If you didn’t know ESPN.com is running a Twitter hashtag, #NBArank, ranking the top 500 NBA players. They started from the bottom of course, and have worked their way up to the early 200′s. So far, 8 players from the Philadelphia 76ers have been ranked in the top 500.
Lavoy Allen #500
I guess it’s not so bad, considering Allen was a 2nd round pick of the 76ers in this year’s draft. Allen, from Temple wasn’t expected to be drafted but found his way down the street to the Wells Fargo Center anyway. Allen, the all-time leader in rebounds at Temple also got some high praise from his Head Coach at Temple, Fran Dunphy. “Might be the smartest players I’ve ever coached,” Dunphy said of Allen. Allen signed with Strasbourgh IG of the French League this summer; the deal has an opt-out clause allowing him to return to the NBA once the lockout is over.
Craig Brackins #454
Here’s another ranking that’s not as bad as it might seem. Brackins, ranked at #454, was originally a 1st round pick of the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2010 NBA Draft. He was later traded to the New Orleans Hornets before being dealt, yet again, to the Philadelphia 76ers a few months later. Brackins spent much of last season playing in the NBA Development League, seeing action at the NBA level in only 3 games. However, his multiple stints in the NBADL were very impressive. Brackins averaged over 17 points and 8 rebounds for the Springfield Armor. Brackins signed with Maccabi Ashdod BC of the Israeli League this summer, but is expected to return once the NBA lockout concludes.
Antonio Daniels #400
Daniels signed a 10-day contract with the Sixers at the beginning of April last season. After being out of the NBA since the 2008-09 season, Daniels saw action in only 4 games with the Sixers. Daniels is a free agent, and definitely won’t be brought back by Philadelphia.
Nikola Vucevic #391
The Philadelphia 76ers 1st round pick in this year’s draft, Nikola Vucevic ranks in at #391. Despite not having played one minute of NBA Basketball he’s somehow ranked higher than 109 other players on this list. Vucevic was impressive in pre-draft workouts and seems to have some upside, which the 76ers liked and needed at the Center position. The Montenegro native signed with Euro league team Buducnost in late August.
Tony Battie #362
The 14-year vet is far removed from being the 5th overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft. Paul Pierce’s guardian angel played in 38 games for the Sixers last season averaging just under 10 minutes a game. Battie is technically a free agent and just could be the end of the road for the veteran.
Jason Kapono #339
Jason Kapono was another baffling selection on this list compiled by “experts.” Kapono saw action in just 24 games for the Sixers, amazingly starting two games early in the season. He averaged just under 5 minute per game, and a busty .7 PPG. At one time Kapono was the NBA’s most accurate 3-point shooter; while that threat still exists to a certain degree Kapono simply shouldn’t be ranked this high. Kapono is also a free agent, and will not be back in a Sixers uniform.
Jodie Meeks #274
Meeks started 64 regular season games and all 5 playoff games for the Sixers last season in what could be called a break-0ut year for the 3-year pro. He averaged just over 10 PPG and scored a career high 21 points in a November game against the Miami Heat. Meeks gained Head Coach Doug Collins’ trust, finding his game throughout the season. Meeks looks to be an integral part of the young core the 76ers are building around.
Marreese Speights #236
Speights, the highest rated 76er on the list so far, seemed to decline last season. Playing in 64 games, he averaged only 5.4 PPG, his lowest total in his 3-year career. While Speights has never seen a fade-away jumper he didn’t like, it’s impossible to deny his talents. The only problem has been bringing them all together, which is probably why his play declined last year. Speights saw his minute’s drop last season under Doug Collins, in an attempt to have him play the “right way” and earn his minutes. Though, Speights dealt with an injury last year and the increased production of Elton Brand which also had a lot to do with his declining minutes.
Where will the rest of the 76ers rank?
If I had to guess, the remaining Sixers would rank in this order
- Andre Iguodala
- Elton Brand
- Jrue Holiday
- Thaddeus Young
- Louis Williams
- Evan Turner
- Spencer Hawes
Stay tuned, as we’ll recap the rest of the ESPN.com rankings as they’re released.