretty much of no use to his teammates is at a level never before seen. His ability to go missing in big games is the stuff legends are made of.
Cody Zeller is the kind of guy that makes you say, “Damn, he’s tall,” when you first see him. Then, after you've watched him play, you stretch that out to, “Damn, he’s tall, why does he play like such a little birch around the basket? You’re not Kobe, dude. Get your big butt down on the block and play like a grown man. I’m 6 foot tall and I spend more time banging in the paint than you. Bartender, can I get another shot? Zeller is driving me nuts. Syracuse isn’t even that good. Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ!” Clearly, this guys inspires passion from the fan base, and this is something every team could use more of.
Here’s the one redeeming characteristic about Cody Zeller: he’s not Andrew Bynum. He’s a huge dude that if he was ever taught how to actually use his size would actually be a decent basketball player. His range isn’t terrible and he runs the court really well and the Sixers are totally going to take him so just practice shouting, “OH ZELLER FOR THE LOVE OF GOD,” until you sound really cool. Two years of watching this kid at IU and I can tell you that it sounds way more exasperated if you drag out the “ah” sound in “god”. Your call though. Practice it and figure out what works for you.
*didn’t even read the Wikipedia page. I’m at work.
EDITOR'S NOTE: NO WAY! THEY'RE TAKING THE KID FROM LEHIGH HE RULES REMEMBER WHEN HE BEAT DUKE BASICALLY BY HIMSELF?
Jacob is ZWR'S NBA Insider. You may remember him from our NBA Finals Coverage.