Pick 15: Philly picks next, but they too don't seem right for Zeller, having picked the similar Nikola Vucevic just last year. Sure enough, they don't, instead opting for a more awkward fit.
Whilst picking for need over quality is not really the way to go, it's always nice if you can pick players who are both. The Sixers have obvious needs - anyone who can consistently score, some outside shooting, an athletic shot blocker and a big man plenty of bulk. Inevitably, then, they just someone who is none of those things; the artist formerly known as Mo Harkless (who now wants to be known as Maurice), who can learn how to be the next Thaddeus Young under the direct watch of Thaddeus himself.
The panel unanimously agrees that this duplication doesn't matter, as long as the player involved is the best available and/or has the highest upside. This is a frankly refreshing viewpoint that I guarantee Jon Barry doesn't share.
Harkless's rookie season was a mixed bag. He showed that through physical tools alone, he could affect the game on both ends just by being in the right place, but he also showed that he needs to put in considerable work on knowing where the right place is. He demonstrated real defensive potential at times, Shawn Marion-esque, yet not without mistakes and also an uncertain and unclean offensive game. There's a lot to like, but also a lot to do.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.