Thankfully, the regular Sixers season has finally come to an end! Out of loyalty, and against my better judgment, I caught the last ten minutes of their last game against the Knicks. Ouch! Both teams were dreadful.
The good news is that the Sixers lost and the Magic won. That means that the Sixers have broken the tie with the Magic in the race for more ping-pong balls in the draft. The Sixers will have the fourth most, after the Nets, Suns, and Lakers. The Magic will have the fifth most.
Things now get interesting. At 3, the Lakers have a 50&50 shot of falling out of the top three teams to pick. And if they fall out of the top 3, the Sixers get their pick. That could mean 2 Sixer picks in the top 5. That would be very cool.
One other thing. The Nets will get the most ping-pong balls, meaning they have the best chance to draft first. But their pick goes to the Celtics. So let’s assume the Celtics get to pick first. The top two prospects are both point guards – and the Celtics definitely do not need a point guard. They may be in the mood to trade down. And the Sixers might be in a good position to do a trade deal with them to get Markelle Fultz.
Of course, the Sixers may not need a point guard either. Brett Brown has said again that he wants Ben Simmons to play that position next year. Brett has a point – Ben wants the ball in his hands and he is an amazing passer. His 6’10” size may cause a few issues on defense, but it may be more of a challenge for other teams to deal with him on offense. Think back to Magic Johnson.
Meanwhile, this was probably the last “throwaway” season for the Sixers. Expectations for next season are HUGE. They will at least need to make the playoffs. The pressure is on to get at least that far. That will make the Sixers story a lot more interesting.
Embiid and Simmons will be the two main anchors next year. Both are hugely talented, franchise making players. Neither has proved himself yet. Covington is likely to play the 3. Saric may start if he can improve his outside shot. But he is as likely to come off the bench and feast on lesser talent. So the questions are at 2 and 4 spots. Stay tuned!