Sixers Mailbag: First Half MVP, Possible Draft Options and More
Welcome to Derek Bodner’s Sixers Mailbag. You can check out his previous installments of the mailbag.
Each week Derek will answer reader questions and tweets and will appear on the Sports Bash with Mike Gill to answer your questions.
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In this week’s edition of the Sixers Mailbag, Derek answers your questions about the options at the top of the draft, the Sixers first half MVP, and moving on from Andrew Wiggins.
Here are this week's mailbag questions:
Q: Is Robert Covington the team's first half MVP?
I think he would almost have to be.
Consider this: Before the All-Star break, the Sixers played 1,219 minutes with Covington on the court, 903 minutes with him on the bench. With him on the court, they had a 94.9 offensive rating and a -6.0 net rating. With him on the bench they had an 87.7 offensive rating and a -14.0 net rating.
Granted, some of that was a product of the skill set simply being so missing from the team, but Covington's ability to make himself a threat, despite not having much space, was a big reason why they were all of a sudden playing competitive basketball. Some shooters would have been eaten up by the lack of space and neutralized without a real shot creator next to him, but Covington found a way to flourish despite that.
Full season MVP? Nerlens, no question. But first half? That was some unwatchable basketball before Covington joined the team.
Q: I'm getting a good feeling this year about Justin Anderson and Christian Wood. Any chance they can fall to the 2nd round?
Doubtful. I think they both end up going in the 20‘s. Wood just has too much length and athleticism, and there's always demand for a 3-and-D guy, and there are few in this draft better at that role than Anderson.
I recently wrote about Anderson for DraftExpress, so go check that out.
Q: In terms of timeline, how should Sixers fans want these 1st rounders to come in? Is it ideal for the Sixers to get them all this year?
In theory, spreading the picks out makes sense, since not only does it spread out when money will be tied down on cap holds and re-signing players, but also because you're less of a victim to a bad draft.
That being said, when looking at them on an individual level, I think it's clear you wanted OKC to convey this year, since that pick is likely going to be 6-7 (or more) spots worse next year. I also think you want both the Lakers and the Heat picks to convey, in large part because I really think the 3-8 portion of this draft is strong, so getting another pick in that range would be great, and having the Heat at 11, where one of those 8 could very realistically fall, would be great as well.
So, my answer: I'm hoping each one of the picks conveys, but, since it makes sense to spread them out, I'm not broken up if they don't, either.
Q: Does the fact that Noel hits restricted free agency 1 year before Embiid play into some peoples belief that he won't stick?