Sixers poised to do their homework at rookie combine

Posted: May 16, 2014

CHICAGO - It's an "all-in" situation in which the 76ers find themselves now, so it is not surprising that general manager Sam Hinkie, coach Brett Brown, at least some of his coaching staff and some of the organization's scouts will unite for the all-important rookie combine, which will take place just outside here at a gym owned by Michael Jordan's former trainer.

Once workouts start at Attack Athletics, however, expect the Sixers' organizational team to divide and conquer much of the time. With so many holes to fill on a team that won only 19 games last season, and now armed with two first-round draft picks and five more in the second, Hinkie and company won't be evaluating only positional needs, but also overall talent. So when the players split into positional workouts, expect the Sixers' higher-ups to be all over the gym.

Many intriguing players will take the court, but the one who probably will go to the Sixers with their first pick won't be. Consensus top picks Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid will not be participating. Wiggins (Kansas) and Parker (Duke) probably are comfortable with their body of work from one season in college, while Embiid (Kansas) is said to be still recovering from the stress fracture in his back that forced him to miss the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments.

Hinkie and team scouts have seen all three play in person during their college seasons, but being able to watch them drill up close is always helpful, especially for Brown, whose job, he said after the season, is "to figure it all out."

Also, no teams will be able to interview Wiggins, Parker or Embiid. That is as big as not seeing them play, as organizations put huge stock into those interview sessions.

Tuesday is draft lottery night, when the Sixers will find out where they will pick in the first round. If the lottery holds true to the current standings - though it rarely does - Hinkie will be in the envious spot of holding the second and 10th overall picks. Should the team get that second pick, the Sixers almost surely will choose from among Wiggins, Parker and Embiid. There is little doubt about that.

Should the team hold on to the other pick, that's where things will get very interesting. Many Sixers fans would love to see the team snare Creighton scorer and consensus college player of the year Doug McDermott. Others would like the team to grab a true shooting guard, someone who can really stroke it from the outside and provide more spacing for rookie of the year Michael Carter-Williams. Michigan's Nick Stauskas or Duke's Rodney Hood could fit that bill.

Some would like to see the team grab a legitimate big man who could play alongside Nerlens Noel, someone such as 6-11, 280-pound Bosnian Jusuf Nurkic, or perhaps Indiana's Noah Vonleh a 6-10, 240-pounder.

With still more than a month to go until the draft, the anticipation of what the Sixers will do is rising. This week leading up to the lottery will only serve to heighten that.


On Twitter: @BobCooney76

Blog: ph.ly/Sixerville

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