Sixers to work out 6 draft prospects Wednesday

Sixers to work out 6 draft prospects Wednesday

A day after hosting a pre-draft workout that included potential top-three pick Jaylen Brown from the University of California (see story), the Sixers will host another group session Wednesday at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. The workout will feature a set of six players, including former Michigan State guard Bryn forbes.

Bryn Forbes (6-3/190, Michigan State)
Forbes is a 23-year-old guard who played two seasons at Big Ten powerhouse Michigan State after transferring from Cleveland State following his sophomore season. Forbes made a name for himself at Michigan State by displaying his innate ability to shoot the three. In his senior season, Forbes led the Big Ten with 112 made three-pointers while shooting 48 percent from beyond the arc. Despite his pure shooting ability, Forbes' major weaknesses include his one-dimensional offensive game as well as his smaller frame. 

Grandy Glaze (6-6/235, Grand Canyon)
A native of Canada, Glaze transferred from Saint Louis to Grand Canyon for his senior season. As a forward at Grand Canyon, Glaze averaged 14 points and just under nine rebounds per game. Coming in as a relative unknown, Glaze must show scouts something special in order to prove he's ready for the NBA. 

Stefan Jankovic (6-11/235, Hawaii)
After spending two years in the SEC at Missouri, Jankovic transferred to Hawaii, where he made an immediate impact thanks to his size and shooting ability. In his final season with the Rainbow Warriors, Jankovic averaged 15.6 points per game while shooting an impressive 54 percent from the field, including 39 percent from beyond the arc. Jankovic won Big West Player of the Year honors while leading his team to an NCAA Tournament berth. 

Retin Obasohan (6-1/210, Alabama)
Another under the radar prospect is Belgian native Retin Obasohan. At Alabama, Obasohan proved to be a multi-dimensional player, showing off his natural scoring ability as well as his tenacious defense on the other side of the ball. Obahosan averaged 17.6 points per game in his senior season while shooting 47 percent from the field. He finished his career ranked eighth in Alabama history with 154 steals and was named to the SEC All-Defensive team following the 2015-16 season. 

David Walker (6-6/200, Northeastern)
Walker is another pure scorer in this year's draft. Projecting as a point guard or shooting guard, Walker averaged 17.9 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the field, including a remarkable 41 percent from three. He also chipped in four assists per game for the Huskies. With good size and natural scoring ability, look for Walker to land a summer league invite from someone if he goes undrafted. 

Stephen Zimmerman (7-0/240, UNLV)
A 7-foot freshman, Zimmerman averaged 10.5 points and 8.7 rebounds in his lone season for the Rebels. Despite playing just one season in college, Zimmerman has maintained potential first-round status on most NBA mock draft boards in recent months. Zimmerman is a highly skilled big man with the ability to hit a mid-range jump shot. This should set him apart from other centers in the draft as not all have the ability to knock down a 15-footer. With traditional centers becoming more rare with each passing year, Zimmerman must continue to work on his outside shot if he wants to make it in today's NBA. 

FiveThirtyEight's statistical model gives Sixers best chance of any team to win NBA Finals

FiveThirtyEight's statistical model gives Sixers best chance of any team to win NBA Finals

The Sixers, according to the statistics-centric website FiveThirtyEight, have a 55 percent chance to make the NBA Finals and a 27 percent chance to win it all — both the highest of any NBA team.

FiveThirtyEight's "Way-Too-Early Projections" for the 2019-20 season give the Sixers a greater than 99 percent chance to make the playoffs. The Houston Rockets have the next-best odds to win the title at 24 percent.

It's important to note, of course, that teams' rosters will change between now and the start of the regular season, and we still don't have a schedule.

Their model incorporates heaps of data and does "50,000 simulations of the schedule." A new element this year is the DRAYMOND defensive metric, which gives greater weight to how a defender impacts opponents' shooting percentage.

The fact that Joel Embiid has the second-best DRAYMOND rating since the 2013-14 season might, in part, explain why this year's model is so high on the Sixers. Conventional wisdom would suggest that the Giannis Antetokounmpo-led Milwaukee Bucks (26 percent chance to win the East, 10 percent chance to win the championship) and star-studded Los Angeles Lakers (13 percent odds to win it all) and Clippers (5 percent chance to win it all) have a better shot than FiveThirtyEight gives them.

In case you somehow missed it, a lot has changed for the Sixers this offseason. The team's new starting unit of Ben Simmons, Josh Richardson, Tobias Harris, Al Horford and Embiid is locked in for the long term, while Mike Scott and James Ennis are again expected to feature off the bench. It's a big, defensively imposing team.

Ennis has said he thinks the Sixers can "walk to the Finals in the East." If you trust FiveThirtyEight's model, his view might not be so outlandish.

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Will Kyle Korver return to Sixers? Elton Brand drops an interesting hint

Will Kyle Korver return to Sixers? Elton Brand drops an interesting hint

Elton Brand’s busy offseason is not over.

The Sixers’ general manager acknowledged Tuesday morning in an interview on 97.5 The Fanatic’s “Farzetta and Tra in the Morning” show that he’s still working to fill out the Sixers’ roster. The team currently has 13 players on the roster and could add two more. 

When Marc Farzetta asked Brand about adding a player with similar shooting abilities to the departed JJ Redick, Brand dropped an interesting hint.

We’d love to have that. Spacing is key. We’re going to hang our hats on defense, but when it’s crunch time you’re going to need spacing to operate. So we are looking for players that can space the court. We are in talks with a few of them, so we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully the city will have someone that they know and can receive them well. 

He didn’t use his name, but Brand sure seemed to be talking about former Sixer Kyle Korver. Some Sixers fans might be familiar with available free agents like Thabo Sefolosha and Jose Calderon, but Brand has to be aware that fans know all about Korver.

The Sixers are reportedly a frontrunner to land the 38-year-old, who’s an unrestricted free agent after being waived by the Phoenix Suns. Korver is a career 42.9 percent shooter from three-point range and has made the fourth most threes in NBA history. 

Given the Sixers’ salary cap situation, Korver would need to be willing to accept a veteran minimum deal to come back to Philadelphia. 

A return to the city where he started his professional career would make a lot of sense for both parties. As Brand said, the Sixers could use some outside shooting. And for Korver, you’d think the chance to play for a team that looks poised to contend for a championship would be appealing. 

You can listen to the full interview with Brand here

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