With the NBA draft now 13 days away, the 76ers auditioned another group of five players yesterday at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.
The Sixers, who own the 17th pick, have said they are looking to get a guard in that spot. As was the case at the team's first session on Friday, only backcourt men were in the gym.
Among the invitees were Temple's Dionte Christmas and North Carolina's Wayne Ellington, the latter of whom played at Episcopal Academy. Darren Collison of UCLA, Jack McClinton of Miami, and Marcus Thornton of Louisiana State were also on hand.
On Friday, the team worked out point guards Ty Lawson of North Carolina and Toney Douglas of Florida State, shooting guards Jodie Meeks of Kentucky and Stefon Jackson of Texas-El Paso - a Philadelphia native - and swingman Terrence Williams of Louisville.
"It's obvious that the players we've had in can shoot the ball," said Courtney Witte, the Sixers' director of player personnel.
Discussing yesterday's session, Witte said all five participants "can really play."
The session "was more about allowing the coaching staff to look at them, and how they interact and pick up new things," Witte said.
Collison, 6-foot-0, was the only true point guard present yesterday. He is a strong defender, and averaged 14.4 points and 3.8 assists a game last season. He also won the Naismith Award as the best college player 6 feet or under.
At 6-1, McClinton averaged 19.1 points and made the all-Atlantic Coast Conference first team after setting the conference record of 44.0 percent for three-point shooting.
The 6-4 Thornton was the player of the year in the Southeastern Conference after scoring 21.1 points a game.
"This workout, you had to compete," said Collison, echoing what a couple of other players said. "It's like a job interview - everybody competing for a job."
The 6-5 Christmas, who became the first player to lead the Atlantic Ten Conference in scoring for three consecutive seasons, is hoping to use his shooting to find a spot on a team. The product of Samuel Fels High School and Lutheran Christian Academy began his tour of NBA teams as a possible second-round pick.
"I can tell you he will not go undrafted," Witte said. "I think he's proven that he's a valuable shooter, and he's working hard on his deficiencies."
Ellington, who was named the outstanding player in the NCAA Final Four after helping the Tar Heels win the national championship, has reason to believe his name will be called in the first round.
"I've been getting feedback that I could go anywhere from the mid-first round to late first round," said the 6-4 Ellington, who entered the draft after averaging 15.8 points as a junior.
Naturally, Christmas and Ellington would be excited to join the Sixers, the team they grew up rooting for. But both understand the reality of where they are.
"You want to play in the league," Ellington said.
"The teams are telling me I'm doing pretty good, and hopefully, somebody will take a chance on me," said Christmas, who gave the Owls 19.5 points a game as a senior. "I'm anxious for this whole process to be over."
Notes. The Sixers are one of the teams that will be represented at the 36-player predraft workout to be hosted by the New Jersey Nets, beginning today, at their practice facility in East Rutherford, N.J.
The showcase, which continues through Sunday, will include two six-player sessions each day.
Ellington and Christmas will be joined by St. Joseph's forward Ahmad Nivins, the player of the year in the Atlantic Ten and Big Five.