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NBA mock drafts, predictions for the Sixers’ first selection, and the history of pick No. 21

Opinions vary on whom the Sixers will end up with if they stay at No. 21. Cole Anthony, whose father played 11 seasons in the NBA, is one of the intriguing prospects.

Guard Malachi Flynn last year became the third San Diego State player to be named All-America.
Guard Malachi Flynn last year became the third San Diego State player to be named All-America.Read moreGregory Bull / AP

What: NBA draft

When: Wednesday, 8 p.m.

Where: Selections will be made by teams at remote locations and announced at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn.

Watch it: ESPN, NBATV, ESPN App.

Pre-draft coverage: NBATV starting at 4:30 p.m., NBC Sports Philadelphia at 6 p.m., ESPN at 7 p.m.

Sixers' first-round pick: No. 21.

Sixers' second round picks: Nos. 34, 36, 49, 58.

What the mocks are saying

The names are varied, but the unanimous thought is that the Sixers will take a guard if they stay at No. 21. Here’s a sampling of opinions and mock drafts, compiled Monday:

  1. Marc Narducci, Inquirer: Desmond Bane, 6-6, Sr. SG, TCU

  2. Damichael Cole, Inquirer: Cole Anthony, 6-3, Fr., PG, North Carolina

  3. Kyle Boone, Desmond Bane, 6-6, Sr., SG, TCU

  4. Scott Gleeson, USA Today: Tyrell Terry, 6-2, Fr., SG, Stanford

  5. Gary Parrish, Theo Maledon, 6-4, PG, France

  6. Krysten Peek, Yahoo Sports: Kira Lewis Jr., 6-3, So., PG, Alabama


  1. Cole Anthony: Top-five recruit in 2019, but North Carolina posted the first losing season of the Roy Williams era (14-19). Son of longtime NBA lead guard and TNT analyst Greg Anthony.

  2. Desmond Bane: Raised by his great-grandparents. His great-grandmom, Fabbie Bane, will be with him on draft night, according to his local paper, the (Richmond, Ind.) Palladium-Item. His great-grandfather, Bob, passed away from COVID-19 in July.

  3. Malachi Flynn: Point guard who last year became the third San Diego State player ever named All-America (he was second team). Michael Cage (1983-84) and Kawhi Leonard (2010-11) are the others.

  4. Kira Lewis Jr.: First-team all-SEC last season and the youngest player in the league. Turned 19 in April.

  5. Nico Mannion: Arizona point guard was born in Italy where his father, Pace, played professionally.

  6. Tyrell Terry: Recently tweeted out his support for Youthlink, a nonprofit organization in his hometown of Minneapolis which provides assistance to homeless children.

The Villanova guys

It looks like Saddiq Bey will be the fifth Villanova player selected in the first round in the last four years. Here’s a look:

  1. 2017: Josh Hart, No. 30: Averaged career bests of 10.1 points and 6.5 rebounds coming off the bench in his first season in New Orleans.

  2. 2018: Mikal Bridges, No. 10: Played very well on both ends of the floor for the Suns in the bubble over the summer. Still growing, and now has Chris Paul as a teammate.

  3. 2018: Donte DiVincenzo, No. 17: Played 23.0 minutes per game as his role increased for Milwaukee, which was the East’s top seed before a disappointing second-round loss.

  4. 2018: Omari Spellman, No. 30: Dealt to Minnesota at the February trade deadline, and played for the T’wolves G-league team.

History lessons

  1. Michael Finley (1996), Nate Robinson (2006) and Rajon Rondo (2007) are the best of the No. 21 all-time picks in the common draft era, since 1966.

  2. Barring a trade, this will be the fifth time the Sixers selected a player at No. 21. The previous were Allen Bristow (1974), Monti Davis (1981), Terry Catledge (1985) and Daequan Cook (2008). Davis, who was taken 13 spots after the Sixers nabbed Andrew Toney, played in just two NBA games in his career. Catledge was part of the (ugh) Jeff Ruland/Cliff Robinson deal in 1986.

  3. The Sixers hit on consecutive No. 36 picks when they took Maurice Cheeks in 1979 and Clint Richardson in 1980. Cheeks went on to a Hall of Fame career and Richardson was the first guard off the bench for the 1983 championship team.

  4. In 1981, with the 58th pick, they took Earl Cureton, another key member of the ’83 club.