Ryan Arcidiacono didn’t always think playing in the NBA was a possibility.
In fact, he didn’t even consider it until he got to Villanova and started succeeding. But now with four years of college basketball and a championship under his belt, he’s just a few days away from possibly achieving that dream.
And playing for the Sixers? Well, that would be an even cooler achievement for him.
“It would mean the world, me being from the area.” Arcidiacono said. “I wanted to play for Villanova, and eventually if I could play for the Sixers that would be awesome."
Arcidiacono was one of six participants in a pre-draft workout with the Sixers on Monday morning at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. It was his second-to-last team workout leading up to Thursday’s NBA draft. He’ll have his 12th and final workout with the Pelicans on Tuesday.
However, despite being named the Most Outstanding Player in the Final Four this past year, he’s not a lock to hear his name called in the draft.
And the chance of being drafted by the Sixers might be even less, unless they were to make a trade. Many mock drafts have Arcidiacono going late in the second round or going undrafted, and the Sixers don’t even have a second round pick this year.
Either way, Arcidiacono embraced the experience.
“It’s good to be back home and play and work out for a team that I grew up loving and watching,” he said. “To have an opportunity to play with this team is a good experience.”
Sixers director of basketball operations/scouting innovations Vince Rozman was impressed with Arcidiacono’s workout, specifically citing his competitiveness.
“In drills and one-on-one competition and shooting drills, he just wants to win,” Rozman said. “That’s endearing. He plays hard, he’s open. You’re not a captain of your team for four years without being a competitive kid.”
Arcidiacono said in his pre-draft workouts, he’s tried to focus on the things he’s best at, such as ball-handling, shooting and leading. He stressed those were the aspects of his game that got him workouts in the first place and he didn’t want to do anything out of the ordinary.
He said the biggest difference so far between college and these workouts is the speed of the game.
“In the NBA you push the ball a lot quicker,” he said. “We did both at Villanova — we slowed the game down and played fast. But playing uptempo, continuing to dribble and be a consistent shooter.”
Arcidiacono said he’s optimistic about Thursday’s draft and he’s glad things are settling down a bit so he can focus on his biggest goal: playing in the NBA. Whether he gets drafted or not, he said the goal doesn’t change.
“I think that there’s a chance I could be drafted in the second round,” he said. “If not, I’ll sign with a team for summer league. I’m going to figure all that stuff out after summer league.”