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June 17, 2017

Sixers De’Aaron Fox pre-draft workout notes

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While all of the Sixers rumors are about a potential trade with the Celtics for projected No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz, they had another lottery-bound point guard at their facility in Camden on Saturday morning.

De’Aaron Fox is quite a different player than Malik Monk, his backcourt running mate at Kentucky who worked out for the Sixers just a few days ago. Here is some of what we saw from De’Aaron:

•    Unlike Monk, we know that Fox can make plays in tight spaces as a very good ball-handler with elite quickness. Instead of making him go against a set defense, the Sixers had Fox do some shooting and full-court drills:

•    I ranked Fox eighth on my Sixers big board mostly because I’m skeptical of how well his shooting will translate to the pros, but I do like him as a prospect. And there are some positive signs when it comes to his shot: Fox went over 70 percent from the free-throw line and his form also doesn’t look totally broken.

“I really shot well in high school and then struggled this past year at Kentucky,” Fox said. “I just wasn’t making shots and then started coming on at the end of the season. I kind of kept the same routine, kept getting in the gym, getting my repetition, and at the end of the season it was just clicking.

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“I didn’t worry too much about it because I was getting to the rim whenever I wanted, I was making free throws,” Fox said. “That aspect of my game, as it came, I went along with it.”

If Fox can fix his shot, he could be a perennial all-star and one of the best point guards in the NBA. That’s my big question, though.

•    Fox has the reputation of an extremely high-character player, and it’s not hard to see why when you hear him speak. He was playing up the idea of having a chip on his shoulder on Saturday.

“I felt like it went well,” Fox said of the workout. “I came here early this morning, I got in extra shots. Just doing things I did at Kentucky and trying to show people I’m better than what they think.”

He was asked to explain what he meant by that.

“Yeah, there are some people [who doubt me], but everyone has critics,” he said. “You could be the best player in the world, LeBron has critics. Just show people, prove people wrong. I can't really do that until I am drafted and get in the NBA. I'm just working, getting better and perfecting my craft.”

I imagine Fox aced the interview portion with every team that he worked out for. He certainly handled this awkward situation in Camden very well.

•    The Homie was in the house! This was the first time that I have seen Dario Saric at the practice facility since pre-draft workouts started, and we saw him throw up a few jumpers:

He was going fairly slow, but Saric’s jumper looked pretty good to me. Remember, Brett Brown’s father said that Dario’s shot was too flat, a sentiment that everyone who watched the Sixers last season will agree with. Saric showed some impressive flashes as a rookie, but upping that three-point percentage from 31.1 to the mid-to-high thirties could help unlock so much for him offensively.

•    Oh yeah, Joel Embiid was clowning Saric in the practice gym. It’s not the first time, either.

•    It’s not officially official yet, but there’s a really good chance that the Sixers will have another workout later tonight. I wonder* who will be here!

*I'm not really wondering.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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