Here we go Sixers fans, this is it! The NBA Draft Lottery is upon us and by the time you lay your head down to sleep tonight, you will know what two picks your Sixers have in the 1st round of this June’s NBA Draft. It is no doubt the biggest day of the year for the team, but yet some may ask, just how important is this Draft Lottery? Well, let me explain. The future plans of the whole organization relies on fourteen little ping-pong balls. How amazing is that? Seriously, everyone take a moment and let that sink in. Fourteen ping-pong balls! Personally, I absolutely love it; the lottery is fun and entertaining for fans. For Sam Hinkie and the rest of the staff, maybe not as fun, but they are on a mission, and this is the first step to the top.
These are the official NBA Draft Lottery odds and as you can see the Sixers have the second greatest possible chance to receive the #1 overall pick in June. Also, take a look at the New Orleans Pelicans (NOP). That pick belongs to the Sixers as long as the Pelicans aren’t lucky enough to draw one of the top three picks, which is highly unlikely. Barring any shocker, the Sixers are likely to take the #10 pick almost definitely. The question is what will be the higher of their two picks? This pick will be somewhere between #1 and #5, with the probability of picking #4 the highest at 31.9%, and the probability of picking #1 overall their second best bet at 19.9%.
The NBA has taught us over the years that the difference between pick #1 and pick #4 could be the separation between a Hall of Famer and just another role player. This is what the average fan doesn’t understand when watching the Draft Lottery. Especially in a draft class that has been compared to the best draft in recent memory, 2003, a draft that included high-flying superstars like Miami Heat forward LeBron James and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. This year is even more significant for the Sixers because they have so many possible routes they can take to ignite this franchise back into playoff caliber basketball. But there have been multiple rumors swirling around the team in the past few weeks that this draft could cause some really tough decisions for GM Sam Hinkie.
Some rumors have begun floating around that Hinkie is indeed looking to trade his Rookie of the Year PG, Michael Carter-Williams, in a package deal that would allow the Sixers to move up to pick #1 or pick #2 if they were to draw the #4 or #5 pick tonight. So who would they move up to take if this scenario became a reality? Not Jabari Parker, and not Andrew Wiggins, but Dante Exum. The 18-year old, 6’6 Australian PG has been compared to MCW in recent weeks, and scouts have come to the conclusion that he is simply one step above MCW. So, would the Sixers be willing to give up a hefty package to move up to get Exum if they draw the #4 pick tonight? Only the ping-pong balls have the answer right now, because if they draw the #1 or #2 pick there would be no need to trade MCW to trade up, which means there would be no need for Exum, so that’s a prime example as to why tonight matters so much. This lottery could put Hinkie in a bunch of different scenarios that could lead the team down different paths.
This NBA lottery tonight is so huge for the Sixers it’s unreal. This is the first step on a long journey to the top of this league. Hinkie and the staff need the Chips to begin falling their way, starting tonight with landing the 1st overall pick. Having the 4th overall pick in this draft could cause the GM to over think and trade MCW when it’s entirely unnecessary. We have to worry about other needs and fill other voids on this roster. Landing the #1 overall pick would give us virtually two options instead of all the other shenanigans that could tag along with the 4th pick. Get #1 or #2 and take either Wiggins or Parker and this city will be happy.
-Follow @WillRock2424 on Twitter