76ers Sign First Round Draft Pick Marreese Speights
Philadelphia, Pa. – July 18, 2008 - Philadelphia 76ers President and General Manager Ed Stefanski announced today that the team has signed rookie Marreese Speights, the 16th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Speights (6-10/245) appeared in five games for the Sixers at the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, averaging 18.2 points along with team-highs of 10.2 rebounds and 2.20 blocks. Entering today’s games, he was one of three players averaging a double-double in Vegas.
An early entry candidate following his sophomore season at the University of Florida, Speights was a member of the Gators NCAA Championship team in 2007. The 20-year-old appeared in 36 games for the Gators in 2007-08, averaging 14.5 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.36 blocks in 24.3 minutes per game. He posted the ninth-highest field goal percentage (62.4% FGs) in the nation last season and would have ranked second all-time in school history in that category (63.3% FGs) but fell just short of the minimum qualification of 500 career shot attempts.
Speights scored 20+ points nine times last season and recorded 10+ rebounds 11 times, including 10 double-doubles. He also blocked 2 or more shots 16 times, including seven games with at least 3 blocks. Over the final nine games of the season, Speights averaged 17.0 points and 8.9 rebounds in just 27.7 minutes per game.
In 2006-07, Speights set a school freshman record by shooting 67.1% from the floor. He scored a season-high 16 points in just 10 minutes of play against Jackson State in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament. Speights played six minutes in the National Championship game vs. Ohio State, scoring 2 points while grabbing 2 boards. Five of his teammates that season (Corey Brewer, Taurean Green, Al Horford, Joakim Noah and Chris Richard) were chosen in the 2007 NBA Draft.