LINKThe University of North Carolina men's basketball team will probably still be celebrating their 2005 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament championship when executives from around the NBA gather in Portsmouth, VA this week to prepare for the 2005 NBA Draft.
Members of the 76ers basketball operations department, who often serve a dual role, will be there. Throughout the year, President/General Manager Billy King, Senior Vice President/Asst. General Manager Tony DiLeo, and the rest of the executives and scouting staff are doing everything they can to make the current team win games, while also constantly looking at the future and how they can improve the team.
That’s what DiLeo is doing this week in Portsmouth at a gathering of some of the top college seniors in the country from April 6-9. DiLeo and executives from the rest of the NBA teams will be taking a look at potential draft picks for the 2005 NBA Draft.
“Usually the top picks, like lottery picks or whatever, do not go [to Portsmouth],” DiLeo said. “They don’t want to hurt their value or get hurt. It’s basically a lot of late-round picks or second-round picks at Portsmouth.”
The Portsmouth event puts the attendees in game situations, with six teams of approximately ten players each playing against each other. It gives DiLeo a chance to see the players in a new situation.
“It’s very important because we get to see them in another light,” DiLeo said. “We’ve watched them in college for four years in certain systems and going against certain players, but now we see them in a new light, playing in a different system, playing with other people. It’s just game situations. If you want you can sit down with a player and interview him there.”
The Portsmouth event is just part of a process that NBA teams will undergo throughout the spring to determine who is the best fit for their plans when the draft rolls around in June..................
“We don’t’ have a first round pick unless we finish in the top eight in the draft,” DiLeo said. “If we are in the lottery for some reason and our pick is 1 through 8, we would keep our pick. Otherwise we do not have a first round pick, and right now we do not have a second round pick. But like we’ve done in the past, if there’s a player we like, then we usually go out and get a pick to get that player, like we did with Kyle Korver, or Todd MacCulloch. If there’s a player we like we usually go and get that player.”
There should be some interesting second round guys, but the question I wonder is how far into the round can the Sixers trade? Would it be a late round pick, much like MacCullouch and Korver or could they somehow land an early second rounder?