Basketball / Sports

For 76ers in the draft, decisions . . . decisions

There isn't a lot of idle time for the 76ers. They have some big decisions to make before the NBA draft on June 26.

Will they draft Joel Embiid with the third overall pick if Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker are off the board?

Will the Sixers take Dante Exum, Julius Randle, Noah Vonleh or Aaron Gordon with that pick? Or will they trade out of the third spot altogether?

A number of online mock drafts, including those by ESPN, CBSSports and NBAdraft.net, have the Sixers taking Parker in their projections.

"I think everyone assumes there's a board right now that's completely set and we just wait," said Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie, whose team also has the 10th overall pick. "There's a lot of time and work to be done.

"I'm a big believer that you might find better answers if you spend time on it."

Hinkie is also a big believer in making use of all his available time.

He flew to Los Angeles on Wednesday morning to evaluate talent during three days of predraft workouts. All NBA teams will have representatives at Wednesday and Thursday's showcase for potential late first-round and second-round talent hosted by the Los Angeles Clippers.

On Friday, Hinkie will attend a group workout planned by BDA Sports, which represents Wiggins. It was reported last week that the former Kansas swingman would participate in the event. However, a BDA spokeswoman said Wednesday that Wiggins would not workout.

The Sixers also will attend workouts conducted by other player agents.

In the meantime, they are setting up workouts for potential draft picks in their practice gym at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The Sixers try to operate in secrecy at this time of year.

Last year, they tried to sneak in about 60 prospects for workouts leading up to the draft. With seven draft picks next month -- five in the second round -- the number of prospects who visit could rise this spring.

"We are likely to be active all around the draft," said Hinkie, whose team is expected to make some draft-day moves. "That's not unusual for us. So I think you have to be pretty careful for people (so they) don't know what you are going to do."

But it's obvious that the Sixers will definitely bring Parker, Wiggins and Embiid in for workouts. They are among the small group of franchises with that luxury.

An agent who spoke on condition of anonymity said he believes Wiggins will work out only for the Sixers, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Cavs have the first overall draft pick and the Bucks have the second.

NBA.com reported that Embiid's agent, Arn Tellem, is not above using concerns about the player's health to scare off undesirable teams. Embiid said Tuesday that he is 100 percent. The 7-foot center had a stress fracture in his back that kept him out of the NCAA tournament.

"I suspect from our discussions thus far that most of the top players in this draft find Philadelphia an attractive place," Hinkie said, "because they want to be in a place where they'll have opportunity. They want to play in a big market and recognize what a platform it is to play in Philadelphia.

"And they want to get better and they realize Philadelphia is a place, with our coaching staff and with our roster, you can come and play and get better."

(c)2014 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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