At NBA Draft Combine, Sixers talking to everyone

Georgia Tech's Derrick Favors has made a pitch to the Sixers: "I'm going to work hard . . . and play hard every game."
Georgia Tech's Derrick Favors has made a pitch to the Sixers: "I'm going to work hard . . . and play hard every game."
Posted: May 22, 2010

CHICAGO - Derrick Favors has a message for the 76ers.

"I'm going to bring my best every night," the Georgia Tech power forward said here at the NBA Draft Combine. "I'm going to work hard in practice and play hard every game."

One would assume that the 6-foot-10, 245-pounder's sales pitch to move up in the draft is a waste of time.

But is it, really?

Sixers president and general manager Ed Stefanski said using the second overall pick on Ohio State swingman Evan Turner in next month's NBA draft is not a lock. If Kentucky point guard John Wall and Turner are off the board, the New Jersey Nets are expected to take Favors at No. 3.

"We will review the whole draft like we've done all year long," Stefanski said. "We will watch film on a whole lot of people and we will come down with a conclusion.

"Evan Turner, obviously, is a terrific basketball player. But we will do all of our work and make a decision."

Stefanski, along with Sixers assistant general manager Tony DiLeo and the team's director of player personnel Courtney Witte, did some research here Thursday and Friday while attending the combine.

In addition to watching invited prospects work out at Attack Athletics, the trio interviewed a list of players that included Turner, Favors, Wall, Butler guard/forward Gordon Hayward, Connecticut forward Stanley Robinson, and Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins.

"Who knows? He might not be there" at No.2, Stefanski said of Turner. "He might to go the Washington Wizards," with the first overall pick.

If so, the Sixers will surely snatch Wall, right?

The freshman point guard is projected to go No. 1 to the Wizards.

"Obviously, John Wall, like Evan Turner, is a terrific basketball player," Stefanski said. "Like my answer [before], we will look at everything before we make a decision. We don't have to make it now. And we'll listen to all options from other teams that are wanting to move up.

"But we are very fortunate and very happy to be the No. 2 pick in the draft."

One trade rumor that briefly circulated here involved the Sixers and the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Timberwolves want Turner and would give the Sixers their No. 4 and No. 16 picks in exchange for the second pick.

"I won't comment on our trade talks or to the teams that we are talking to or to do our business in the newspaper," Stefanski said of the rumor. "What I will tell the fans is that we will listen to anything. But obviously, that will have to be a strong deal to give up the second pick in the draft."

For now, some players, such as Hayward, were surprised to interview with the Sixers. The sophomore is projected to go somewhere from 10th to 20th in the draft.

"They got the No. 2 pick. So I don't know how that's going to go," Hayward jokingly said of his interview. "But it was good. They have good people there. It was interesting talking to them and seeing kind of what they thought and thought of me."

Notes. Maryland's Greivis Vasquez, Texas' Dexter Pittman, Duke's Jon Scheyer and Tulsa's Jerome Jordan did not participate in Friday's workout.

Vasquez, a senior guard, returned to Maryland for his college graduation. Pittman, a senior center, returned home to Houston where his 16-year-old brother, Darius Johnson, had been shot and killed Thursday. Scheyer, a senior guard, has an illness. And Jordan, a senior center, suffered a pulled quad Thursday.


Contact staff writer Keith Pompey at 610-313-8029 or kpompey@phillynews.com.

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