Sixers also focused on a second first-round pick

Former Michigan State guard Gary Harris (left), at the combine with UConn's Shabazz Napier, could be the Sixers' second pick in the June draft.
Former Michigan State guard Gary Harris (left), at the combine with UConn's Shabazz Napier, could be the Sixers' second pick in the June draft. (CHARLES REX ARBOGAST / AP)
Posted: May 18, 2014

CHICAGO - While most of the focus on the 76ers has been on their first pick in the NBA Draft, they are almost certain to get another first-rounder.

And getting that pick right could be just as vital and will require a little more research.

So, the Sixers were busy here late this week interviewing and evaluating prospects at the NBA Draft Combine.

Shooting guards Gary Harris (formerly of Michigan State) and Nik Stauskas (Michigan), and power forwards Doug McDermott (Creighton), Aaron Gordon (Arizona), Noah Vonleh (Indiana), and Clint Capela (Switzerland) could be solid second picks for the Sixers, if they are available.

The Sixers will receive that pick from the New Orleans Pelicans, unless New Orleans finishes in the top five of Tuesday's draft lottery. That's highly unlikely, considering the Pelicans finished with the 10th-worst record. New Orleans has a 4 percent chance of moving into the top three and cannot finish in slots four through nine.

If the Pelicans pick remains at 10, most mock drafts have the Sixers using it on Harris.

The all-Big Ten selection said his meeting with the Sixers went well.

"They are an ambitious organization," Harris said Friday. "They are ready to get things rolling, and they are ready to bring a good team back to the city of Philly."

The 6-foot-21/2 (without shoes), 204-pounder would love to contribute immediately to the Sixers' rebuilding process.

"Nothing is given," Harris said. "It is going to obviously be earned. But that could be a situation as well."

Harris averaged 16.7 points and 1.8 steals last season as a sophomore.

Gordon also believes he could be headed to the Sixers, based on his interview with the team.

"Obviously, they said they are a rebuilding team," Gordon said. "I said that's something that I'm interested in. A rebuilding team forces you to find your niche extremely quickly if you want to win.

"They said with a couple of people, I would be right there in the running."

Gordon's explosiveness makes up for standing just 6-71/2. He posted a 39-inch running vertical leap.

He averaged 12.4 points and eight rebounds as a freshman last season.

"They are getting a do-it-all guy at both ends of the floor," Gordon said of the team that drafts him. "I think a lot of people get caught up on one side or the other. Basketball is a two-side sport. Whoever drafts me, they are going to get somebody that can produce both sides, defensively and offensively."

Vonleh would also be a solid addition if he's still on the board.

The 6-foot-8, 247-pounder averaged 11.3 points and nine rebounds as a freshman.

Vonleh would add to the Sixers' Boston connection. Rookies Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams are from that area, and coach Brett Brown played at Boston University.

"Allen Iverson was one of my favorite players growing up," said Vonleh, who has 113/4-inch hands and a 7-foot-4 wingspan. "And I watched [the Sixers] play a little bit. They struggled this year, lost a lot of games. But they are definitely going to have a young core that's going to produce in a couple of years."


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

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