2012 NBA Draft Grades: Maurice Harkless to 76ers at No. 15

Philadelphia 76ers | Last Season: 35-31 (Advanced to Eastern Conference Semifinals) | Draft Picks: 15, 45, 54

Season Summary:  The 76ers shocked everyone last year by taking out the Chicago Bulls in the playoffs and pushing the Boston Celtics to 7 games.  Of course, playing a team that lost their two best players to injury certainly helps.  The 76ers had a good year, but they seem to be stuck.  They have a lot of questions about their roster and there really is not a star on the roster.  Could be something that they need to address fairly quickly.

Draft Needs:  They could amnesty Elton Brand, which means they are going to be looking for a power forward of some type.  They have way too many tweeners as it is, so it needs to be a solid power forward. Arnett Moultrie should get a long look at this spot.  He would certainly replace Brand.

#15 Pick: Maurice Harkless | SF | St. John’s

Harkless came out of the gate with a full head of steam in his freshman year.  He scored a conference record 32 points in his Big East debut against Providence, and became just the 2nd St. John’s player to win Big East rookie-of-the-year honors.  He’s a gifted athlete who can rebound, block shots, and attack the basket.  He needs to get bigger and stronger for the NBA style of play.  His stint at St. John’s was short-lived, but he should be considered one of the Red Storm’s best players.

Grade: B

2012-2013 Outlook:  The 76ers will hope to improve on last season and become a more solid team. Andre Igoudala is on the trade block and Lou Williams might not be back.  They could undergo a lot of overhaul, which could make or break their season.  They might not be a top team in the East, but they could be a threat.

Check out all of Rant Sports 2012 NBA Draft Grades from the 1st Round.