Khalif Wyatt understands he has little margin for error in his quest to make the 76ers. The free agent guard from Temple has signed a partially guaranteed contract, so every practice and game serves as an audition.
What is interesting is that coach Brett Brown has talked on a few occasions about the need for Wyatt to get in the best possible physical condition.
Yet there is something about Wyatt that definitely intrigues Brown. On a team that may have trouble scoring, Wyatt has the type of no-conscience mentality that is needed in the NBA. He feels he can score on anybody.
And while there are other parts of his game that need major work, Brown is watching Wyatt with a close eye.
“I see signs of NBA potential,” Brown said during the Sixers final day of training camp Wednesday at St. Joseph’s University.
Brown isn’t effusive in his praise of Wyatt, but he says enough that makes one believe that the rookie coach is interested in seeing what lies ahead.
“I think that he is like all the young guys, he has a long way to go but he does some NBA-type things,” Brown said.
The physical condition of Wyatt and all the players can't be emphasized enough. After training camp, Wyatt appeared drained from the experience.
“I knew it was going to be a long five days, a couple of two a days and I knew it was going to wear you down and got to keep your energy up,” Wyatt said. “For the young guys they expect you to bring energy every day.”
Actually, on this young Sixers team, nobody is afforded the luxury of leaving any energy at the door.
What might seem like a lot of energy to Wyatt may be interpreted differently by the coaching staff.
“We keep talking about him getting to be as fit as he can because he gets quicker and faster,” Brown said. “And I think you start getting a little bit of a swagger and tougher. Those are the areas I will always challenge Khalif.”
One gets the impression that Brown thinks Wyatt can be a factor on the offensive end in the NBA if the gets the rest of his game together.
“He has a long ways to go like everybody else but at times you see things that make him unique,” Brown said.
At this stage, the Sixers can use unique talent. That is why Wyatt should get a long look to see what he can do and it’s why these upcoming preseason games in Spain and England will be the continuation of a most interesting evaluation period for the former Temple star.