Basketball / Sports

76ers see hope in NBA draft

PHILADELPHIA -- Since the moment Sam Hinkie was hired as general manager last May, this June's NBA draft has been targeted as the 76ers' proverbial building block.

It served as their glimmer of hope amid the barrage of lopsided losses as part of this past season's tank job. For every minute logged by a player with NBA Developmental League talent, there was a hope that it would lead to a brighter future. Amid all the disappointing moments, there was a sense that a good draw in the draft lottery would erase all the misery.

The lottery has arrived. It will be held Tuesday night at Times Square Studios in New York.

Former Duke star Jabari Parker and former Kansas standouts Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid will attend the draft lottery. Those three are likely to be the headliners of the NBA draft on June 26.

The Sixers are expected to take Wiggins or Parker with their first pick if either is still available.

Finishing with a 19-63 record, the Sixers secured the second-best odds to get the top draft pick behind the Milwaukee Bucks. They are will receive the New Orleans Pelicans' first-round pick if it is not in the top three.

The only thing left to do for the Sixers is get a little luck on their side.

That's part of the reason that former Sixer and Hall of Famer Julius Erving will be the team's on-stage representative at the lottery.

"It is fitting that he represents us at the podium on this exciting night," Sixers CEO Scott O'Neill said. "As we build for the future, we are thrilled to have a key part of our past with us to bring the team good luck."

They have a 19.9 percent chance of winning the draft lottery after finishing with the league's second-worst record. In the worst-case scenario, they would slide to fifth.

The Bucks have a 25 percent chance of winning. The Sixers, Orlando Magic (15.6 percent), Utah Jazz (10.4) and Boston Celtics (10.3) round out the teams with the best chances in the lottery.

The Sixers also will receive the Pelicans' first-round draft pick unless New Orleans finishes in the top three in the lottery. That's highly unlikely considering that the Pelicans finished with the 10th-worst record. New Orleans has a 4 percent chance of moving into the top three and cannot finish in slots four through nine.

The Pelicans' pick, acquired in the Jrue Holiday trade, is top-five protected.

The only other time the Sixers had the second-best odds entering the lottery was in 1996. They won the lottery and drafted Allen Iverson with the top pick.

Moving up is rare for teams that come in with the second-best odds of winning, however. In fact, teams slotted second have dropped in 20 of the previous 24 lotteries. They moved up in 1992 in addition to 1996 and stayed put in 2002 and 2006.

Since then, the team slotted second has finished fourth in the lottery four times (2008, 2010, 2011, 2013). They finished fifth in 2007 and 2009, and third in 2012.

"I'm an optimist," Hinkie said. "But we all know what the odds are. There isn't anything we can do to control it at this point forward. So we will go with how things come up."

(c)2014 The Philadelphia Inquirer

Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at

Distributed by MCT Information Services


blog comments powered by Disqus