With the NBA Lottery almost upon us (8:30 pm tonight on ESPN), I think we can all agree that of the dregs of the league, no team deserves the number one pick more than the Sixers. All of the other lottery teams either tanked the season, or folded and fell short of a playoff berth. The Sixers had the opportunity to tank the season for a better chance at a coveted top-two pick, but they didn't. They played harder than most teams in the playoffs, and if David Stern really does fix the lottery, well, this year the number one pick has to go to Philly.
Not only did they give it their all against huge odds, but they pulled the trigger on the Iverson deal very quickly after the Nuggets/Knicks "brawl," essentially diverting the nation's attention away from that fiasco, and giving the press something else to talk about. If Stern needs another reason to send Mr. Oden, or Mr. Durant to Philly, how about plummeting attendance numbers in one of the biggest markets in the league? If you’re reading David, do the right thing, huh?
If the lottery is not fixed, well, the Sixers are a long shot. Here are the pertinent odds of the Sixers winding up with the number one or number two pick:
- 1 in 142.86 – Odds of the Sixers winning the lottery.
- 1 in 125 – Overall odds of the Sixers getting the #2 pick.
- 1 in 107.14 – Odds of the Sixers getting #2 if Memphis gets #1
- 1 in 114.43 – Odds of the Sixers getting #2 if Boston gets #1
- 1 in 120.57 – Odds of the Sixers getting #2 if Milwaukee gets #1
I only broke down these odds for the top two picks, because those are really the only two that matter. The consensus about this draft is that it contains two potential hall-of-famers. Top 50 all-time players. Greg Oden and Kevin Durant. They’re picks 1 and 1A. Below them, there really is no consensus. You could see as many at 10 all stars come from this draft, and picks number 3–12 could go in any order.
Obviously, if the Sixers can get the first or second pick they immediately jump up several slots on the Eastern Conference ladder, but if the unthinkable happens, and they stay at number 12 there are plenty of solid, potential stars who could still be on the board. ESPN.com’s mock lottery/draft has the Sixers taking Jeff Green at #12 right now. I like that pick, but who knows what’s going to happen with the draft.
I’ll break down what I think the Sixers should do once the draft order is determined. In the mean time, fear not Sixers fans, the worst-case scenario could be much worse. They may even be able to work a deal to move up, depending on how everything shakes out. Please say your prayers, make your promises, cross your toes and fingers and if you happen to know David Stern, put in a good word for the Sixers tonight.
Fun number of the lottery:
- 1 in 52.63 - Odds of the Bulls getting the number one pick as part of the Eddy Curry trade.
I had to "Play the Lottery" twice to get this result. Let's hope David Stern gets it right the first time.
Check out “Summer Reading” for a look at what each Sixer needs to work on this off season.