Sixers strike gold: The Philadelphia 76ers will have their first No. 1 overall selection in the forthcoming NBA Draft since acquiring former MVP Allen Iverson in 1996.
The Sixers finished the season with a 10-72 record and entered the lottery with a 26.9% chance of landing the first pick. “It’s good for the city of Philadelphia,” said coach Brett Brown, who represented the team at the lottery on Tuesday evening. “The fans deserve this … In many ways I feel we have been rewarded for the city’s perseverance … It gives us the injection that we need. We believe the pieces around us give us even more hope.”
Sixers won’t get Lakers pick
The Los Angeles Lakers landed the second pick for a second consecutive year while the Brooklyn Nets earned the third selection, via the Brooklyn Nets. In what was a rare occurrence, none of the 14 lottery teams moved up in the draft – unlike last year when Sixers dropped to third despite finishing with the worst record in the league.
Phoenix Suns (4th), Minnesota Timberwolves (5th), New Orleans Pelicans (6th), Denver Nuggets (7th via New York), Sacramento Kings (8th), Toronto Raptors (9th via Denver) and Milwaukee Bucks (10th) round off the top-10. Phoenix will also get the 13th pick owed to them by Washington Wizards. Chicago Bulls (14h) won the last lottery selection.
Despite landing the first overall pick, the Sixers had the opportunity to get another two picks in the top-10 if the Lakers fell out of the top-3 and Sacramento Kings out of the top-10. As fate would have it, both Lakers and Kings retained their picks and avoid a disastrous night.
New era for Philly?
The Sixers, who recently hired Bryan Colangelo as president of basketball operations and Mike D’Antoni as associate coach, are determined to end their losing slump, having collected promising assets such as Joel Embiid (2014) and Jahlil Okafor (2015) over the last few years. With the addition of the No. 1 pick, Philadelphia are in prime position to return to winning ways.
The Sixers are likely to choose between LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram with the precious No. 1 pick. There is a feeling around the league that they could draft Ingram since there is already a surplus of centers and power forwards in their roster.
The Lakers will likely draft the player that Sixers pass up on.