- Associated Press - Thursday, June 23, 2011

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The 76ers started to worry around the 12th pick they might not get their man.

Even tried to trade up.

Not to worry. Their big man was waiting for them at 16 and the Sixers pounced, selecting 7-foot, 260-pound USC center Nikola Vucevic on Thursday night.

The 20-year-old Vucevic (Voo-CHAY-vitch) gives the Sixers the frontcourt help they need. He worked out for the Sixers and coach Doug Collins became an instant fan. He won over the rest of the organization and expects to become an instant part of the rotation.

He just might not make an instant impact.

“He’s not an above-the-rim type of player,” Sixers general manager Ed Stefanski said. “When I saw him a couple of times this year, I knew what kind of size he was, but it’s his length. Was his length good enough to overcome that lack of playing above the rim? He’s got very good wingspan. So, that’s the plus.”

Despite rumors, the Sixers did not come close to trading swingman Andre Iguodala. That said, Stefanski said the Sixers were serious about moving up. But the price was “too expensive.”

“There were times where we were looking about moving up to secure him, but we were never able to make that deal,” Stefanski said. “So, you get lucky.”

Vucevic said he followed the Sixers in the postseason and believes he can fit in with a young nucleus _ and in the front court with power forward Elton Brand. And, he can’t wait to get going with Collins.

“I’ll fit really well in his system,” he said. “I felt like he’s a great fit for me. I follow a lot of the NBA games and I watched a lot of the Sixers against the Miami Heat. They have a great young team.”

The Sixers stayed local in the second round, picking Temple forward Lavoy Allen with the 50th pick.

Allen played four seasons with the Owls and is the program’s career leading rebounder. The 6-foot-9, 225-pound forward won’t have to go far to begin his career _ Temple and the Wells Fargo Center are separated by only a few miles.

“I’m just real excited to stay at home,” Allen said, “and play in front of my family and friends.”

He averaged a double-double as a junior, but his rebounding numbers dipped his senior season. Still, Allen worked out twice with the Sixers. and impressed Collins.

“I proved I can play at a high level,” Allen said, “with a high motor.”

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