What the 76ers are looking for in the June 25 NBA draft is not a mystery: some backcourt help.
The Sixers continued their preparation for the draft yesterday when five guards worked out for the club at the team's practice facility at the Pennsylvania College of Osteopathic Medicine. Showcasing their talents were Eric Maynor of Virginia Commonwealth, Jeff Teague of Wake Forest, Stefon Jackson of Texas-El Paso, Jermaine Taylor of Central Florida, and Lester Hudson of Tennessee-Martin.
Maryland's Greivis Vasquez was also invited to work out but injured his ankle Saturday at a multiteam workout in East Rutherford, N.J.
Without new coach Eddie Jordan in attendance, the five college stars tried to impress members of the Sixers' staff in various drills for an hour.
Several mock drafts have had Maynor or North Carolina's Ty Lawson going to the Sixers at the 17th pick. The VCU star led the Rams to the NCAA tournament twice, including a victory over Duke in the first round in his sophomore season.
The 6-foot-3 point guard averaged 22.4 points and 6.2 assists as a senior.
"It would be a great fit," Maynor said of a possible future with the Sixers. "That's why I'm in here working out, and I think I showcased my talent today."
The 6-5 Jackson is another player on the 76ers' radar. The Philadelphia native was invited for a second time in just a few weeks to work out.
"I played away for school, so to just come home and play for the Sixers would mean a lot to me," said Jackson, who played at Martin Luther King High and Lutheran Christian Academy.
He averaged 24.5 points last season for the Miners. Jackson said that players from low-profile schools need to put in a little more than their bigger-school counterparts at workouts.
"I've definitely got more of a chip on my shoulder coming from a smaller school," he said. "We don't get as much respect as the other schools."
Another intriguing prospect was the early-entrant candidate Teague, who still could pull out of the draft by today's deadline.
The 6-3 Teague averaged 18.8 points per game and led the Demon Deacons to a No. 1 ranking early in the season before Wake Forest faded and fell in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
He believes that meltdown hurt his draft stock, but he seems likely to stay in.
"For right now, I'm 100 percent in the draft," Teague said. "I want to make this my life, and I've been working hard, and I don't see why I shouldn't go for it."
The 6-4 Taylor was a dominant scorer in Conference USA for Central Florida, averaging 26.2 points per game, third in the nation.
Hudson, 6-2, played in the obscure Ohio Valley Conference but caught the eyes of scouts with his gaudy stats. He averaged 25.7 and 27.5 points per game in his two seasons at Tennessee-Martin after transferring from junior college. He was named the OVC player of the year.