We are now less than two weeks away from the NBA draft. Here's our weekly look at who the national "experts" are projecting the Sixers to take, plus other links and updates.
The Daily News' Phil Jasner is reporting that the Sixers are bringing in Georgia Tech forward Derrick Favors and Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins on Friday, June 18th.
76ers prsident and GM Ed Stefanski told Jasner that the team is not planning on trading the second overall pick:
"We're listening to anybody who calls, but we have not shopped the No. 2 pick whatsoever," Stefanski said the other day. "We don't shut our phones off, but it would take a blockbuster for us to consider moving the pick."
The Sixers confirmed that Ohio State guard/forward Evan Turner and Syracuse forward Wes Johnson will be coming in for workouts with the team. Turner will be in Philadelphia on Thursday, June 17th and Johnson will work out with the team on Saturday, June 19th.
Michael Lee of the Washington Post says the Sixers will have Kentucky guard John Wall in for a workout on Wednesday, June 16th. Lee also reports that Evan Turner will not work out for the Wizards.
ESPN Insider Chad Ford previously predicted that Derrick Favors would be the pick for the Sixers, but in his most recent mock draft, Ford has them taking Turner. He also mentions some potential trade rumors swirling around the league:
"While the signals certainly could be legit, I take some of those indications with a grain of salt. Since Turner is the consensus No. 2 pick in the draft, the Sixers want other teams trying to trade up for him (the Wolves and Pacers seem to be the hottest suitors) to believe they're taking him. If teams think he's slipping, they'll begin dealing with New Jersey instead. For what it's worth, the Sixers are still asking teams to take back Elton Brand's contract in a deal for the No. 2 pick. But virtually every GM I've spoken with believes the Sixers will soften their stance as we get closer to the draft. The Sixers also are exploring other trade possibilities. The team had Andre Iguodala on the trade block in February and might look to put him back"
The Hoops Report says the Sixers can't pass up on the immediate impact Turner could have:
"Sure, the Sixers could go for a big man with upside, but Turner is ready to play right now. He could start for the Sixers immediately and could be the best rookie in the league. His basketball IQ and work ethic is off the charts."
Mike McGraw of Yahoo! Sports still thinks the Sixers should draft Turner, but is a little suspect about the team bringing in Favors and Cousins for workouts:
"A recent report suggested the Sixers are trying to schedule a workout with both Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins about a week before the draft. Does this mean Philadelphia is having second thoughts about taking Turner with the second pick? Maybe, but the team simply might be covering its bases. Consider this quote from new coach Doug Collins: “I thought when Andre [Iguodala] was a two and Thaddeus [Young] was a three, they were both out of position. When Andre is a three and Thaddeus a four, that team won 40 games.” Among Turner, Favors and Cousins, only Turner is a candidate to play two guard."
Sean Deveney of The Sporting News belives the Sixers might be thinking about trading out of the No. 2 spot:
"The Sixers may be wavering on making Turner the No. 2 pick, but you always have to be wary of smokescreens at this time of year. Philly could make a deal, too."
AOL Fanhouse's Tom Ziller thinks the Sixers might not be keeping the No. 2 pick after all:
"So maybe Evan Turner isn't the universal No. 2 pick after all. NBA.com headliner David Aldridge reports the 76ers have set up a face-off between touted big men Derrick Favors and DeMarcus Cousins a week before the draft. Could the Sixers be considering passing on Turner, college's Player of the Year, for either the the sushi-raw Favors or the (supposedly) risk-addled Cousins? Or are the Sixers trading down to No. 4? The Wolves, who pick fourth, could definitely use Turner and have been rumored to be looking for ways to get him. A package including Al Jefferson has been mentioned. For my money, Jefferson is too good to make up the difference between Turner and Cousins, so in such a scenario Philadelphia would probably need to give Minnesota back something of value. Unfortunately, the Sixers are a bit light in that department. There's also the matter of the team in the No. 3 spot, New Jersey. If Philadelphia decides on one of the big men, swapping picks with Minnesota runs the risk of putting said big man in play for the Nets. If it's Favors, that goes doubly so. The Nets could also use Turner. If the Nets and Wolves want Turner, and the Sixers don't ... I'm not saying it'll be a bidding war, but it will at least be mighty interesting."
All three CBS Sports mock drafts say the Sixers will take Turner.
Continue to check back every week for more draft projections.
Daniel Abelson is a sophomore at Drexel University and a Philly.com Sports intern.