Thorn content with Sixers' draft position
Sixers president Rod Thorn has an interesting off-season ahead of him, beginning with Thursday's draft in which the Sixers have the 15th overall pick.
The talent pool is big-man heavy with a lot of parity, meaning it's the right year to be in need of a power forward or center.
"If you take (Anthony) Davis out of the mix, there are some guys who are going to be really good players but there isn't a heck of a lot of difference," Thorn explained. "There's a whole bunch of guys after you take him out and a lot of it is in the eye of the beholder. I think this is a good time to be 10 to 20. There are some good players there that can turn out to be as good as some of the guys taken a little higher."
Thorn, therefore, does not see the Sixers moving up right now, feeling content with their current position and the talent that will be on the board at that time.
"If you go big you would like to get an athletic big," Thorn said. "Our guys aren't super athletic, our bigs. So if you could get an athletic big who can rebound and help defensively and make a jump shot, that would be a real coup for us.
"I think we are going to have a choice at 15 of two or three guys we like. There are two or three guys that bring excitement to us, but they may not be there. But we are hopeful."
Free agency opens three days after the draft. Thorn and his staff will again have tough decisions to make with their own free agents, as well others on the available market. Unrestricted free agents Spencer Hawes and Lou Williams are the team's headliners in this field. Both players will have 10 days to see their worth on the open market before any deal will get done here or elsewhere.
"Guys are going to ask for a certain range, but until you actually start talking you don't really know. Everyone wants as much as they can get," Thorn said. "Everybody tries to overprice themselves to start with, but the reality jumps up very quickly of what you are worth out there. The scary thing this year is so many teams that have money and are way under the cap and it only takes one team."
Contingency plans are essential on draft night and in free agency. If Thorn knows one thing that is that he can’t stand pat. The Sixers need to use the momentum they built in the postseason and make sure they come back better, especially offensively.
"If you look at some of the teams behind us, they are getting better and some of the teams ahead of us are still going to be good," Thorn said of the Eastern Conference. "I think it is imperative that you always try to get better. If you don't, teams start passing you.
“We are in that area where there are a lot of teams that there aren't a heck of a lot of difference in so we have to try and get better because we would like to move up and not be the eighth team in the playoffs. We are going to have to get better to do that. We don't shoot the ball well. We had a lot of 30-percent shooting nights in the playoffs when we were playing really good defensive teams so we have to try to get better shooting the ball."
Filling that shooting need likely won't come in the draft because Thorn was quick to point out that there are not many shooting guards to be had this time around from the college ranks or overseas.
One guy who once was an All-Star level shooting guard in the NBA is Brandon Roy, who was amnestied by the Portland Trail Blazers last year because his knee injuries had mounted and forced the five-year pro into early retirement.
After sitting out the 2012 shortened season, Roy is now contemplating a comeback and numerous teams have expressed interest in offering the career 19-point per game scorer the mid-level exception, though it doesn't sound like the Sixers are among them.
"Hopefully he can come back because he was a terrific player," Thorn said. "He was an old-school type of player. The guy was a great all-around player without being super athletic. Hopefully his knee is good enough to come back. Anybody who takes him is taking a chance. I am sure the top teams in the league will give him a really good look."