Yesterday, a wave of positive news crashed onto the 215's surface, with Ben Simmons working out and flashing some muscle and the team allowing Joel Embiid to compete in 5-on-5 light scrimmages. With less than 48 hours remaining until arguably the most important date since 2001, the Sixers are doing their due diligence in regards to gauging who'd be an option at picks No. 24 and No. 26, when No. 1 appears to be locked up. Per The Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey the Sixers hosted UNC product Brice Johnson and local talent Quenton DeCosey, among others, in midst of preparation for the draft.
Johnson is the marquee prospect among this particular crop of talent, who averaged a double-double in his fourth year playing for the Tarheels (17.0 PPG, 10.4 RPG) and led UNC to the national championship game. He's a rim protecting threat on the block at the 4 and had the second lowest DRtg in the ACC as a senior (92.3). Johnson will make money cleaning up boards, using athleticism to make plays and exhibiting an abundance of hustle early in his career.
For the Sixers, who have an abundance of bigs and would be hard pressed to find ideal minutes for Johnson, he's another guy they can monitor before the draft. On a PF-deprived team, bereft of youth and energy on the bench, he'd be an exceptional fit mid-to-late first round.
Temple University's Quenton DeCosey isn't ranked by DraftExpress among the top 100 prospects in this year's class, but his presence at workouts feels like Bryan Colangelo wants to possibly bring him in for the Summer League, a la Khalif Wyatt in 2013 and Ronald Roberts of Saint Joseph's in 2014. DeCosey progressed each year, playing for the Cherry and White, and averaged 15.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in his senior campaign.