Sixers showing signs of adding another top-10 pick
A workout Tuesday afternoon could be another indication that the 76ers are trying to acquire a second top-10 pick in the NBA draft.
The Sixers put former California swingman Jaylen Brown through a solo workout even though they are expected to take Ben Simmons with the first overall pick. Brown is expected to be chosen from No. 3 to No. 8 in the draft on June 23.
So why bring Brown in for a workout unless the team is determined to acquire a second top pick? Right now, the Sixers have the first, 24th, and 26 picks.
"It's just another prospect we wanted to see and bring in to Philadelphia," said Marc Eversley, the Sixers' vice president of player personnel. "He's one of those guys who is up in that area that we are looking at. He's a high-level prospect."
A 29.4 percent three-point shooter at Cal, Brown shot the ball well from that distance on Tuesday. The 6-foot-7, 225-pounder concluded one drill with eight consecutive threes.
"I think I'm shooting the ball above the expectations," said Brown, whose improvement is a result of repetition and staying balanced.
The Marietta, Ga., native's right shoulder appeared to bother him a bit. He said it was a little sore from bumping it in a workout. The Sixers didn't seem concerned.
Eversley pointed out that Brown has great length and is a superb athlete.
"He's very explosive at the rim," Eversley said. "He has a tremendous vertical. But what we wanted to see today was his ability to shoot the ball. He shot it well."
This was Brown's last scheduled predraft workout. The 19-year-old also worked out for the Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Boston Celtics, and New Orleans Pelicans.
Brown averaged 14.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.0 assists as a freshman last season for the Golden Bears.
Tuesday morning, the Sixers worked out small forward Dyshawn Pierre (Dayton), shooting guards Michael Bryson (California Santa Barbara) and A.J. English (Iona), and power forwards Georges Niang (Iowa State), Jarrod Uthoff (Iowa), and Tomasz Gielo (Mississippi). All six were college seniors last season.
Niang and Uthoff could hear their names mentioned late in the second round of the draft. The others are expected to go undrafted.
"We have a D-League team," Vince Rozman, the Sixers' director of basketball operations and scouting innovations, said of the Delaware 87ers. "So we can evaluate them on that level.
"But we've also done really, really well on the second-round, undrafted, kind-of-overlooked guys the last couple of years. We want to continue to do so. These are some really, really productive upperclassmen. So we want to make sure to do our work."
Niang and Uthoff stood out in the portion of the workout that was open to the media. The 6-8 Niang moved well and showed leadership qualities. He's hopeful that the Sixers would look to at least add his leadership skills.
The Massachusetts native, who was a high school teammate of Nerlens Noel, said he learned a lot from playing four years of college basketball.
He "knows what it takes day-in and day-out to come in here and grind and give your best every day," Niang said.
The highlight of the workout came when the 6-9 Uthoff drove the lane and finished with a rim-rattling dunk.
On Wednesday, the Sixers are set to bring in Bryn Forbes (Michigan State), Grandy Glaze (Grand Canyon), Stefan Jankovic (Hawaii), Retin Obasohan (Alabama), David Walker (Northeastern), and Stephen Zimmerman (UNLV) for a workout.
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