At 6-7, Kennedy would project as a small forward or big guard. When the Sixers' guards began limping off, the biggest thing the kid had to face was reality.
David Wingate was out with a severely sprained right wrist, but he would be back, almost certainly as a starter.
Andrew Toney was out with a sprained foot, and even though it was the latest in a sequence of injuries, he would be back, too.
Vincent Askew was out with an inflamed Achilles' tendon, but he was already back.
"Those players will always be there, I can't be concerned about their status," Kennedy was saying yesterday, after the 76ers' 2 1/2-hour workout at St. Joseph's University. "I just have to play as well as I can every day."
He has the rest of this week to do that, then two remaining preseason games: Saturday night in Portland, Sunday night against the Trail Blazers in Corvallis, Ore.
"I've somehow always been lost in the shuffle," Kennedy said. "I've never been the type to be in the limelight. If you get caught up (in the personnel decisions), you can't concentrate on what you need to do. You need to give them a good effort every time you go on the floor. If you do that and something (negative) happens, you can say you got caught up in the numbers.
"(But) They drafted me for a reason. I think they're giving me a good shot, and that's the best I can hope for."
Here's the best he can hope for right now: The Sixers have nine returning veterans, are committed to first-round draft choice Chris Welp and are likely to keep second-round pick Askew. That means one more player - Kennedy (the second pick in the second round), third-rounder Hansi Gnad, fifth-rounder Frank Ross or free agent Jim Les - could stick until veteran free agent Cliff Robinson signs, or until a deal is made for an additional shooting guard or big man.
But what's a preseason for, if not to solve problems? Coach Matt Guokas needs stability at the off guard, he needs to reduce the average of 24.5 turnovers through the first six exhibition games, and he wouldn't mind seeing center Tim McCormick reduce by 6 to 8 pounds.
On the guards: "Right now it's an urgent situation as far as we're concerned . . . We're keeping our eyes and ears open."
On the turnovers: "I don't care how good a defense you're playing, even if you're scoring very well, if you're turning the ball over 24 times you won't beat anybody."
McCormick, meanwhile, spent the summer training with strength and conditioning consultant Pat Croce, adding upper-body bulk and strength and gaining 10 to 15 pounds.
"The problem," McCormick said, "is that I was given the weight of 250 to strive for, and the number stuck in my mind. I'm going to take it down a little . . . I'm not sure I'm comfortable at 250. I'm a little slower than I'd like to be. I've talked to Matty, and we've agreed that (dropping) 6 to 8 pounds might be a good idea."
Owner Harold Katz has said that adding a meaningful big man might also be a good idea, that adding Robinson might be a good idea. But Katz doesn't seem to be close to doing either.
"Our offer to Cliff is solid," Katz said. "Bob Woolf (Robinson's attorney) said he'd get back to us with something, but he hasn't done that."
The Sixers most recently put together an offer based on per-game appearances and incentives that would pay Robinson - at its maximum - well over $700,000. Robinson earned $600,000 last season.
"He's looking for longer length and larger dollars," Katz said. "This is part of the business. He's looking at (Detroit's) Sidney Green and thinking he's a better player. He's looking at Bernard King. I can appreciate that. But Cliff has to appreciate that he's coming off numbers far less than he's used to."
Green signed an offer sheet with New York worth more than $2 million over three seasons and has had it matched by the Pistons. King, a New York Knicks veteran free agent, has signed an offer sheet with Washington worth more than $2 million for two years, even though he has appeared in only six games over the last two seasons.
So how about coming up with a big man?
"Teams look at us," Katz said, "and say they're in the same shape we are."