With the NBA draft now just a little over a week away, Sixers management has been very busy scheduling workouts with some of this year’s top prospects.
On Monday and Tuesday, highly-touted forward Andrew Wiggins made his way to the PCOM center for a two day individual workout with the team, which further proved the Sixers’ desire of drafting him at all costs next Thursday in New York.
Intriguing point guard Dante Exum from Australia also held a workout Monday, which was much less publicized and reported as Wiggins’. ESPN’s Chad Ford believes there’s a high possibility he could be taken with the No. 3 pick if Wiggins isn’t available on draft night.
Most experts believe that the Sixers’ top pick is a three-headed race. Forwards Wiggins and Jabari Parker are looked at as the picks which would make the most sense, while center Joel Embiid would be too hard for them to pass up if he falls to No. 3.
The No. 10 pick isn’t as clear as No. 3 for the Sixers.
Last week the team had Kentucky big man Julius Randle in for a private workout. Randle used to be looked at as a top five selection, before questions surrounding a screw in his right foot now have NBA teams shying away from selecting the 6-foot-9, 250-pound power forward with a top pick on draft night.
Many experts now have the Sixers drafting Randle at No. 10, which would be a dream scenario for the team. The team is looking for a power forward to replace Thaddeus Young, who has a player option at the end of the season. Randle would be the perfect replacement to compliment Nerlens Noel in the low post. He averaged 15 points and 10.4 rebounds per game last season for the Wildcats.
Other targets the Sixers have been linked to are power forwards Aaron Gordon and Dario Saric as well as shooting guards Nik Stauskas, Gary Harris and James Young. Those are the two biggest need positions for the Sixers outside of small forward, where it looks like the team is really pushing to draft Andrew Wiggins on June 26.
Could the Sixers get another late first rounder?
Going by who the team has brought in for workouts this past month, it seems like the team is hoping to use some of their five second round picks in exchange for a late first rounder on draft night. They’ve worked out a slew of notable players who could drop into the bottom half of the first round such as Gary Harris, Rodney Hood, K.J. McDaniels, T.J. Warren and P.J. Hairston.
The team could be looking at Phoenix as a possible trade destination who has shown interest for Thaddeus Young in the past and which own picks No. 14, 18 and 27 in the first round. A combination of Young and a couple of the team’s second rounders might be enough for a deal to get done.