The Sixers held their first pre-draft workouts on Monday, bringing in six players to their practice facility. Here is a quick snapshot of the participants and their roads to the 2016 draft.
DeAndre’ Bembry, small forward
St. Joe’s, junior
Pre-draft mentality: “I’ve been hearing different things, from (being picked) 18 to out of the first round. But I’m trying to show everybody my all-around game and see where I stand from there.”
Fitting in with the Sixers: “They’ve got a lot of guys that like to get up and down the floor, including their bigs like Nerlens Noel. I feel like that would definitely be an advantage to me because I can get the rebound, push the ball, finish for myself or make the right pass for someone else.”
Scheduled workouts: Following Monday's Sixers workout, Bembry will work out with the Celtics and Raptors this week. “My lease isn't up so I can go back to my apartment after this and see some of my roommates. It’s definitely a little bit more comfortable being in Philadelphia rather than being somewhere else (to start the workouts),” Bembry said.
Josh Hart, shooting guard
Villanova, junior (undecided)
Pre-draft workout mentality: “Obviously, the NBA is my dream. It’s what I've been working towards since I was five years old. Villanova, that school has a special place in my heart. We'd have a good chance to repeat if we continue to get better and play Villanova basketball, but it's gonna be a tough one. I wish there was a clear-cut pick, but it's a tough decision.”
Working out for NBA coaches: “It's humbling. These are some of the best coaches in the business. Definitely humbling. Every chance you get you try to pick their mind a little bit, just gain a little extra knowledge.”
Scheduled workouts: Hart has worked out with the Clippers and Sixers. He has scheduled workouts with the Celtics, Spurs and Hawks. He will make his decision on the 25th following his workout with the Hawks on the 24th.
Shawn Long, power forward
Pre-draft workout mentality: “(I try to show) that I can shoot the ball. I think it’s going to be the thing that separates me from a lot of bigs, my ability to shoot the ball as well rebound and mix it up down low.”
Learning Magic guard Elfrid Payton, his college teammate: “Playing with Elfrid helped me a lot. It gave me a feel for what an elite guard is. I talk to Elfrid every other day. He actually was with me when I was training. … He’s helped me through the process and I’m thankful for that. I’m lucky to have that.”
Scheduled workouts: Long will work out with the Bucks on Wednesday, the Nuggets on Saturday and the Rockets and Mavericks next week.
Melvin Johnson, point guard
Pre-draft workout mentality: “You just want to show that you can compete. You’re here for a reason. Of course you’ve been recruited, they know your strengths and weaknesses. It’s a not an emphasis to come out here and try to score everytime you touch it. It’s just more so how you can fit in their scheme of things.”
Fitting in with the Sixers: “Overall (be) just a great competitor, but make shots. Once you come to the NBA, you’re not necessary who you were in college. You have to accept a role. My role most definitely would be catching and shooting and defending, and I wouldn’t mind that.”
Scheduled workouts: Johnson has worked out with Spurs, Rockets and Sixers. He has workouts slated with the Cavs, Nets and Celtics this week. “The emphasis is in between each workout, stretch, eat good food and get as much sleep as possible living out of airports,” he said.
Isaiah Whitehead, point guard
Seton Hall, sophomore (undecided)
Pre-draft workout mentality: “(I wanted to show) decision making, just really not forcing things, not turning the ball over.”
Waiting for feedback before making decision to stay in draft: “Basically I’m just going to ask them straight up, ‘Do you think I’m ready to go to the NBA or am I not?’ That’s basically what this route allows you to do and I’m going to take advantage of it.”
Scheduled workouts: Whitehead also will work out for the Pacers.
Jaylen Bond, power forward
Pre-draft workout mentality: “[Temple head coach Fran Dunphy] told me to take one step at a time. Every time you go out there, just give it your best effort and things will work out for you.”
Impact of transferring from Texas to Temple: “It gave me a lot more freedom on both ends of the court. Coach Dunphy is a great coach. He put a lot of faith in me, me being the captain of that team. It just showed how much he trusted me and I was able to play free.”
Scheduled workouts: Bond was awaiting more workouts to be scheduled at the time of his Sixers’ workout.