Who Will It Be Ed?

By Dan Stamm
|  Thursday, Jun 25, 2009  |  Updated 12:46 PM EDT
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What's Old is New For The 76ers

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Will Stefanski still be smiling after the smoke clears Thursday night?

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General Manager Ed Stefanski and the Philadelphia 76ers will do what pretty much every team not named the Clippers will do Thursday night -- roll the dice on a player who is anything but a sure bet.

The Clips hold the No. 1 pick in a one-player (Blake Griffin) draft. So, the Sixers along with the rest of the NBA must weigh positives and negatives when making the 17th pick in the NBA Draft.

That’s a assuming they stick at No. 17 -- certainly not a sure thing.

So, if the Sixers stick at No. 17 whom will they pick.

Stefanski made it no secret that the desired target was a guard.

The Sixers might want the best guard available, according to Stefanski. But it’s hard to see them not wanting a guy who can handle the point. It makes sense considering that pure point guard Andre Miller most likely will play elsewhere next season.

The guards who could still be on the board when the Sixers pick were UNC’s Ty Lawson, UNC’s Wayne Ellington, VCU’s Eric Maynor, Wake Forest’s Jeff Teague and/or international-star Brandon Jennings, according to PhillyBurbs.com.

Other guys who the Sixers would covet include Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn, UCLA’s Jrue Holiday and Davidson’s Stephen Curry but they will all most likely be well gone by the time the Sixers pick if you believe CBS Sportsline’s Mock Draft Board.

Let’s hope the Sixers knock one guy off their board. Jennings was playing overseas instead of the NBA so there are reservations about his skills in the American game.

And, Teague could be a prolific shooter in the NBA but don’t expect the next Steve Nash. The 6-foot-2 guard averaged about as many assists (184) as turnovers (180) in his two seasons at Duke.

Ellington was the most interesting possibility because of his local Wynnewood roots and shooting stroke. He shot better than 46-percent from the field and nearly 40-percent from beyond the arc in college but he only averaged 2.3 assists per game while turning the ball over 1.5 times per contest.

The Episcopal Academy guard just wasn’t a pure ball handler in college so the Sixers might not feel comfortable.

But Lawson and Maynor seemed better prepared to play point in the NBA.

Lawson averaged more than 6.5 assists per game last season while turning the ball over less than twice a game (3.48 assist to turnover ratio).

Maynor also averaged more than six assists his senior year at VCU but he also turned the ball over at a three-per-game clip. So, he might not be the guard the Sixers want.

But, the NBA Draft always surprises.

There was one other possible screwball the Sixers could face. What if 7-foot Ohio State Center B.J. Mullins drops to 17?

Mullins didn’t appear ready to be an immediate force in the NBA but given some seasoning he could be a beast in the middle. He was ranked as the second-best center behind Uconn’s Hasheem Thabeet And, let’s never forget -- you can’t teach height.

But, how could the Sixers possibly pick a guy who only started twice in college? Repeat after me -- the NBA Drafts never makes any sense.

So, as the draft continues to teach fans each year -- expect the unexpected. Even though Lawson (if available) would be the logical choice -- don’t bet on it.

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