The first official news coming from the 76ers pre-draft build up landed just a few minutes ago: the Sixers will hold their first pre-draft workout on Saturday at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. The workout is scheduled to run from about 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and includes participants Lavoy Allen (Temple), Rick Jackson (Syracuse), Vernon Macklin (Florida), Greg Smith (Fresno State), Chris Wright (Dayton), and Tomislav Zubcic (Croatia).
The Sixers hold the No. 16 and No. 50 pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, which is scheduled for June 23. This first workout isn't a star-studded event, but it'll be a good starting point in narrowing down the prospects the Sixers are evaluating for their second-round pick. As we've talked about on here, it's quite likely the franchise will target a strong big man prospect with the first-round pick and a project, best-available-type with the second-round pick. Here's the lowdown on Saturday's participants:
1. Allen, a 6-foot-9 power forward from Temple University. Allen is listed on ESPN.com's overall prospect rankings as the 99th best prospect available in the draft. He's listed as the 26th best power forward available. Last season for the Owls, he averaged 11.6 points and 8.6 rebounds a game. He's projecting as a late second-round pick/undrafted prospect. Solid rebounder, good defender, solid touch, but cons are that he's inconsistent and occasionally lazy.
2. Jackson, a 6-9 power forward from Syracuse University. Jackson is listed as the 62nd best overall prospect and 17th best available power forward in the draft. He's also projecting as a second-round pick/undrafted. Wingspan of 7-2, averaged 13.1 points, 10.3 rebounds a game last season for the Orange. Strong rebounder and became a good finisher around the rim, but not skilled for a forward. He's from Philly.
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3. Macklin, a 6-9 power forward from Florida. He's listed as the 96th best overall prospect and 25th best available power forward. Again projected as a late second-round pick/undrafted. He averaged 11.6 points and 5.4 rebounds a game last season for the Gators. He's 24 years old, so quite old for his class, which could scare some teams considering most franchises want upside/youth/potential in the second round. Macklin can finish around rim, is long and athletic and runs the floor well, but the scouting knock is also that he can get sloppy and tired on the floor.
4. Smith, a 6-10 center from Fresno State. Smith is 20 years old and has a wingspan of 7-3. He's listed as the 66th best overall prospect and 7th best available center. Like all the aforementioned players, he projects as a late second-round/undrafted. Scouts say he's a solid low post player who is athletic for his size, but there's some concern because he didn't improve from his freshman to sophomore year at Fresno. He averaged 11.7 points, 8.1 rebounds last season in college.
5. Wright, a 6-8 small forward from Dayton. He's 22 years old and projected as the 75th best overall prospect and 18th best small forward. He averaged 13.2 points and 8.4 rebounds during his senior year at Dayton. Projects as second-round/undrafted. ESPN.com says scouts believe he's one of the best athletes in college basketball. Quick, explosive, plays hard on both ends. Knock on him is that he's a tweener, a shaky shooter and ballhandler.
6. Zubcic, a 6-11 small forward from Croatia. He's 21 years old and listed as the 59th best prospect overall and 15th best small forward. Scored 17 points and grabbed 5 rebounds at the Nike Hoops Summit, which boosted his status despite not playing much at Europe's highest levels. Can shoot the three, has point-forward potential, is long and lanky, very good shooter, quick for a big man. Negatives are that he needs to add strength, improve decision-making, and that he's unproven because hasn't played against top-notch competition for any length of time. He's projecting as a second-round pick.
There's the synopsis on the Sixers' first pre-draft workout. It's clearly an opening assessment of guys the Sixers will consider with that 50th overall pick. If you want to follow on Twitter, you can do that here: Deep Sixer. Also, we'll be holding our weekly Live Chat tomorrow (Friday) at 1 p.m.
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