NBA Draft Lottery could expedite Sixers rebuilding process, but what if it doesn’t?


The day all of Philadelphia has been waiting for is only a day away. On Tuesday, the NBA will hold the lottery in order to determine the top fourteen picks in this year’s draft, which will take place next month. In an ideal world, this could rapidly expedite the Sixers’ rebuilding process, but there is also the possibility that the draft order could set the franchise back.

Philadelphia has a horde of picks and potential picks that could come into play, order depending. The Sixers have a pick swap with the Sacramento Kings. So, if the Kings were to get a better selection, albeit unlikely, it would go to Philadelphia and Sacramento would get the worse of the two picks. The Kings have only a 2.8% chance of getting the first overall pick and a 9.9% chance of landing in the top three. But the odds of the picMore valuable though, the Sixers most prized asset, is the Los Angeles Lakers’ top three protected pick. Philadelphia would get LA’s pick in the event it falls outside of the top three. If it’s one of the top three picks, then the team will keep the selection. There’s a 53.1% chance that the Sixers will get the pick this year. But in the event the Lakers keep their pick, their 2018 first round pick will go to Philadelphia automatically.

Should the Lakers pick not convey this year, it could prove to be very detrimental for Philadelphia down the road. The best the selection could be for Philadelphia this year would be four. But, next year the Lakers could be a significantly improved team, resulting in a drastically lower pick. Los Angeles’ core is only getting stronger and they have been linked to Indiana Pacers star Paul George. If George spends next season in the purple and gold, there’s almost a guarantee that the pick they’ll finish with won’t nearly be as high as this year. If Philadelphia doesn’t get the pick this year, they could face the possibility of the Lakers’ pick being around 10th-15th overall instead of within the top five.

It looks like the top three picks will be Markelle Fultz (University of Washington), Lonzo Ball (UCLA), and Josh Jackson (Kansas). Some teams have reportedly favored Ball of Fultz but for the most part Fultz appears to be the top overall pick. The next couple players who are expected to be selected are Jayson Tatum (Duke), Malik Monk (Kentucky), Dennis Smith Jr. (NC State), Jonathan Isaac (Florida State), and De’Aaron Fox (Kentucky).

The Sixers ideal scenario would be to wind up with the first overall pick and the fourth. That would realistically land them Fultz and whom ever they choose fourth. Philly has been linked to Monk and he would definitely fill a gaping void. Adding these two guards would be huge for this team. The starting lineup would consist of Ben Simmons and Fultz in the backcourt, with Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Joel Embiid in the frontcourt.

Monk would provide a scoring option of the bench as the sixth man. This lineup could contend for a playoff seed. Fultz has the athleticism and scoring ability to play the two with Simmons at the one. The former Washington Huskie is undersized at shooting guard; he does have the length to guard larger players. He provides a level of explosiveness that the Sixers have sorely missed with their current committee at shooting guard with Gerald Henderson and Nik Stauskas.

Philadelphia should be grateful even if they just land Fultz with the first or second overall pick, and that would guarantee them two first rounders next year. That’s a hell of a plan B, or a consolation prize. The University of Washington guard should be at the top of the Sixers draft board. Landing Fultz would catapult this team into relevancy. He will only be nineteen at the time of the draft and he has the potential for superstardom.

But, in a worst-case scenario, the Sixers could only wind up with the fifth or sixth overall pick. In the event this is what happens on Tuesday, Wednesday will be terrible. As will the draft itself. In such a stacked draft class, with so much talent and the team having so many opportunities to draft stars, this would without a doubt be a disappointment. If the team ends up with a player like Monk or Fox, they could end up be key contributors, but their ceiling isn’t nearly as high as the players who will be picked before them.

The Sixers franchise is malleable, and Tuesday will be the next step in a long rebuilding process. The outcome of the lottery could result in an accelerated rebuild but it could also slow the journey to championship contention.


Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports