Trying to read something into the 76ers' putting Ohio State center B.J. Mullens through a predraft workout today?


A source familiar with the situation told the Daily News that the Sixers remain focused on using the No. 17 pick in the NBA's June 25 draft to select a perimeter player, either a point guard or a shooting guard.

The workout for Mullens appears to be a case of the Sixers' honoring a long-standing commitment. At this point, there seems to be no reason to believe Mullens could be part of a trade scenario. The Sixers expect him to be off the board before No. 17.

Mullens averaged 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 20.3 minutes for the Buckeyes, starting two of 33 games. The belief seems to be that any team choosing him would have to wait at least a year or two for him to mature and develop.

The Sixers are bringing in Notre Dame's Ryan Ayers, the son of former Sixers coach Randy Ayers, as a competitive partner for Mullens. Ryan Ayers starred at Germantown Academy.

There also is reason to believe that Randy Ayers, most recently an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards under new Sixers coach Eddie Jordan, is a candidate to join Jordan's staff here.

Jordan's assistants include Mike O'Koren and Aaron Mckie. Jim Lynam, like McKie, will be a holdover assistant. John Loyer, Jeff Ruland and Bernard Smith, assistants under Maurice Cheeks and Tony DiLeo, will not return. *

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