76ers open pre-draft workouts
PHILADELPHIA - Holding the No. 13 pick in the upcoming NBA draft, the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday held the first of several workouts for prospective draftees.
The workouts are one factor in determining the future of players such as forwards Cedric Simmons of North Carolina State and Shawne Williams of Memphis, said team president Billy King.
"We don't want to just base our judgment on this, but on the player's entire college career," King said. "The good thing is our people have seen these guys play a lot. The main thing we want to see today is their work ethic. Plus, we'll get to talk to them and see how they do in a personality test."
At 6-foot-9 and 233 pounds, Simmons reminds some of former 76er Theo Ratliff. Simmons averaged 11.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game at N.C. State.
Leaving the university "didn't have anything to do with school or the coach (Herb Sendek)," Simmons said. "I just decided I was ready for the next challenge. The hard part was getting my parents convinced."
Williams, also 6-9, left after only one season at Memphis, where he averaged 13.2 points and 6.2 rebounds. He decided to leave after hashing it out with Tigers coach John Calipari, who previously coached in the NBA.
"We talked about it for two days, then he told me to leave. I feel going to college really helped me, because it taught me how to play hard," Williams said. "I feel the NBA will help me improve my game."
The Sixers' next round of workouts will be Saturday when two local players, Randy Foye of Villanova and Temple's Mardy Collins, will be joined by Maurice Ager of Michigan State and Marcus Vinicius of Brazil.
The NBA draft is June 28.