Philadelphia 76ers history: Previous 21st overall picks

Sixers logo (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Sixers logo (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers haven’t had great success with the 21st pick in previous drafts.

The Philadelphia 76ers are entering the 2020 NBA with the 21st pick as their only first round selection. While the Sixers and their fans both hope they strike gold with the selection, that hasn’t always been the case in past drafts.

The 76ers have picked at the 21st spot nine times in franchise history, only five of them ever played for the franchise and none of them were major difference-makers while on the team. In fact, two of the nine players never even played in the NBA at all.

Former 21st overall picks for the Sixers.

In 1960 the Syracuse Nations selected Joe Roberts with the 21st pick in the third round of the draft. Roberts played three seasons with the Nationals averaged 6.2 points and 4.9 rebounds. The power forward only played one season in the ABA after his stint with Syracuse was over and that didn’t happen until a few seasons after his NBA career ended.

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Porter Meriwether was the 21st pick in the third round of the 1962 NBA Draft. Meriwether’s career and stint with the Nationals was only 22 games. The point guard averaged 3.8 points for that stretch. It’s clear that Meriwether was a bust.

The Sixers selected Allan Bristow at the 21st spot of the second round in the 1973 NBA Draft. Bristo had a ok career and spent the first two years of it with 76ers. During that stretch, the small forward averaged 5.6 points per game. He played a total of 10 seasons in the NBA and ABA.

Like Meriwether, Monti Davis had also only played for Philly and in the NBA for one season. He was drafted with the 21st pick of the first round in 1980 draft. He played one game with the Sixers and then he was waived by the club and signed a 10-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks and played one game with them. It’s fair to say he’s probably the worst player on this list which is a beyond impressive feat.

Terry Catledge had a solid career overall, but his stint with the 76ers wasn’t as good as the rest of his career. After being selected 21st in the 1985 draft, Catledge spent one season in Philly where he averaged only 7.7 points and 4.3 rebound as a rookie. He was traded with Moses Malone to the Washington Bullets.

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None of the players that the Philadelphia 76ers selected with the 21st panned out in a major way, but with a unique draft like the 2020 one, anything is possible.