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Early Mock Draft Has Sixers Thinking Big Once Again

By Ray Boyd

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- It is never too early to start thinking about the NBA Draft, especially when your team has just four wins as we get set to turn the calendar. released their first mock draft of the season in anticipation of the 2015 NBA Draft and according to the projection, the Sixers will continue their trend of going big.

In 2013, the Sixers selected Nerlens Noel (6'11") out of Kentucky. In 2014, the team took Joel Embiid (7'0") out of Kansas.

Next up could be Duke's Jahlil Okafor (6'10"). CBSSports has Okafor going to the Sixers at #1.

Okafor has been the consensus number one pick for 2015 since before he even took to the floor for Duke. Since the games actually began, the freshman has continued to hold that standing and continues to impress.

His combination of power and finesse is something that many NBA veterans are still seeking to master and he is just 19 years old.

On the season, Okafor is averaging 17.4 points, 8.9 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. His field goal percentage on the year is 65.2%.

The big man has shown that he possesses an impressive offensive game fully equipped with effective back to the basket post moves, a solid ability to face up defenders and an ability to pass out of pressure to find open teammates.

When you watch Okafor play, it all seems perfect. The Sixers are aligned to once again have a shot at the top pick and this guy is not disappointing so far.

The issue is, can the Sixers afford to draft big for a third season in a row.

Embiid, Noel and Okafor could not all play together in the same lineup for the Sixers. Twin Towers? Maybe, but three would definitely be a crowd for the Sixers.

If the Sixers once again wind up with the choice of taking the country's best big man out of college, Sam Hinkie will be forced to weigh drafting for need against drafting the best player available.

In case you are one of those who would pass on Okafor to select a player that fills an immediate opening on the roster, you may want to watch this first.

While Okafor plays center for Duke, his skill set translates into being a pretty dominant NBA power forward capable of protecting the rim on the defensive end while also being one of your top scorers on the offensive side of the ball.

That may be a combination too tempting to pass up if the Sixers get the chance.

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