With the news on Friday that the NBA Board of Governors are pushing for the 2020-2021 NBA season to begin around Christmas, the offseason will likely be shorter than originally anticipated. The first order of business is the NBA draft slated for Nov. 18.

The 76ers have the 21st selection and also four picks in the second round, Nos. 34, 36, 49, and 58. It’s doubtful that they will keep all five selections, and no doubt the first-rounder could be a trade chip, but assuming they don’t trade that selection, there are some interesting possibilities.

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— Marc Narducci (offthedribble@inquirer.com)

Some potential Sixers first rounders

While mock drafts can’t always be taken as the definitive take on things, admit it, they are fun to read. It is interesting the difference of opinions that exist and in the case of the Sixers' first-round choice, there are several, many involving guards.

Here is a list of some of the predictions for the Sixers' first-round choice at No. 21. Between now and the draft these mocks often change.

Tyrell Terry, 6-foot-2 freshman point guard, Stanford. Terry is the selection of Tankathon.com, and Bleacherreport.com. He said during an earlier Zoom interview that he had “great communication” with the Sixers in a predraft interview. In his lone season at Stanford, he averaged 14.7 points while shooting 40.8% from three-point range.

Josh Green, 6-6, freshman shooting guard, Arizona. Green is the selection of yardbarker.com. Green. who is from Sydney, Australia, averaged 12 points and shot 36.1% from beyond the arc. He is also considered an accomplished defender.

Reggie Perry, 6-10, sophomore power forward, Mississippi State. The Sportingnews.com has Perry going to the Sixers. He is known for his athletic ability. This season, he averaged 17.4 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 1.2 blocked shot. He improved his three-point shooting from 28.2% as a freshman to 32.4 this year.

Jalen Smith, 6-10 sophomore power forward, Maryland. Smith was the choice of nbadraftroom.com. This past season, Smith averaged 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. Known more as a perimeter player, he shot 36.8% from three-point range, but was also known for his shot-blocking ability. As a sophomore, he averaged 2.4 blocks, doubling his average from his freshman season.

Desmond Bane, 6-6, senior shooting guard, TCU. Bane is the popular choice of therookiewire.usatoday.com and theathletic.com. Many consider Bane one of the best shooters in the draft, something that should interest the Sixers. During his four-year career, he shot 43.3% from three-point range. Bane also increased his scoring average each season, finally averaging 16.6 points as a senior. He also averaged 6.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists and is known to be a willing defender.

Jaden McDaniels, 6-10, freshman power forward, Washington. McDaniels is the choice of nbadraft.net. McDaniels is considered a little raw offensively. He averaged 13 points and 4.8 rebounds, while shooting 33.9% from distance, averaging more than four attempts per game. The key for him is gaining weight as he is listed at 201 pounds.

Cole Anthony, 6-3, freshman point guard, North Carolina. Anthony is the pick by theringer.com. Known more as a score-first point guard, he averaged 18.5 points, 4.0 assists, but 3.5 turnovers for the Tar Heels. He is the son of former NBA point guard Greg Anthony. Cole Antony shot 34.8% from three-point range.

Starting Five

Keith Pompey reports on two key front office hires of the Sixers. The newcomers are former Indiana Pacers senior vice president Peter Dinwiddie and ex-Orlando Magic director of scouting Prosper Karangwa.

Former Chester High and St. Joseph’s University star Jameer Nelson, who enjoyed a long NBA career, is joining the Sixers front office as scout and G League assistant GM.

In our offseason outlook, we present the case why now is not the time to trade Joel Embiid.

History shows that the Sixers and other teams could have success drafting in the second round. We point to second-round success stories over the past 15 years.

In his Sixers mailbag, Pompey says that the reunion of Tobias Harris and Doc Rivers should bring the best out of the Sixers forward. He also answers other questions, including which Sixers players are under contract and which ones are free agents.

NBA Hall of Famer and former Sixers player Charles Barkley was selected by the 76ers fifth in the 1984 draft -- the Michael Jordan draft.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
NBA Hall of Famer and former Sixers player Charles Barkley was selected by the 76ers fifth in the 1984 draft -- the Michael Jordan draft.

This day in NBA history

On Oct. 26. 1984, Charles Barkley made his debut with the Sixers at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Sixers won the game, 111-101.

Barkley was selected fifth overall in the talent laden NBA draft, Here were the four players selected ahead of Barkley: 1. Hakeem Olajuwon, Houston Rockets; 2. Sam Bowie, Portland Trail Blazers; 3. Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls; 4. Sam Perkins, Dallas Mavericks.

As for his opening game, Barkley came off the bench. He played 27 minutes and scored 11 points. Barkley shot 3 of 6 from the field and 5 of 6 from the foul line, while not attempting any three-point field goals.

He had six rebounds, three assists, one steal, one blocked shot, and five turnovers.

Moses Malone led the Sixers in the win, with 26 points and 19 rebounds, while Maurice Cheeks added 19 points and nine assists. Andrew Toney also scored 19 points and Julius Erving scored 12 points.

The fifth starter?

Marc Iavaroni, who had four points in 13 minutes.

In a quote from the Daily New story, Sixers coach Billy Cunningham talked about Barkley’s debut.

“Charles got a little careless with the ball a couple of times, but he also showed some of his offensive potential," Cunningham said.

Barkley’s assessment of his debut?

“I wish I could’ve played better,” Barkley said in the article. “But I’m glad we won, and that’s the bottom line. I’ll get better in time, and if people have expectations of what I can do, I have expectations of myself that are even higher, a lot higher than anyone else’s.”

He was able to meet those expectations during his Hall of Fame career.

Barkley played all 82 games that rookie season, with 60 starts. He earned his first All-Star berth in 1986-87, the first of 11 consecutive selections, including six with the Sixers.

Passing the Rock

Question: I am curious if Zhaire Smith is still in the 76ers' plans. They gave up a solid young player to get him. - David Cohen from Facebook.

Answer: Thanks for the question David. Last October the Sixers picked up Smith’s third-year option worth $3.2 million. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sixers tried to shop Smith. Many people include him in trade speculation, figuring he has great value. I’m not so sure that is true. He played 28 games last season for the G League Delaware Blue Coats and averaged 13.5 points. One encouraging stat was that he shot 37.6% from three-point range. That is a part of his game he knew he had to work on to play shooting guard in the NBA. Defensively, he is solid, but Matisse Thybulle serves the same role and he is better defensively and offensively at this point.

Maybe the fact that Smith turned 21 in June, a team or two may think he could blossom with a chance. It’s not known where Doc Rivers stands on Smith, but I expect the Sixers will try to unload contracts and if so they may have to include somebody like Smith in any deal. I would be surprised if Smith is with the Sixers when the 2020-2021 season starts.