Vonleh thinks he'd be a good fit for Sixers

Indiana's Noah Vonleh. (Michael Conroy/AP)
Indiana's Noah Vonleh. (Michael Conroy/AP)
Posted: June 27, 2014

NEW YORK - When Noah Vonleh was playing high school ball for the New Hampton School in New Hampshire, he and his teammates took part in the annual National Prep School Invitational. In one game, with the shot clock winding down, Vonleh drove the lane, went up and under and banked in a tough game-winning shot with a highly touted 6-10 shot-blocker guarding him.

The defender? That would have been former Tilton High star Nerlens Noel.

After tonight, when the 76ers are slotted to pick third and 10th in the NBA draft, Vonleh could find himself teaming with Noel and another New England native in Michael Carter-Williams. A 6-10, 247-pound stretch forward who played one season at Indiana, Vonleh will surely be available at No. 3, and perhaps several slots later if Philadelphia opts to trade down.

Vonleh, who doesn't turn 19 until late August and has loads of potential, had a private workout with the Sixers that he called "a great experience." While in Philly, the Haverhill, Mass. native reconnected with Noel.

"I think we could definitely complement each other," Vonleh said yesterday at the Westin in Times Square, where the draft's top prospects met with the media. "He'll play the 5, I could come in and play the 4. I think it would definitely work out good together."

En route to earning Big Ten Freshman of the Year accolades, Vonleh played only 26.5 minutes per game but averaged 11.3 points and a conference-best nine rebounds last season. The versatile big man has a 7-foot, 4-inch wingspan and massive hands, dribbles well and shot 52.3 percent from the field and sunk 16 of 33 three-pointers.

"I like to get up and down the floor. I like to run the floor," said Vonleh, who grew up a big Allen Iverson fan. "Just being able to play with Mike and Nerlens, they're from the Boston area, that would also be nice, too."

Vonleh said he also worked out for the Magic, who pick fourth, the Jazz (No. 5), Celtics (No. 6), Lakers (No. 7) and the Kings (No. 8). He said he was comfortable in each workout and received good feedback.

"They all liked me a lot, but they don't know what they're going to do yet," he said. "Anything can happen on draft night. Things can change around. So we'll see what happens."

Six shots

In somewhat of a surprise, Michigan shooting guard Nik Stauskas, who could be available when the 10th pick rolls around, said he visited only the Celtics, Lakers and Hornets and has not had contact with the Sixers . . . Duke small forward Rodney Hood said he had one of the best of his 10 predraft workouts in Philadelphia. He was in town about 2 weeks ago and worked out alongside Gary Harris (Michigan State), T.J. Warren (North Carolina State), P.J. Hairston (NBA-D League), K.J. McDaniels (Clemson) and C.J. Fair (Syracuse). "They want to get up and down," Hood said of the Sixers. "They want guys that can shoot the ball, stretch the floor and play defense. I think I fit that mold well." . . . Kentucky's James Young and Michigan State's Adreian Payne also worked out for the Sixers. UCLA guard Zach LaVine said he met with the Sixers at the Draft Combine in mid-May but did not work out for the team.


On Twitter: @jakemkaplan

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