The NBA draft is Thursday night, but all Sixers fans seem to care about is Ben Simmons.
A trade is inevitable, league sources have told the Inquirer, but it remains unclear if a move could happen before the draft. Rumors have swirled involving interest from a host of teams, including Miami, Toronto, and Washington, but as of now the three-time All Star remains a member of the team.
After holding a virtual draft last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s draft will once again be live and in person at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Sixers have the 28th pick in the first round, and fans will have their choice of watching the draft on two different networks — ABC and ESPN.
ABC’s coverage will begin at 8 p.m., anchored by longtime SportsCenter host and Temple grad Kevin Negandhi. ESPN’s coverage, anchored once again by Rece Davis, will begin at 7:30 p.m. ESPN will also air the second round of the draft beginning around 11 p.m.
At this point, we don’t really have any idea what will happen, especially with Simmons in flux and trade-happy Daryl Morey in charge. In his mock draft, Inquirer sports writer Marc Narducci has the Sixers taking Kansas guard Quentin Grimes, who led the Cougars to the Final Four this past season.
During the first round, each team has five minutes to make its pick, but not every team will take that long to make the selection. If the Sixers don’t trade out of the No. 28 pick, you can expect the team to go on the clock for their selection shortly after 10:30 p.m., based on the last few years of the draft.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch or stream the NBA Draft:
2021 NBA draft
When: Thursday, July 29
Where: Barclays Center, New York City
Time: 8 p.m. Eastern
TV: ABC, ESPN
Hosts: Kevin Negandhi (ABC), Rece Davis (ESPN)
Streaming: ESPN app (requires cable authentication), Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV, Fubo TV, Sling TV, AT&T Now (all require a subscription)
Media coverage of the NBA draft
Inquirer staff writers Keith Pompey, Marc Narducci, Damichael Cole, and Joe Juliano will be covering all the action live Thursday. Notes and observations about the draft can be found at Inquirer.com/Sixers and in our Locked On 76ers podcast.
ABC’s draft coverage will begin at 8 p.m., hosted by Kevin Negandhi with analysis by Jalen Rose and Chiney Ogwumike. Fresh off her role in the NBA Finals, ESPN reporter Malika Andrews will conduct one-on-one interviews with picks following each team’s selection. About 20 picks are expected to appear in-person.
The network’s coverage will also include a look back at the 1996 NBA Draft, which featured several future Hall of Famers, including Allen Iverson, Kobe Bryant, Ray Allen, and Steve Nash.
Over on ESPN, draft coverage begins at 5 p.m. with a an special hour-long edition of The Jump from the red carpet of the Barclays Center. The special will be hosted by Rachel Nichols, her first prominent role since being replaced during the NBA Finals amid the controversy over a leaked phone conversation.
ESPN’s pre-draft coverage will begin at 7:30 p.m., hosted by Davis and featuring analysis by Jay Bilas, Kendrick Perkins, and NBA draft expert Mike Schmitz. NBA newsbreaker Adrian Wojnarowski will also join the broadcast, but all eyes will also be on his Twitter account, where you can once expect “Woj Bombs” announcing the picks before ESPN’s broadcast.
What time will the Sixers make their draft pick?
During the first round, each team has five minutes to make its pick, but not every team will take that long to make the selection.
If the Sixers don’t trade out of the No. 28 pick, you can expect the team to go on the clock for their selection sometime around 10:15 p.m., based on the last few years of the draft.
What to know about the Sixers ahead of the NBA draft
How will Daryl Morey approach the Sixers’ draft? His past approach offers some clues, writes columnist David Murphy, who also rounded up the team’s best first round picks in the lottery era.
The Sixers have engaged in talks about trading their first round pick, reports Keith Pompey. They’ve also expressed interest in Toronto Raptors star Kyle Lowry.
Twenty-five years ago, the sad-sack Sixers drafted Allen Iverson and rescued themselves from oblivion, writes columnist Mike Sielski.
Thinking about betting on the NBA draft? The real intrigue starts after Cade Cunningham, according to Ed Barkowitz.