PHILADELPHIA With the NBA draft one day away, the 76ers' problem may not be all that harsh given the abundance of power forwards and centers ready to be selected.
But it's a matter of so many big men scouted, so many notes, so much debate, and so little time with the draft fast approaching.
On Tuesday, Darrell Arthur of Kansas dropped by the gym at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine to work out for the Sixers.
Last week, it was Marreese Speights of Florida. Earlier in the month, it was Donte Greene of Syracuse and JaVale McGee of Nevada. The Sixers' brass also attended a private workout for DeAndre Jordan of Texas A&M, and drove to New Jersey to see Kosta Koufos of Ohio State.
Because of the depth at power forward and center, the Sixers are sure that one of seven or eight young men who play one or both spots will be on the board when their turn comes at No. 16.
Still, how do you measure the different aspects of the candidates' games that Arthur played a key role on Kansas' 2008 NCAA championship team, that Speights and Jordan have potential, that Greene and Koufos can shoot from the perimeter?
"We feel real good about (the depth) because a big is one of our needs," general manager Ed Stefanski said Tuesday. "We feel the best player on the board when we pick will be a big. How to differentiate between them is tough. We'll ask questions, we'll argue back and forth. We'll feel out what the scouts say, and we'll see where the consensus comes out."
Most of the Internet mock drafts have had Arthur, Koufos and Jordan going to the Sixers at various times. With all the workouts held throughout the league, the boards change almost daily.
Arthur, who had his ninth workout Tuesday and will participate in his 10th on Wednesday in Washington, has drifted in and out of lottery consideration, mainly because, at 6-foot-9, he may be a bit small for a power forward. He has heard he could be picked between ninth and 20th.
"I'm just trying to do as well as I can and hopefully get a spot in the lottery," Arthur said Tuesday. "I'm anxious. I'm worried and nervous about it, but I'm excited about it, so I'm just going to try to take it all in."
And if it's the Sixers?
"Man, that would be great, playing with a younger team, just getting out there and trying to bring a defensive presence," he said. "That would be fine with me."
Arthur, Speights, Jordan and McGee are athletic players who can run the floor, which fits the Sixers' style of play, but Arthur is the most polished and experienced of the four. Though Greene and Koufos may not be as athletic, they can bang inside and stretch the defense with their ability to hit the 20-footer, or even go beyond the NBA three-point line.
Again, it's a matter of weighing current ability against potential, and existing size against what the player will look like in a couple of years.
"We have to figure out how someone's body is going to fill out," said Tony DiLeo, the Sixers' senior vice president and assistant general manager. "Some players, we have to figure out skill level. They may not be as far along in skill level. We have to project what skill level they can reach."
That doesn't seem to be a problem with Arthur.
"He fits the way we play," DiLeo said. "He's an athletic player, he gets up and down the floor. He can hit an outside shot or post up. He's been a winner. In high school, he won. In college, he won. So he has a lot of good intangibles."
For now, though, Arthur is just another guy in the mix. The Sixers will sift through all of this information and be ready on Thursday night when their turn comes.
Notes. Tuesday, the Sixers also worked out Alexis Ajinca of France and two local players, Frank Elegar of Drexel and Rob Ferguson of St. Joseph's. Ajinca, 20, is an intriguing prospect a 7-1 center who can run the floor and has a 91-inch wingspan. However, at his current weight of 220 pounds he would be a punching bag for NBA big men. "His body hasn't filled out, so he needs to get stronger," DiLeo said. "But he has a huge wingspan, really knows how to play great feel, great instincts for the game."
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