The Same Problem
The Philadelphia 76ers enter the 2013 draft with the same problem they had in 2012; they need a center. Last year, they traded their best player for Andrew Bynum who never played for them due to injuries, and now his contract has expired. The 76ers should draft Kelly Olynyk of Gonzaga, who is a center who can play the position for the nest decade. With the 11th pick in the draft, he will probably be the best center who is still available. As a matter of fact, the Sixers.com staff has him rated at number 14 on the draft board.
Olynyk is a legitimate 7 foot center with a polished and highly effective post skills set. On the college level, he was a prolific scorer averaging 18 ppg, and making 66% of his shots. He demonstrated an exceptional understanding of the game, and was one of the dominant centers at the college level. He has the ability to score underneath the basket with up and unders, pump fakes, and knock downs. He can shoot from mid range, and even from the outside. While solid in the open floor, he is more effective in half court play. He has decent agility and coordination. He can effectively play out on the perimeter, and has the ability to pass the ball and even dribble to the basket. He does a good job of shielding defenders from the ball when going to the basket. He is strong and has solid rebounding ability. He seals off his man and holds his position after catching a pass and this sets up easy baskets. He uses good footwork and employs a variety of effective fakes, spin moves and counter moves to draw contact and get opponents off balance. He finishes his shots under the basket even after contact from the defenders. Quick hands and good reflexes allow him to catch passes and quickly go up for shots. He is also a good defensive player. He stays between his man and the basket and does not usually bite on the pump fake or go for steals. He is motivated and plays with consistent energy and effort. His improvement over his college career demonstrate his work ethic and coachability.
His Role With The 76ers
Olynyk would provide a much needed post presence, that would require extra defensive attention and develop space for the shooters. Moreover, the point guard can drive to the basket and dump the ball off to him. Olynyk can then shoot from the post, or pass the ball back to the outside shooters when the defense collapses on him.
He would improve the offense and the defense by getting much needed rebounds. On defense, he would help protect the rim.
As a citizen of Pennsylvania, I am a lifelong 76er fan. I remember the Wilt Chamberlain and the Julius Erving Eras like they were yesterday.