As the 2011 NBA draft moved on Thursday night without Xavier Silas, the former Northern Illinois guard had to think about his future without knowing what he would do next.
It didn’t take long for an answer to arrive.
“Just to update you guys... Philly just called and wants me to come to vet camp,” Silas tweeted late Thursday night.
Silas did not return multiple phone messages seeking comment. His agent, Lance Young, confirmed to the Daily Chronicle on Friday afternoon the Philadelphia 76ers indeed called Silas minutes after Thursday night’s draft expressing interest in Silas attending camp.
The 76ers are the same franchise Silas’ godfather, the legendary Julius Erving, played for during his hall of fame career.
With stalled labor talks and a looming league lockout starting July 1, Young said, no details are known at this time. The important thing, he said, is the clear interest Philadelphia has in Silas.
“I told him, just because he didn’t get drafted, it doesn’t mean that it’s over,” Young said. “The 76ers are very, very interested. I don’t exactly have the gameplan. With the lockout, there are variables that are different than most years. An invite into camp may not be 100 percent accurate. But they’re definitely very interested and we’re in talks.”
Young said the 76ers’ phone call abruptly turned what had been a night of frustration into a potentially nice situation.
For example, had Silas been drafted by the San Antonio Spurs at No. 59, he would have been locked into going to a team that may not have any available roster spots. Young said going to the 76ers – whose last pick was at No. 36, much higher than Silas’ predicted range – gives the former NIU star a better chance to make the team.
“I think there are some other teams that are interested, but right now (the 76ers) are on the top of the list,” Young said, choosing not to name other interested teams. “When you’re breaking down their roster and what they need – they have a lot of talented players on their team – but Xavier seems to be a good fit there.”