All of the hype in the City of Brotherly Love has been building for months, leading up to tonight’s 2015 NBA Draft. While the beloved hometown Sixers possess the third-overall pick in the draft, there is still plenty of speculation about who exactly the team will select. There are talks that they’re targeting Ohio State guard D’Angelo Russell or potentially trading back as well. Nobody truly knows what general manager Sam Hinkie is thinking of.
That being said, I felt it would be fun to honor the NBA Draft by putting a Philadelphia Eagles twist on it. If head coach Chip Kelly had to switch sports and put together a starting five out of the Eagles’ current roster, who would make the cut? Keep in mind that Kelly would likely run a Mike D’Antoni-esuque offense with the team pushing the pace and playing “small ball.”
So who will make the cut for the imaginary Eagles’ starting five? Let’s take a look!
Point Guard: Brandon Boykin
It almost seems like a no-brainer to have Boykin run the show. He’s got blazing speed and may be the best athlete on the Eagles’ entire roster. At just 5-10, 185 pounds, Boykin has a slight build for the NBA but he’s built like a tank and would be able to attack the rim without a problem. Given his experience at cornerback, Boykin would likely translate to a good on-ball defender and would be able to stay in front of whoever he may be tasked with guarding. Let’s also not forget that Boykin has a ridiculous vertical and can do things like this:
Shooting Guard: Nelson Agholor
Boykin needs a running mate in transition and the rookie would fit in perfectly. Agholor may be a bit undersized to play shooting guard but he’s got great change of direction skills because of his route running and would be scary cutting around screens on offense. Agholor obviously has impressive speed given his 4.42 40-yard dash but it’s his athleticism that really stands out.
Although he didn’t participate in the vertical jump at the NFL Scouting Combine, it’s apparent that he can literally jump out of the gym after this posterizing dunk back during his playing days in high school:
Small Forward: Connor Barwin
At 6-4, 264 pounds, Barwin brings some much needed size to the Eagles on the court. He’s jacked and would look like LeBron James barreling down the court and attacking the basket. But Barwin isn’t just big for nothing, he actually has collegiate experience playing basketball at the University of Cincinnati. In fact, Barwin is so good, he was selected third overall in the Eagles Basketball Mock Draft 1.0 last offseason.
Here’s what Alex Smith of PhiladelphiaEagles.com had to say about Barwin on the court:
"Barwin is the first player taken in the Eagles Basketball Mock Draft that actually played basketball collegiately. Barwin has taken his game to the next level since his college days. He’s always been a physical player down low, but now Barwin is more of a playmaker. He is the “Jack” of the Eagles defense on the field and the court. In the Eagles’ most recent basketball game, the former Cincinnati Bearcat stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. It’s rare to see this kind of size/athleticism combo on the court."
Power Forward: Bennie Logan
Logan is a regular participant on the Eagles Charity Basketball team which boosted his chances of making their starting five. At 6-2, 315, Logan is undersized but his weight and physicality will help him win in the post. He also has long, 34-inch arms which will help defend younger players. Logan won’t be the most entertaining player to watch but he’ll do the dirty work and get the job done, likely developing into a fan favorite. With Boykin and Agholor as the guards, the Eagles need some toughness and trash talking up front and that’s what Logan will bring to the table.
Center: Brian Mihalik
This was the easiest choice I had to make. At 6-9, 302 pounds, Mihalik is the biggest player on the Eagles entire roster. But it isn’t like Mihalik is just some big, sloppy that can’t jump or really move. At his pro day, he recorded a ridiculous 35 1/2-inch vertical jump as well as a 4.89 40-yard dash. For him to be that size and be able to move like that, Mihalik could be a dangerous weapon for the Eagles basketball team in the paint. He could play a DeAndre Jordan-esque role as a giant, athletic target for lobs from Boykin and Agholor. Mihalik would be the anchor in the middle of the defense and a human dunk contest on offense.
That’s my prediction for the Eagles starting five, who would make your final line-up? Let me know in the comments below!
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