By Sean Kennedy (@PhillyFastBreak)
At long last, the NBA Draft Lottery has arrived. Through some combination of strategic planning, bad luck, and inept management, approximately half of the teams in the NBA will have a significant portion of their futures decided by the bouncing of ping pong balls. Over the course of about 15-20 minutes beginning at 8:00pm Tuesday night, we’ll find out exactly to what degree their fortunes will be determined.
For the Sixers, this lottery represents a culmination of sorts regarding the Process. It’s the final of the two pick swap opportunities with Sacramento (although the 2019 unprotected first-rounder still awaits), and the last time we will be left wondering whether the Lakers pick will convey to Philadelphia or not (it either will this year or it’s entirely unprotected next year).
As highly anticipated as the Lottery has been for the City of Brotherly Love, you may already know the Sixers’ odds by heart. If not though, here’s the quick breakdown:
#1 overall pick (including Sacramento swap): 14.70%
Top-three pick (including Sacramento swap): 45.27%
Lakers pick conveys to Philadelphia (landing 4th-6th): 53.10%
In Hinkie we trust.
Now, here are the important things to watch for during the broadcast, whether you’re sprawled out on the couch at home or with thousands of your closest Process supporters at Xfinity Live.
- The Sacramento pick should fall in the 8th spot. Sixers fans should want Miami, Denver, Detroit, Charlotte, Sacramento (from New Orleans)*, and Dallas to be the first 6 teams revealed. If one of those teams is skipped, that means they jumped into the top-3, which hurts everyone else, including the Sixers. Sacramento would then come next. If the Knicks come up before the Kings, celebrate! It means Sacramento jumped into the top-3 and the swap is very much in play.
* – Sacramento likely has the New Orleans pick from the Boogie Cousins trade (assuming the improbable jump from the Pelicans into the top-three doesn’t happen). It will say “Sacramento Kings from New Orleans Pelicans” on the card. This is not the one that impacts the Sixers. Do not be disappointed if this one comes up.
- Similar to the Kings/Pelicans situation above, if (when) the Lakers pick conveys, the card they hold up will have the Sixers logo on it and read “Philadelphia 76ers from Los Angeles Lakers”. While they’re still on picks 4, 5, and 6, a Sixers card reading “from Los Angeles Lakers” is good. A Sixers card with nothing else on it other than the logo is bad.
- If Philadelphia is fortunate enough to make it into the top-3, that means we’ll once again be subjected to the commercial break, a.k.a. the most nervous three-to-four minutes in sports. Let’s hope the Sixers get that far and Embiid brings it home.