Haughton's 2014 Sixers mock draft 1.0

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Haughton's 2014 Sixers mock draft 1.0

Between now and the draft, our draft pundits will provide their latest Sixers mock drafts. They will make selections for each of the Sixers' seven picks (or some of the picks and trade the others). Dei Lynam's ran first and then John Finger's. Here's Matt Haughton's:

First round (third overall): Jabari Parker, SF/PF, Duke
Things just got even more interesting.

By now you’ve certainly heard that Joel Embiid suffered a stress fracture in his right foot that could throw the entire top of the NBA draft out of whack.

While conventional wisdom suggests that the Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks merely reconfigure their draft boards to move Embiid out and focus on top wing prospects, Andrew Wiggins and Parker, I see it a little differently.

Embiid’s injury also opens up the window for Australia’s Dante Exum. Exum will now work out for the Cavs and he has already gone through a session with the Bucks.

Teams -- including the Sixers -- are definitely intrigued by the guard’s size and ability. That’s enough for Cavs owner Dan Gilbert (he did draft Anthony Bennett No. 1 overall last year) or the Bucks’ new ownership group to pull the trigger on Exum.

With that said, Sam Hinkie apparently covets Wiggins, but in life you don't always get what you want. However, the Sixers end up with exactly what they need in Parker: a big-time scorer.

Parker brings the ability to put the ball in the basket from in the paint, beyond the three-point line and everywhere in between. He's the most polished offensive player in the draft class, which has to be a welcomed sight for a Sixers team that finished last season ranked 19th in scoring and 29th in field goal percentage.

Parker's defense leaves much to be desired, but the same could be said for the rest of his new teammates. He'll improve in that aspect and get a boost from having Nerlens Noel camping out around the rim.

First round (10th overall): Nik Stauskas, SG, Michigan
Starting to get the theme? The Sixers add some more scoring at No. 10 with Stauskas.

With the Sixers' roster full of players that like to get to the rim, Stauskas will provide the necessary outside shooting (44.2 percent from three-point range last season). Plus, at 6-foot-6 he gives the team plenty of size in the backcourt with Michael Carter-Williams and another ballhandler to take some of the pressure off MCW.

Don't sleep on the two-guard's athleticism either.

Second round (32nd overall): Patric Young, PF/C, Florida
After racking up on offense, the Sixers go for the other end of the floor by taking Young with the first of their five second-round picks.

Young, a four-year player for the Gators, will provide some intensity and activity to the Sixers’ frontline. Not to mention he’ll add some beef. Young’s 6-foot-9, 240-pound frame would help take some of the burden of banging down low off Thaddeus Young and Nerlens Noel.

While Patric Young failed to show much growth offensively during his time in college, this move is strictly to help boost a defensive unit that allowed a league-worst 109.9 points per game.

Second round (39th overall): Walter Tavares, C, Cape Verde
The Sixers may have to do some maneuvering with that haul of second-rounders if they suspect another team is eying Tavares, but they still end up with the mammoth center.

Tavares’ main selling point is his size -- 7-foot-3, 265 pounds. That type of frame combined with a 7-foot-9 wingspan doesn’t exactly come around every day.

Tavares has been playing basketball for only a few years, so his rather raw skill set will continue to grow.

Second round (47th overall): Vasilije Micic, PG, Serbia
The Sixers keep the international flavor going by taking Micic, a heady point guard.

The 6-foot-4 Micic is a natural PG with extremely good vision and passing ability. He uses a lot of ball fakes and crafty moves to get where he wants on the floor. Plus, he’s a master at making the right decision in pick-and-roll situations.

Micic’s lack of overall speed and athleticism could be a concern when transitioning to the NBA, but it shouldn’t prevent him from being a viable option off the bench for Brett Brown.

Second round (52nd and 54th overall): Trades
Hinkie will package these two picks to gain some other draft assets in the future. Perhaps even more second-round selections.

Instant Replay: Pacers 107, Sixers 94

Instant Replay: Pacers 107, Sixers 94

BOX SCORE

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Pacers continued their playoff push with a 107-94 win over the Sixers on Sunday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The Sixers dropped to 27-46 while the Pacers improved to 37-36, as they fight to maintain position in the Eastern Conference.

The Sixers trailed by as many as 25 points, as the Pacers rolled out a total team effort. Led by 21 points from Paul George, they had seven players in double digits.

The Pacers extended their home winning streak against the Sixers to seven games. The Sixers have not beat the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse since April 17, 2013.

Inside the box score
The bigs were aggressive on the boards. Myles Turner (17 points, 16 rebounds), Shawn Long (15 points, 10 rebounds), and Richaun Holmes (11 points, 12 rebounds) recorded double-doubles.

Dario Saric came close with nine points and 10 rebounds. He snapped his 22-game streak of 10-plus points, which began on Feb. 6.

George finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

Sergio Rodriguez led the Sixers with 16 points, including four of six from long range.

Jeff Teague scored 16 points and four assists.

Pacers injury scare
Al Jefferson suffered a sprained left ankle and was carted off the court in a wheelchair during the fourth quarter (see video). He landed awkwardly after fighting for a rebound and hit the ground in pain. The veteran big man had scored 14 points with seven rebounds in 11 minutes off the bench before leaving the game.

What it means to be a center
Big men are not restricted to the basket anymore. Holmes exemplified what it means to be a center in the NBA today with a first quarter sequence that started with an emphatic dunk. He followed it up with a three-pointer. Holmes and Long work on long-range shots in practice to stretch the floor.

Head coach reunion
Pacers head coach Nate McMillan was Rodriguez’s first coach when he played for the Trail Blazers in 2006. McMillan sees similarities in Rodriguez’s game 10 years later.

"He's the same guy," McMillan said. "Sergio is very aggressive. I think he's a playmaker, he's really good in transition, he's really good in the pick-and-roll game. I think the tempo they're playing suits him."

Up next
The Sixers will travel to New York to face the Nets on Tuesday. They will wrap up their road trip before heading home for a back-to-back against the Hawks on Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Center.

Jahill Okafor (right knee soreness) out again Sunday vs. Pacers

Jahill Okafor (right knee soreness) out again Sunday vs. Pacers

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Sixers will be without Jahlil Okafor when they take on the Pacers Sunday night.

Okafor will miss his second straight game and third out of the last four because of right knee soreness. This will be his ninth game this season where he's sidelined by the injury.
 
Brett Brown does not have a timeframe for Okafor's return. The Sixers' next game is Tuesday against the Nets in Brooklyn.

"I am a complete prisoner to his body and medical news," Brown said after Sunday's shootaround.

In the meantime, Okafor has been going through film sessions with the Sixers' coaching staff. He did not participate in shootaround Sunday morning.

Gerald Henderson also did not go through shootaround but is available to play. The veteran, who has been dealing with hip soreness this season, played 28 minutes in Friday's win over the Bulls.

The Sixers are 1-1 against the Pacers this season. Both games went into overtime.