76ers work out two big-name guards ahead of draft

UConn guard Tristen Newton (2) and guard Stephon Castle (5) react during the first half of a second-round college basketball game against Northwestern in the NCAA Tournament, Sunday, March 24, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

With all the news surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers‘ pursuits in free agency and on the trade market, it’s easy to forget that the 2024 NBA Draft is less than a week away. Currently owning the 16th and 41st picks, the Sixers will likely have a couple of chances to add to their squad by the time the draft is over.

This offseason, the Sixers reportedly worked out Trentyn Flowers, Pacome Dadiet, Dillon Jones, and Yves Missi. Now, two more names were added to the list as the 76ers recently worked out a pair of well-known guards in two-time NCAA champion Tristen Newton and USC guard Isaiah Collier.

Tristen Newton does it all

Newton broke the news by sharing an image of himself at the Sixers’ practice facility on his Instagram story. Ky Carlin of SixersWire picked up on the news first.

Standing 6’5″ and averaging 15.1 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 6.2 assists for the Huskies, Newton finished his five-year collegiate career in style off of back-to-back championships. The second-round prospective target is a proven winner who checks off multiple boxes of need for the Sixers.

A bit of a do-it-all guard, Newton’s versatility and experience would be immensely valuable for Philadelphia, especially considering their need for size in the backcourt.

Newton isn’t particularly strong as a shooter. It’s tough to tell if the bigger issue is ability or shot selection, but he’ll need to improve in both areas at the next level. Even if he never becomes a knockdown shooter, Newton has enough skills and intangibles to become a solid role player.

However, it wasn’t just about Newton, as the Sixers invited in a prospect who was initially projected among the draft’s top picks.

Should the 76ers gamble on Collier?

Isaiah Collier was once projected as a potential candidate to go first overall in the draft. However, a difficult season at USC raised concerns about his shooting and defensive abilities. Averaging 16.3 points and 4.3 assists during his lone season at USC, Collier showed legitimate playmaking upside in addition to the questions around the rest of his game.

The news on Collier came via AllPHLY’s Kyle Neubeck.

Many projections now have Collier falling into the 20s, but the Sixers and the Los Angeles Lakers, who pick immediately after, are still potential partners.

While the risks are apparent regarding Collier, his upside is likely higher than any other player that could be available in this range. Though, he has plenty of work ahead of him to realize that potential.