Big, strong and athletic. That is what the Sixers have said they are looking for when they make their first pick, No. 15, in Thursday's NBA draft. They had a player in for a workout Tuesday who fits that description in 7-1 center Meyers Leonard, out of Illinois. Leonard may or might not be available when the Sixers pick, and they may or may not want him. It's all still a mystery as to whom they may select and if they'll stick with selecting an inside presence.
"We had a good workout out today. Meyers Leonard is a guy who is in our mix," Sixers GM Rod Thorn said. "He's over seven feet, has a great body, can shoot the ball and is very athletic. So he's definitely a guy who is in our mix."
That mix, Thorn conceded, includes maybe a handful of players that interest the team. And they most likely won't be moving from that 15 spot.
"I don’t see us moving up," said Thorn. "I think we’re content to be about where we are right now. There are some cases that you couldn’t even move up if you wanted to. As of right now I don’t see us moving up. I’d say in a normal draft 15 is probably about the cutoff of players who you think are going to be good players. This year I think it goes a little bit deeper than that. We’ve gone over the stuff ad nauseam with our scouts, with people, with Tony (DiLeo) and Courtney (Witte). I think we’re going to have a choice at 15 of 2 or 3 guys we like.
This draft is loaded with power forwards, whether it's a talented class is yet to be seen.
"Definitely there are more fours and fives who will be NBA players in this draft. Not as many twos as normal and not as many ones. The depth of the draft is in fours and fives. You always hope that whoever you draft can play in your rotation. Sometimes that doesn’t happen. If you take a real young kid, let’s say, that you think has a real good upside might not be able to play that much right away. But I think any time you draft 15 you’re hopeful the guy can play in the rotation.
"There are two or three guys that bring excitement to us but they may not be there. We’re hopeful. Our coaches are included in this too, there are several guys that we like who we think can come in and play for us."
Perhaps Leonard is among that group. We'll find out on Thursday.