What They’re Saying: 76ers Pick Marreese Speights

The News Journal of Delaware calls Speights,"Big man of the future."

The Sixers liked the 6-foot-10, 245-pound forward from Florida because of his versatility, which includes his ability to post up and shoot from the outside. And Speights also possesses the main prerequisite of anyone joining the Sixers these days -- the ability to run.

"We're a running team, and he's one of the best running big men in the draft," Sixers vice president Tony DiLeo said. "We need a post-up presence, and we think he will be a good post-up player.

"We've done a lot of research on him. He really fits us like a glove."

The Philadelphia Daily News says the addition of Speights is part of a larger renewal plan for the Sixers. With $11 million in cap space following a surprising playoff run, the Sixers are positioning themselves for a big splash in the free agent market. That allows some patience with Speights.

"With the 16th pick in the draft, we had a plan," Sixers GM Ed Stefanski said, "but it was only part of the plan. We got the player we wanted [Speights] with a very big upside.

"While we don't see him coming and helping immediately, this kid is a talented offensive basketball player and he is 6-10. But the $11 million is extremely important to us to get the player that we want to bring in here starting on July 1."

How Speights fits in, either now or next season, is the subject of this Philly Inquirer column. Plugging Speights in may mean shipping out the Sixers' most recent star.

If Speights is the power forward, Thaddeus Young the small forward, and Mystery Acquisition the shooting guard of the future, where does Andre Iguodala play? He's not a point guard. As demonstrated painfully during the brief playoff appearance against Detroit, he's not a shooting guard. And, honestly, are you going to pay him $12 million a year to split time with Young at small forward?

My 12-year old sister claims she wants to go to UF and then open her own restaurant. But, after comments like this, I wonder if she should go the Erin Andrews route.

Sis: Did the Florida guy go yet?
Me: Yeah.
Sis: Why didn't you tell me?
Me: He just went. Philadelphia picked him.
Sis: So, they just drafted him on potential?

That is some solid analysis there. At least for a 12-year old girl who thinks the Big Three are the Jonas Brothers. She might have been confused about if Speights wasn't drafted, he could go back to UF, but I'll give her the benefit of the doubt.

Finally, I was getting annoyed during the draft when it was constantly brought up how many freshmen were drafted. This thing is, if the NBA went back to no age requirement, there would be less freshmen drafted and more High School kids. Does anyone think Rose, Beasley and Mayo really wanted to go to college? At least Rose went to a school that had a legit shot at winning a championship, but I doubt that winning was even on the minds of Beasley and Mayo. Kids go to college for one season, taking a scholarship from a possible long term player in addition to killing their school's NCAA academic measures. (Can you see Mayo getting a degree?) The NBA could be moving closer to the NFL "three years out of high school" mark. That would create a domino effect, keeping guys in school longer and create dominant teams at the top of each conference.

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