By Art Beitchman, DOCBLOG
As the dust begins to settle on the 2014 NBA draft — and with Daily News columnist Ed Rendell still dreaming about Doug McDermott and his DN colleague Dick Jerardi pissing on Sam Hinkie’s long-term plan — it is obvious that these two hoops watchers don’t get it.
It’s very clear to anyone watching that Hinkie’s plan for the 76ers is to be a defensive-oriented-first team; and with Nerlens Noel and the addition of Joel Embiid the Sixers will have a front line force for the first time in decades.
The 76ers simply could not afford to pass up 19-year-old Kansas center Embiid, the 7-foot, 250-pounder who can move and defend with frightening skill. He had to be their pick at No. 3 overall. Of course his foot injury is a natural concern, but that will heal in due time — that’s why they made the pick.
Then, at No. 10, the 76ers picked the pockets of the Magic, eventually getting PF Dario Saric from Croatia, who admits he’s not strong enough yet to play in the NBA now but in a couple of years the team will have a skilled big European player. Hinkie also got the Magic to cough up a valuable draft pick in 2015.
At No. 32 they snagged Clemson forward K. J. McDaniels, a sticky defender and hustler who had a very good college career, and should be in Orlando next week for the summer league the 76ers will be participating in with the rest of the rookie class.
Jerami Grant, another SF from Syracuse was picked at 39; Jordan McRae, a shooting guard from Tennessee who popped almost 19 a game will get a good look in the summer leagues and camps going forward. Point guard Pierre Jackson was re-acquired from the Pelicans; he too should get a chance to be a back-up PG to MCW in the fall.
Overall, I believe the 76ers did very well in the draft, remember there are no quick fixes in an extremely competitive league, the team isn’t building to just make the playoffs and get bounced in the first round. They are attempting to build a championship contender, one piece at a time.
In reality it can’t be done any other way, and the picks they made last week will help them attain that goal.