With the 16th pick in the 2011 NBA draft, the Philadelphia 76ers will select none of the players they worked out on Saturday and Monday.
Those players are more likely to be around when the Sixers select with the 50th pick, or be among those looking to latch onto teams after not getting selected at all.
Yesterday, however, was different. Working out for the Sixers' brass at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine were nine players, many of whom are projected to go in the first round, a couple who might not even still be on the board when the Sixers make their first selection.
"We had a great group come in," said Courtney Witte, the Sixers' player personnel director. "It's been a very successful day. I've said this before, but high character people compete at a high level, and that's really what we wanted to see."
The cream of the crop from yesterday was Texas guard/forward Jordan Hamilton, predicted by many to be a late lottery pick (top 14) or soon thereafter. The 6-7 swingman might not be what the Sixers exactly are looking for - as they appear to be targeting a big man - but he certainly impressed in the afternoon workout, which included forward Chris Singleton (Florida State), guard Scotty Hopson (Tennessee), guard Malcolm Lee (UCLA) and guard Josh Selby (Kansas).
Hamilton averaged 18.6 points this past season for the Longhorns, scoring mainly with his deadly jumper and athletic forays to the basket. He developed his low-post skills, using his muscular, 220-pound frame to improve that area of his game. What he still needs to improve are his shooting percentage off the dribble and his defense.
"The fact he showed a little more ability to shoot off the dribble off the move was good," Witte said. "He's primarily a guy who can finish or a catch-and-shoot trailer."
Singleton, the two-time defensive player of the year in the Atlantic Coast Conference (once voted by coaches, once voted by media) who left after his junior season, was impressive not only for his abilities on the court, but also for his demeanor off it.
"He's a competitor, he's extremely hard-nosed, and he's an extremely humble young man who knows where he's going," Witte said. "He's just going to continue to work on trying to get there. Defense wins. For our coaches, [defense] is a prerequisite. He certainly did nothing to hurt himself by coming in and playing as hard as he did. It was very good for him."
Most mock drafts have Singleton, who averaged 13.1 points and 6.8 rebounds for the Seminoles, going somewhere between 10th and 20th.
Other bigs in yesterday included Southern California's 6-10 forward Nikola Vucevic, Oakland (Mich.) 6-11 center Keith Benson, Richmond 6-10 forward Justin Harper and Maryland 6-10 forward Jordan Williams.
"I wouldn't agree that we're strictly looking big," said Witte, who will leave with other members of the Sixers staff for Europe today for more interviews. "I think we're looking for the best player. This is a process. I think we all saw today a high level of athleticism from all the way down the line. When you take a kid out of his college program, sometimes they were not allowed to show everything that they were able to do [during the season], and I think that was clearly the case today. That is why you bring kids in. We saw some things on a couple of different players that we were not able to see with as much time as we scouted them. We're extremely happy with what happened today."
The latest rumor to pop up, this one from ESPN.com, has the Sixers in talks with the Los Angeles Clippers in a deal that would trade Andre Iguodala for center Chris Kaman.
Sixers president Rod Thorn told the Daily News Tuesday the team has had many discussions with many different teams about various subjects.
Dealing Iguodala would appear to be more likely than at any other time during his 7 years with the Sixers, particularly because he inexcusably failed to show up for his exit meeting with Thorn, general manager Ed Stefanski and coach Doug Collins the day after the team's season was ended by the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs. *
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