Sixers host Kentucky's Teague for workout
The Sixers worked out a 19-year-old point guard at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine on Friday. In front of the usual cast of Sixers staffers, Kentucky’s Marquis Teague, projected to go several spots after the Sixers’ No. 15 pick, performed drills by himself.
The NBA draft is six days away.
It may seem curious, but as director of player personnel Courtney Witte said afterward, “Sometimes these situations arise.”
Call it a due-diligence workout, because Teague has loads of athletic talent that any team would covet, even if he doesn’t exactly fit the Sixers’ current needs.
He has the elite quickness and jumping ability -- not to mention a national championship -- to warrant a first-round selection. That said, he also has the shaky jump shot and questionable decision-making that make a late-teens-to-twenties selection most likely.
“I think our philosophy has always been to draft the best player,” Witte said. “That’s why he’s here today, because he’s one of the best.”
It was the first solo workout for both the team and the player. By the end of the thirty-minute session, Teague was drenched in sweat.
Over the past month, he had worked out for Cleveland (picks No. 4 and 24), Dallas (17), Denver (20), Golden State (7 and 30), Houston (16), and Portland (6 and 11). Philadelphia, he said, was the toughest.
“This one was a little different because you’ve got to do every rep yourself. You don’t get a break,” he said.
In his lone season at Kentucky, Teague averaged 10 points on 41.2 percent shooting, 4.8 assists and 2.7 turnovers. A high-profile recruit ranked in the top five in his class, he endured some ups and downs before shining during the Wildcats’ NCAA tournament run. Each of their five starters is projected to go in the first round, including potential No. 1 pick Anthony Davis.
“I was on a team with great players who could do things like I could do,” Teague said. “We wanted to win a national championship -- that’s the only thing that matters -- so we sacrificed for each other.”
Odds are, he will land on another winning team as a late first-round draft pick. After watching his brother, 2009’s 19th pick Jeff, mature behind Mike Bibby on the Atlanta Hawks, Marquis welcomes the opportunity.
“It puts you in a position to grow as a player,” he said. “I hope I get a chance to play behind one of those great guards and get to learn from them also.”
More than likely, those guards will not be Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner, who are three and five years older than Teague, respectively. The Sixers pick is much more likely to come from Saturday’s workout group, which includes big men John Henson (North Carolina), Perry Jones III (Baylor), Arnett Moultrie (Mississippi State), Andrew Nicholson (St. Bonaventure), and Tyler Zeller (North Carolina).
But with the clock ticking toward draft night, the Sixers and the rest of the league need to make contingency plans, and then contingency plans for their contingency plans.
“At 15, I think that’s always the case,” Witte said. “You’re not in the driver’s seat. … You’re dealt those cards, so you have to make the best of them.”E-mail Brian Kotloff at email@example.com