This could be a battle of the titans, except that it's just a 76ers predraft workout. This one will match two freshmen expected to go in the top five of the June 24 NBA draft: Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins and Georgia Tech's Derrick Favors.
They are scheduled to work out with, and against, each other June 18 at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, the Sixers' practice site.
Sixers president/general manager Ed Stefanski confirmed that the team is also working on specific dates for Ohio State's Evan Turner and Syracuse's Wesley Johnson to audition.
Even though conventional thinking suggests the Sixers are likely to take the 6-7 Turner, in part to solidify their backcourt, John Greig, Cousins' agent, said yesterday that his client, "isn't running or hiding from anything."
Cousins and Favors, in fact, are scheduled to work out together tomorrow for Sacramento. The Kings hold the No. 5 pick in the first round; the Sixers hold No. 2. Cousins is considered the best center in the draft, Favors the best power forward.
Greig said, "Teams have players they like better than others, but the way things are with the draft process, things can change."
Greig also said that the perception that Cousins comes with significant baggage in terms of conditioning and personality, "is way off base."
"There are no skeletons in his closet," said Greig, who played the 1982-83 season as a deep reserve for the Seattle SuperSonics. "And even if a team doesn't take a specific player, these kids can be free agents in a few years and teams might remember something they liked from these workouts."
The Sixers' Marreese Speights and former Villanova star Kyle Lowry, now with the Houston Rockets, are scheduled to host a basketball clinic for players 8 to 14 on June 26 at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr. For information, call 215-275-9554 or send e-mail to email@example.com.
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