This week’s NBA draft lottery finally brought some luck for 76ers and the city of Philadelphia after the team won the lottery and will have the No. 1 pick in NBA Draft in June. Moreover, the 76ers also hold the first round picks of the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, giving them a total of three 2016 first-round picks: No. 1, No. 24, and No. 26. They even could have gotten the Los Angeles Lakers’ first round pick, which would give Philadelphia unprecedented four first round picks, if Lakers had fallen out of top three in the lottery. Luckily for the Los Angeles franchise, they were awarded second pick in this year’s draft so they too can feel like winners. 76ers were entitled to pick that the Lakers originally dealt to Phoenix Suns in a trade for Steve Nash, which Philadelphia later acquired in another trade.
The 76ers finished the season with 10-72 record, just one win better than the worst record in the NBA history. The fans in Philadelphia endured a three-year process where the focus was on building for the future than trying to win. However, even with the worst record in NBA in past two seasons, they only got No. 3 pick in the draft in those two years. Everybody now hopes this No. 1 pick will represent a turning point in franchise fortunes.
Since the start of the season, 76ers focused on the draft lottery night, as they knew the roster is not competitive at all after Joel Embiid, No. 3 pick in 2014 was forced to miss second straight entire season due to injury. Many even accused Sixers for the tanking just to get better chances at the lottery. They started the season with 0-18 score, enduring a 28-loss streak going to the end of previous season and completing this year’s regular season with awful 10-72 record.
In the past three seasons, Philadelphia 76ers never even attempted to put a competitive team on the court under general manager Sam Hinkie, who resigned in April after supervising his plan to accumulate draft picks instead of wins. Now their young players are expected to be joined by this year’s three first-round draft picks, recovered Joel Embiid and Dario Saric who remained in Europe after being drafted in 2014. There is a chance that 76ers will use some of this picks to facilitate a trade for some veteran players.
Philadelphia 76ers will be under new management for this year’s draft and next season, as the team named Bryan Colangelo as the new president and GM after former general manager Sam Hinkie resigned. Jerry Colangelo, Bryan’s father, was hired in December as the team chairman and currently serves as an advisor to the 76ers.
The NBA draft will be held on June 23 in New York, with Ben Simmons of LSU and Brandon Ingram from Duke considered the top two picks.