The 76ers will hold three more workouts before next Thursday's NBA Draft. The workouts are scheduled for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. The 2011 NBA Draft will be held at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The Sixers hold the No. 16 and No. 50 picks in the draft. If you want to follow all the happenings on Twitter, including updates on trades, workouts, etc., you can do that here: Deep Sixer. As a quick update on the potential trade options the Sixers are considering: things have been very quiet for the last few days. But that doesn't mean things will remain quiet through the draft. The Monta Ellis-for-Andre Iguodala deal is still a possibility, and we should have resolution on it one way or the other before next Thursday as the Golden State Warriors will want to know which way they should go in the draft.
We'll be holding our weekly Live Chat today (Friday) at 1 p.m. If you want to join the chat, you can do that here: Live Chat.
Of the pressing Sixers' issues -- trades, the lockout, Evan Turner's jumpshot (jokes, everybody!) -- the most timely one right now is what the Sixers might do with that No. 16 pick. In this Sunday's edition of the Inquirer, we'll be running Part V of our Sixers' 2.0 Blueprint series. The final part will discuss which players the Sixers are focusing on as their potential selection. Drafts are always tricky because there is a lot of posturing. Teams don't necessarily want to reveal which players they're most interested in because they're constantly concerned the team above them in the draft will wonder why another team is intrigued with so-and-so and then they'll starting thinking, "Maybe we should be into this guy, too!" As you can imagine, all teams are tight lipped during this process to protect their interests. That said, what follows is a list of eight players that are somewhere in the mix on the Sixers' board. While it's certainly not 100 percent, it's very likely that the team's draft pick will come from this list. The following players are in no particular order:
1. Chris Singleton, 6-foot-9 small forward from Florida State University. Singleton will almost certainly be long gone by the time the Sixers pick at No. 16. He's projected to go somewhere in the range of 9-12, but the Sixers love his game. If somehow he drops (like Jrue Holiday did), the Sixers seem to think he has enough separation of talent that they could forgo need (a big man) and scoop up Singleton. Very unlikely, though, that he's still on the board.
2. Justin Harper, 6-9 power forward from the University of Richmond. This kid works hard, has a good attitude, and impressed the team during his time with the Sixers. He is athletic and he can also shoot from the outside. Right now, he's projected to go a little bit lower than the Sixers, like in the 25-30 range, but if a few of the team's top picks are off the board, he's probably a lot higher on the list than you'd think.
3. Marcus Morris, 6-9 power forward from the University of Kansas. I know what you're thinking: shouldn't this read "Markieff Morris"? Yes, most mock draft have Marcus gone in the 8 to 12 range of the draft, but it's not completely ridiculous to think that he could slip. If the Charlotte Bobcats don't take Marcus at No. 9, there are a handful of teams afterward that are looking for different positions to fill. Will he make it all the way to No. 16? Like Singleton, probably not, but keep your eye on what Charlotte does at that No. 9 spot.
4. Nikola Vucevic, 7-foot center from the University of Southern California. The Sixers like this kid because he's one of the only true big men in the draft. Since measuring out as the tallest prospect (in socks, with shoes, wingspan) at the Chicago combine, he's moved up the draft board from second round to first round. In the last 10 days, he's even been creeping higher up the first round. He has an NBA body and can fill in minutes on the interior. He's going to go somewhere in the 14-20 range, so he's right in the Sixers' neighborhood.
5. Tristan Thompson, 6-9 power forward from the University of Texas. ESPN's latest mock draft has Thompson as the team's selection at No. 16. This is probably a logical selection, especially if a few other players are off the board. Thompson has good size and wingspan, although he's more scrappy and effective than overwhelmingly athletic. He's only 20 years old, so he'd also be a nice addition to the team's young nucleus.
6. Donatas Motiejunas, 6-11 power forward from Lithuania. It's tough to say exactly where the Sixers have this big man on their current board because he's expected to come in for a workout early next week. At that point, the Sixers decision makers will get a better idea of what skills Motiejunas might bring. He obviously possesses the size, but right now he's not the kind of developed physical presence the team would want to land in drafting a big man. Jury's out until early next week as to where Motiejunas will land on the team's prospect rankings.
7. Jordan Hamilton, 6-9 small forward from the University of Texas. The Sixers like his scoring ability and size against other guards/small forwards, but he's on this list as a potential option if the Sixers draft board gets wiped out by other team's selections from picks 8 to 15. It's not an impossible result, but it would only happen if many other pieces fell into place (or fell out of place, depending on how you looked at it).
8. Kenneth Faried, 6-8 power forward from Morehead State. Although the selection of Faried is an extreme long shot, perhaps the longest shot on this list, I include him because his rebounding prowess would nicely fill a hole the Sixers need filling. Also, I know dozens of people who read this blog are Faried lovers! That said, Faried probably won't become a Sixer on June 23, but he has a much better chance than a lot of other guys projected to go in the first round.
Again, Live Chat today at 1 p.m: Live Chat.
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