Super Early Premature 2013 Draft Evaluation: The Sixers Will Take ______ at No. 11

Super Early Premature 2013 Draft Evaluation: The Sixers Will Take ______ at No. 11

The Sixers had a very small chance of winning one of the top three picks last night and, of course, they didn't.

The No. 1 overall pick went to Nick Gilbert again (insert preferred conspiracy theory about the NBA still making The Decision up to Cleveland), and the Sixers stayed in their expected draft position at No. 11.

So who will GM Sam Hinkie take 11th overall in the 2013 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 27?

We've compiled this early list of day-after-lottery mock drafts. The general consensus sees the Sixers drafting a big, and most of these guys are not high on Thad Young as a power forward.

That said, given the changeover in the front office and the makeover this roster is expected to undergo, even if the team does need a big man -- Lavoy Allen, Spencer Hawes and Kwame Brown's contracts all expire next summer -- the best player available may likely win the day.

That seems to be the route CSNPhilly.com's Sean Kane went in his mock. His draft is the only one on our list that doesn't have the Sixers taking a big.

[mock drafts below]

Sean Kane, CSNPhilly.com — C.J. McCollum, SG, Lehigh

If he's still on the board, this is a no-brainer for the 76ers. McCollum should go anywhere from eighth to 12th in the first round, and if Hinkie really likes him (as I feel he should) then he may have to move up a spot or two to grab him. The Sixers have two of the first 12 picks in the second round, picks that could be used to move up in the first round. 

With apologies to McLemore, McCollum is hands-down the best shooter in this draft. The Sixers desperately need someone who can stretch the defense and consistently knock down three-point baskets. McCollum shot over 51 percent from long range before a foot injury in January cost him the rest of his senior year at Lehigh. He can play either guard position, he can get to the basket and is an above-average ballhandler and passer.

McCollum has great intangibles, as well. He's a high character guy who will continue to work at his game throughout his career.

 The biggest knock on McCollum is the level of competition he played against in the Patriot League. But he would have been a star in any league in the country, as he proved by scoring 30 points to single-handedly beat Duke in the first round of the 2012 NCAA tournament.

Chad Ford, ESPN — Cody Zeller, C, Indiana

Ford: The Cody Zeller bandwagon is officially filling up again. All it took was an incredible display of athletic prowess at the draft combine to convince NBA teams who had soured on him to give him another look. Of course, we all knew Zeller was athletic, but few knew he was capable of what he did at the combine. Zeller is trying to make the transition to the 4 and seems like an obvious fit in Philly, a team without a legitimate 4-man on its roster.

Jonathan Givony, DraftExpress.com — Cody Zeller

The 76ers enter a new era with head coach and de facto personnel decision maker Doug Collins stepping down, being replaced by Houston Rockets assistant GM Sam Hinkie and a coach yet to be determined. Philadelphia has one terrific piece locked up in point guard Jrue Holiday, but has plenty of holes to fill. A player who compliments the strengths and weaknesses of Evan Turner, whose lack of range from the perimeter is a concern, would fill a major need at shooting guard. Power forward and center are two others. Besides undersized-but-athletic Thaddeus Young, there are plenty of question marks.

John Goodman, CBS Sports — Steven Adams, C, Pittsburgh

Had a difficult adjustment this past season to the college game, but he's big, strong and plays hard. Adams may be a project that's worth the risk.

Matt Moore, CBS Sports — Gorgui Dieng, C, Louisville

The Sixers need a big man with a pulse. Re-sign Bynum, don't re-sign Bynum they have to stop playing Thad Young at the four and relying on Spencer Hawes. Dieng gives them a high level big that can rebound with a monster upside.

Fox Sports — Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, Gonzaga

The Sixers are forced to start over at the center position after trading away a lot of assets for an absolute dud in Andrew Bynum. Olynyk was arguably the most dominant big in the country and despite Gonzaga's flame-out in the tourney, he was solid. He lacks great athleticism and quickness, but shows the skill set of a 10-year veteran. Olynyk's ability to defend the pick-and-roll has led scouts to believe he can make it defensively in the league.

Steve Alexander, Rotoworld — Rudy Gobert, C, France

Andrew Bynum didn’t exactly work out and Spencer Hawes, despite some very nice runs this season, still may not be the long-term answer. Gobert looks like an impressive big man. He has a massive 7’9” wingspan and moves very well for a guy standing 7’2”. He should be able to clean the glass and play well enough offensively to make an immediate impact in the league. However, he’ll likely have to play behind Thaddeus Young and Hawes, at least for part of his rookie season, if not all of it.

Your thoughts...

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

CSN, TCN to air 25 of Union's 34 games in 2017

Twenty-five of the Union’s 34 games in 2017 will be featured on CSN and TCN, as Jim Curtin’s club vies for a second straight playoff berth.

Twenty matches will air on TCN, while five can be seen on CSN. The nine others will be appear across 6ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports 1.

The Union’s season opener on March 5 at the Vancouver Whitecaps will broadcast on TCN and the team’s home opener on March 11 against Toronto FC will air on CSN. The next three games — March 18 at Orlando City SC, April 1 at D.C. United and April 8 vs. the Portland Timbers — will be shown on TCN.

The Union are coming off an 11-14-9 season and their second-ever trip to the MLS playoffs in which they suffered a first-round exit to Toronto FC.

For the Union’s full 2017 schedule, click here.

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

Best of NHL: Toews nets hat trick in Blackhawks' win over Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Jonathan Toews had three goals and two assists and the Chicago Blackhawks beat rival Minnesota 5-3 on Tuesday night for their second win over the Western Conference-leading Wild in less than two weeks.

Toews notched his fourth career hat trick on an empty-netter with 1:02 left to stave off a spirited rally by the Wild, who began a franchise-record eight-game homestand on Feb. 8 with a 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks. Toews had a goal and two assists in that one and has 37 points in 35 career games against Minnesota.

Chicago's captain has been chewing up almost everyone else, too, with 20 points in his last 12 games. Toews' wing men Nick Schmaltz and Richard Panik had the other goals, giving the Blackhawks 34 goals in their last eight games. Their first line totaled nine points.

Mikael Granlund's second power-play goal for the Wild brought them within 4-3, before Ryan Suter hit the crossbar with a shot that nearly tied it (see full recap).

Islanders open 9-game road trip with win
DETROIT -- Calvin de Haan was credited with a go-ahead goal that caromed off an opponent late in the second period and the New York Islanders went on to beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 Tuesday night.

De Haan's shot from above the left circle was stopped by Petr Mrazek, but the rebound went off Detroit defenseman Xavier Ouellet and the back of the goaltender's left leg and into the net. John Tavares scored early in the third period to give the Islanders a two-goal lead and they coasted to the victory.

Josh Bailey had a goal and an assist, and Thomas Greiss stopped 26 shots for New York.

Henrik Zetterberg scored for Detroit and Mrazek finished with 19 saves.

The Islanders, in contention for a wild-card spot, began a stretch of nine straight road games by winning for the third time in four games and improved to 8-13-4 away from home (see full recap).

Crosby, Penguins take care of Hurricanes
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Sidney Crosby scored the go-ahead goal on a deflection in the second period, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 on Tuesday night.

Evgeni Malkin and Scott Wilson also scored to help the reigning Stanley Cup champions bounce back from their only loss since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh moved three points behind East-leading Washington and is 7-1-3 since the break.

Jeff Skinner scored for the last-place Hurricanes, who have their second five-game losing streak in the past five weeks. They have been outscored 19-4 during the current slide.

Matt Murray made 29 saves for the Penguins while Cam Ward stopped 19 shots for Carolina (see full recap).