By Kevin McCormick, Sports Talk Philly Editor
There are multiple directions the Sixers can go on draft night with their first-round pick. Multiple prospects have been linked to the Sixers with the 21st pick, but there is one in particular they should keep an eye on.
Cole Anthony has been a name that has floated up and down draft boards all year. Before the college basketball season, Anthony was looked at as a top-five pick in this upcoming draft. But injury and lack of talent around him has caused his stock to fall.
As his name continues to float around draft boards, Anthony is a name the Sixers should keep an eye on during the draft. There are some question marks to his game, but his talent and potential are worth taking a chance on.
The key part of Anthony’s game is his ability to put the ball in the basket. He is a strong three-level scorer who averaged 18.3 PPG in his sole season in college. Shot creation on the perimeter is an area that Anthony could come in on day one and provide.
Along with what he can bring to an offense, Anthony can also hold his own at the other side of the ball. At six foot three and 190 pounds he could be looked at as slightly undersized, but that didn’t stop him from grabbing close to six rebounds a game at UNC. Anthony also averaged a little over a steal per game.
Shot choice is something that has caused Anthony’s stock to fall, but on the Sixers, he wouldn’t be forced to shoot at the volume that he did in college. If drafted to the Sixers, Anthony could be a microwave scorer for the second unit.
Although at his best on the ball, Anthony can play off the ball as well. He could be an option to come off screens or be a spot-up shooter from three, where he shot 34.8% on 6.2 attempts at UNC.
The biggest risk of taking Anthony is how durable he can be. Last December Anthony suffered a partial tear in his right meniscus that required surgery.
Anthony’s ability to score the ball is something the Sixers need off the bench. With Alec Burks likely moving on in free agency, the Sixers will need to find a new sixth man.
Drafting Anthony is a gamble that could pay off greatly for the Sixers. If he can show flashes of the prolific high-school prospect that he was, the Sixers could have a premier guard for the long term. Worst case scenario he can be a multi-tool scorer for the Sixers’ second unit.
Recent mock drafts have had the Sixers selecting Anthony with the 21st pick. It will be fascinating to see if the team looks to take a gamble on Anthony’s potential or play it safe on draft night.