It was unclear if the Philadelphia 76ers were going to have access to a first-round pick or not in the 2020 NBA Draft for a while. With a top-20 protected pick pending from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Sixers needed Chris Paul to keep leading a young team with low expectations to victory.
Fortunately, the Thunder won enough games to allow the Sixers to own the 21st overall pick in the draft. Therefore, the Sixers will have the opportunity to draft a rookie towards the bottom of the first round while already owning a handful of second-round picks to follow.
For quite some time, the Sixers were linked to Stanford guard Tyrell Terry. As Philly clearly needs guards who specialize in shooting, Terry seemed like the right fit who was inevitably going to be available at No. 21 due to him being undersized. Now that Terry has put on more muscle and even shot up a size in height, Terry's been getting top-ten love leaving the Sixers to go with somebody else in other mock drafts.
As of late, TCU's Desmond Bane has been a name that's frequently linked to Philly. As the 22-year-old guard revealed the Sixers have "shown a lot of interest" in him so far, national outlets are adjusting their mock drafts accordingly. And recently, USA Today's Rookie Wire has the Sixers snagging Bane in their latest mock draft.
"The draft needs of the Philadelphia 76ers, who will look to complement franchise stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, can be summarized in one word: shooting. TCU’s Desmond Bane averaged 16.6 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game in 2019-20. His best trait was 3-point marksmanship, as he shot 44.2% from beyond the arc. Bane averaged 1.07 points per possession on jump shots off the dribble, per Synergy Sports, a figure which ranked in the 92nd percentile nationally."
Last season, the Sixers prioritized experience and defense in the first round of the draft when they selected Washington Senior Matisse Thybulle. This year, Sixers President of Basketball Operations Elton Brand won't solely look for players with multiple years of experience at the college level, but several seasons of production is a plus.
When it comes to Bane, he's got four seasons under his belt. And ever since his Sophomore season, the TCU product has drained more than 40-percent of his three-point shots every year. A reliable shooter and solid defender would check all boxes for the Sixers this year. Therefore, Bane is surely on Philly's radar.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_