The draft is so close that you can smell, taste, and caress it. Only 5 more days until David Stern announces who will be the newest member of the Philadelphia 76ers. The last workout took place today with Syracuse's own Wesley Johnson (a cute picture of Wes and Ed Stefanski was posted on the official Sixers twitter page yesterday).
The last Big Board poll is here and ready for you all so make sure you get out there and exercise your right to vote! As Mike stated before, get all your mock drafts into him so he can make an uber-user-mock to destroy all other mocks out there. Viva la mocks (and socks)!
Today's links concern the Dalembert trade, some draft stuff, and the passing of former Sixer Manute Bol. Check 'em out after the jump.
Could More Deals Be on the Horizon?
"After you come off of a 27-win season, you got to be aggressive," Stefanski said. "We are going to keep looking to see if we can tweak this even more. Yeah, we have to be more active."
Stefanski wouldn't name players he is willing to part with or positions he wants to upgrade through a trade.
"We tried numerous times to accommodate him, but we had to make sure it was a [good] basketball deal and on the other side, with that trade kicker, a lot of teams shied away," Stefanski said. T
he two teams had numerous discussions for months, the latest coming about 2 weeks ago, according to Sacramento president Geoff Petrie. Earlier this week, all the details were finally ironed out, and Hawes and Nocioni, also not happy in Sacramento, will be coming east.
"You've got to rebound by committee," the head coach of 26 days said. "We're not going to do one thing and everything else is going to go away. Can Elton Brand rebound the ball? Sure. Andre Iguodala's gonna go back and rebound the ball. You've got to have a forward get back and rebound. You do that as a team."
SAME ARTICLE: How does the trade affect the draft?
Stefanski steadfastly said: "I think it leaves us the same as where we were before, the same type of options we have. We're very fortunate we're drafting No. 2. We're still extremely happy for that situation, but I don't think that changes it a lot."
When asked whether he thinks the team needs a big man in the draft, Stefanski said: "I don't see it that way." Conventional wisdom suggests the Sixers are pretty rock solid with taking Ohio State 6-7 swingman Evan Turner with that second pick. If you need a clue as to why, note that the Sixers' brass did not meet with the media concerning the Dalembert trade Thursday, instead waiting to talk until yesterday.
Will Brand Benefit from Dalembert Trade?
"It changes the dynamics a little bit for Elton Brand, because I was thinking I might have to play him strictly at the '5,' because I didn't think he and Sam played well together," Collins said. "Now, I feel Elton can play with Hawes and he can play with Speights. I think it gives us a chance to play a bigger lineup that I'm more comfortable with."
Wesley Johnson Impresses Sixers
''Watching Wesley work out was like, 'Wow, that was impressive,''' said coach Doug Collins.
Collins said of Johnson, ''This young kid, he's got it. (He's) charismatic, he can play, (he's) respectful, he's older. (He's) impressive.''
Johnson was put through a 45-minute workout, including plenty of pick-and-roll and isolation-type drills. While rumors and smoke screens typically rev up draft day nears, Johnson believes the Sixers are genuinely interested. "I think there’s a good shot for me to come here," he said.
Maybe he thinks this could be in his near future.
Manute Bol passes away at age 47
Humanitarian and former NBA player Manute Bol passed away at age 47 on Saturday after battling acute kidney failure and skin disease.
Bol will always have a special place in my heart. He hit a huge 3 in the fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Spectrum during my first ever in person NBA experience. The things I took away from that game were that I loved the 76ers and Manute Bol was very tall. I was 4 years old. RIP Manute.
Details on Iverson's Return to the NBA and Documentary Plans
"Allen is working out and he's getting himself prepared to make his return," Moore said by phone yesterday. "He absolutely will try and play next year."
Iverson's most recent Twitter updates were promotions for his basketball camp in July and his documentary "Deconstructing Allen Iverson." Moore said the film could be released in the fall. "Allen wants to come and help a team win a championship, which he's completely capable of doing," Moore said.
Liberty Ballers Gettin Some Love
Tom Ziller of FanHouse reports of a finding from Liberty Ballers that located within the framework of the Sixers website framework Friday was a page containing an image of a draftboard. On that draftboard, clear as day, was Turner as the number two pick.
Completely Un-Sixer-Related News of the Day: 13 Movie-Worthy Blunders
My favorite? The Zinedine Zidane World Cup incident from 2006. I'm thinking it could be a fantasy-type sports film where the head-butt puts a curse on the French squad. They haven't had a goal in World Cup action since then and the film would center around reversing the curse. Spoiler Alert: they need to find Selena Gomez at Waverly Place to produce a secret curse-neutralizing potion. Oscar nomination? You bet your sweet behind.