Was Taking Jahlil Okafor the Right Move for the Sixers?
"They were fortunate to get him," ESPN basketball insider Jeff Goodman told me on the Sports Bash. "They got a player that most people thought would go number one for most of the year and most of the last couple of years."
With Russell off the board and the Sixers already home to big men Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid - was taking the best available player, Okafor, the right fit and right move for a team that has won just 37 games the past two years?
"Absolutely the right guy," Goodman. "I would have worked the trade market as much as I could have at that point to see what came my way - but they made the right move, you got to take Okafor in that situation, Okafor can help you win games now. I like it, I just want to see what he (Sam Hinkie) does next and maybe this organization can move in the right direction."
Okafor is used to be the best player, he was highly regarded coming out of high school as the nation's top recruit. He landed at Duke, there he won a National Championship in his lone season with the Blue Devils and ,amy projected him to be the top overall pick in this year's draft.
"I'm used to expectations," Okafor told the media today at a press conference on the floor at The Center. "I've always been that top guy. My expectations are always higher than everybody else's."
While expectations for Okafor in Philly are high, fans are wondering how Okafor will fit in with Noel and Embiid, if the later is healthy and ready to play. Some suggest that draft Okafor is an indication that Embiid isn't healthy enough to play this season.
"I just don't know how well he fits," Goodman stated. "With Noel and obviously if Embiid, you got three bigs, last I checked you can only play two of them at once, they all want to play a lot of minutes."
Many people are still wondering after the third Sam Hinkie draft, what's the plan? The plan looks clear to me - take the best players and stockpile as many of them as you can.
In 2013 the Sixers had the sixth overall pick and took an injured Nerlens Noel, he missed the entire 2013-2104 season, but was the best player on the board. In 2014 the Sixers had the third overall pick and took a player with injury concern, Joel Embiid, who might have been the top pick if he didn't have those injury concerns - he missed the whole 2014-2015 season.
Now with the third pick and in desperate need of a guard, they took Okafor - the best player available.
"They got a really good player, who I think can be a 10-time all-star," Goodman said. "He can score, he can make life easier for everyone around him because of the attention and the double that he will command."
While the Sixers might say "this starts now" it won't really start until one of these guys prove they are the franchise player they yearn for when they started this "plan".
Maybe, just maybe that guy is Oakfor or Noel or Embiid - Sixers fans can only hope.
(Listen to ESPN basketball insider Jeff Goodman talk about the Sixers Draft)