UNC Basketball: What team is becoming a “popular projection” for Cole Anthony?

Is it possible that this Eastern Conference team is emerging as a “favorite” to land Cole Anthony?

As the NBA Draft is still a few weeks away, the Keeping It Heel team continues to monitor the status of Cole Anthony.

Recently, rumors circulated that Anthony was not an option for the New York Knicks, who hold the No. 8 overall pick as well as an additional pick near the end of the first round. Even if the Knicks trade down from No. 8, it appears that they will look elsewhere with their respective pick.

The question we continue to ask is: where exactly does the former Tar Heel fit in this draft class?

If Anthony slides down the draft board a bit, it is possible that this Eastern Conference team could be interested.

In his most recent mock draft for The Ringer, Kevin O’Connor projects that Anthony will be selected by the Philadelphia 76ers with the No. 21 overall pick. Recently, a handful of mock drafts have sensed that Philadelphia could be a likely destination for the New York native.

Here’s what O’Connor had to say about why Anthony to the 76ers makes sense:

“Anthony is a polarizing prospect, but he undeniably brings the type of perimeter creation skills that the Sixers desperately need to maximize the abilities of Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.”

Although we all know how talented Anthony is, it seems as if his draft stock continues to fall. As we inch closer to the NBA Draft, it appears like Anthony should be viewed as more of a late lottery pick, and could fall into the early 20’s range depending on how the draft shapes up.

If you’re looking for an organization that could relate to Anthony, the 76ers may honestly be a perfect fit.

The 76ers have been rather disappointing over the last few seasons. After winning 40+ games in each of the past three seasons and having one of the more talented rosters in the sport, the organization has failed to make it past the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Just like the 76ers roster, Anthony is a very talented basketball player. You could even make the case that he’s one of the most talented players in this entire draft class. However, Anthony’s injuries combined with a year full of struggles (both individually and team wise) at North Carolina have really seemed to hurt his draft stock.

With new head coach Doc Rivers in the mix, and some anticipated roster moves, maybe adding Cole Anthony to the mix could help the 76ers franchise get to that next level.

For the 76ers, adding a player like Anthony could definitely help improve their offense. As O’Connor noted, Anthony is more than capable of creating shots, and could help create opportunities for some of the team’s biggest stars.

For Anthony, it’s simply a matter of proving the “doubters” wrong. He was considered a “sure-fire” Top 5 pick when he arrived in Chapel Hill, but his year at North Carolina mightily altered that.

Regardless of where he lands, Anthony will have a lot to prove, and Philadelphia may be a place where he can prove his worthwhile helping a “win-now” type of franchise make a run at an NBA title.

Next: Coby White appears at UNC Basketball practice

Continue to follow the Keeping It Heel team as we will provide updates on Cole Anthony’s draft status heading into this year’s NBA Draft.