General manager Elton Brand and the 76ers are about to take a good look at one of Croatia’s rising young stars.
Luka Samanic will be the headliner of the team’s predraft workout Thursday at its practice facility in Camden. The 6-foot-10 power forward is projected to be a late first- or early second-round pick in next Thursday’s NBA draft at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Sixers have the 24th overall pick and four second-round selections: Nos. 33, 34, 42, and 54.
Jon Davis (UNC-Charlotte), Shamorie Ponds (St. John’s), Marcquise Reed (Clemson), Dewan Hernandez (Miami), and Ahmed Hill (Virginia Tech) will join Samanic in the workout.
Samanic also has workouts scheduled with the Atlanta Hawks and Milwaukee Bucks leading to the draft. The 19-year-old has already worked out for the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, Utah Jazz, and Indiana Pacers.
The Sixers are looking to use the 24th pick on someone who will make an immediate impact as a reserve. Samanic, however, might have a tough time filling that role. He averaged 8.0 points and 4.8 rebounds in 18.4 minutes and shot 37.4 percent in 50 games, including just 23 starts, for KK Olimpija Ljubljana of the Premier A Slovenian League.
That came one season after Samanic averaged 7.9 points and 4.0 rebounds for the FC Barcelona junior team. He started five of the 26 games in which he played.