Greatest Players Drafted by the Sixers: Top Ten Thursday
The 2021 NBA Draft is happen a month later than a typical NBA season, approximately a month later than in the years before the 2020 Pandemic Shutdowns. Last week's Top Ten Thursday, we ranked the Top Ten Flyers Skaters Drafted by the Franchise. So this week, let's flip the script to the 76ers and checkout the top players drafted over the Franchise's history.
The prerequisites for my rankings this week includes an emphasis on career accomplishment plus individual recognition in terms of Awards and All-Star Game Selections. Before we get to the Top Ten List, here are my Honorable Mentions:
* Jerry Stackhouse (1995 NBA Draft - 1st Rd, 3rd overall - 2x All-Star)
*World B. Free (1975 NBA Draft - 2nd Rd, 23rd overall - 1x All-Star, 1x All-NBA Second Team)
*Nikola Vučević (2011 NBA Draft - 1st Rd, 16th overall - 2x All-Star)
*Thaddeus Young (2007 NBA Draft - 1st round, 12th overall)
*Red Kerr (1954 NBA Draft - 1st round, 6th overall - 3x All-Star)
10. Lou Williams (2005 NBA Draft - 2nd Rd, 45th overall - 3x Sixth Man of the Year)
-One of the last players to be drafted straight out of High School, Lou Williams has proven to be one of the best scorers in the league over the last 14 years. Williams is 12th among Active NBA Players in Points (15,239) and winning the Sixth Man of the Year three times has cemented his place in the NBA as a valuable players for any NBA team.
9. Andre Iguodala (2004 NBA Draft - 1st Rd, 9th overall - 1x All-Star, 1x All-Defense NBA First Team, 1x All-Defense NBA Second Team, NBA Finals MVP)
-A key member of the Golden State Warriors run of winning three NBA Titltes in four years, Andre Iguodala has been one of the elite role players in the NBA. The Sixers were expecting him to be a Franchise Player All-Star Caliber Player and instead he developed into one of the best Perimeter Defenders in the NBA. Iguodala has the Third Most Steals among Active NBA Players (1,734).
8. Jrue Holiday (2009 NBA Draft - 1st Rd , 17th overall - 1x All-Star, 2x All-Defensive NBA First Team)
-One of the best Perimeter Defenders in the NBA, Jrue Holliday has proven to be a high level second or third option on a Playoff team and he played an important role for the Milwaukee Bucks who just won the NBA Championship. Among Active NBA Players, Holiday has the 16th Most Steals (1,159) and the 11th Most Assists (4,916).
7. Joel Embiid (2014 NBA Draft - 1st Rd, 3rd overall - 4x All-Star, 3x All-NBA Second Team, 3x All-Defense NBA Second Team)
-In just Five NBA seasons, Joel Embiid has established himself as a Franchise Star player and one of the best players in the NBA today. He has three seasons in which he was top 12 in the league in Points Per Game and three seasons top 12 in Blocks Per Game. Embiid, when healthy, is a force of nature on both the Offense and Defense ends of the floor along with a yearly contender for the MVP Award at just 27 Years Old.
6. Chet Walker (1962 NBA Draft - 2nd Rd, 14th overall - 7x All-Star - Basketball Hall of Fame)
-When the Syracuse Nationals moved to Philadelphia and renamed their team the Sixers, the organization brought with them future Hall of Famer Chet "The Jet" Walker who had seven seasons scoring at least 15 Points Per Game and grabbing Seven Rebounds per game. In the 1960's and 1970's those numbers make you a perenial All-Star. Also, Walker shot at least 80 Percent Free Throw Shooting in seven of his 13 NBA seasons.
5. Billy Cunningham (1965 NBA Draft - 1st Rd, 7th overall - 4x NBA All-Star, 3x All-NBA First team, 72-73 ABA MVP - Basketball Hall of Fame)
-One of the underrated players of his era, Billy Cunningham averaged a double-double for six straight seasons with the Philadelphia Sixers in the NBA and Carolina Cougars in the ABA. Like many players of the 1970's, Cunningham played in both the rival leagues which dilutes his career accomplishments in the eyes of some Basketball Historians. But in Nine of his Eleven Pro Basketball seasons he averaged at least 18 Points Per Game and averaged at least Four Assists Per Game for seven straight years out of the Forward position.
4. Maurice Cheeks (1978 NBA Draft - 2nd Rd, 36th overall - 4x All-Star, 4x All-Defense NBA First Team - Basketball Hall of Fame)
-With Six Seasons finishing top ten in the NBA in Assists Per Game and for his career 15th in league history in Total Assists, Maurice Cheeks was one of the best Point Guards in the 1980's. Cheeks was also an elite defender who is Sixth All-Time in NBA History in Steals (2,310) and he was top ten in the league in Steals Per Game for ten seasons. Cheeks was efficient offensive player who shot at least 50 percent Field Goal Percentage for 11 seasons.
3. Hal Greer (1958 NBA Draft - 2nd Rd, 14th overall - 10x All-Star, 7x All-NBA Second team - Basketball Hall of Fame)
-This man has the most Points in Sixers Franchise History and Most Games Played, plus he was one of the top Guards in the NBA during the 1960's. Hal Greer had 19 or more Points Per Game for ten seasons and top ten in the NBA in Points Per Game for eight seasons. Greer was the number two scorer on the Sixers team that won the 1966-67 NBA Championship team along side another future Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain.
2. Allen Iverson (1996 NBA Draft - 1st Rd, 1st overall - 11x All-Star, 3x All-NBA First Team, 3x All-NBA Second Team, 2000-01 NBA MVP - Basketball Hall of Fame)
-Arguably Pound-for-Pound the greatest scorer in NBA History, "The Answer" is one of only three Superstar NBA Players to lead the 76ers franchise to an NBA Finals appearance. The Four-time NBA Scoring Champion, Iverson averaged at least 26 Points Per Game ten times and over 30 Points per game four times. Also he averaged at least Two Steals Per Game for nine straight seasons and averaged at least Six Assists per Game in seven different seasons; Iverson was more than just an elite scorer, he was a competitor in every aspect of the game.
1. Charles Barkley (1984 NBA Draft - 1st Rd, 5th overall - 11x All-Star, 5x All-NBA First Team, 5x All-NBA Second Team, 1992-93 NBA MVP Award)
-One of the greatest Power Forwards in NBA History and an elite athlete who maximized all his physical abilities, Charles Barkley was an undeniable force of nature in the NBA during his career. Barkley averaged at least 20 Points per game and 10 Rebounds per game for eleven straight seasons along with showcasing incredible efficiency on offense leading the NBA in Two Point Field Goal Shooting Percentage for five different seasons. Barkley was also an underrated defender who averaged at least one steal per game for 15 straight seasons.