All that tanking — the trades of Jrue Holiday on draft day 2013 and in-season trades of the rest of the team, the loss by 45 to a team with t-shirts, the snoozing fans, the record-tying 26-game losing streak — came to a head last night. The Sixers have learned where all this tanking has put them: They’ll select in spots No. 3 and No. 10 in this year’s NBA Draft. The Sixers will pick behind Milwaukee (No. 2, a team that somehow finished with a worse record than the 76ers this year) and Cleveland (No. 1, a team that had only a 1.7% chance to nab the top pick).
While it wasn’t No. 1, Sixers fans should be cautiously happy with the outcome. They now have two top-10 picks in a deep NBA Draft along with Michael Carter-Williams, the reigning Rookie of the Year, and Nerlens Noel, the top pick they traded Holiday for last year and who sat out this year with an injury. The Sixers also picked up the Pelicans’ pick in that trade, which is the No. 10 spot this year.
The Sixers’ pick — which had the second-highest chance of being the No. 1 overall — couldn’t fall below 5. Only the order of the top three teams are selected in the NBA Draft lottery, with the rest of it being ordered by season record. That’s a little confusing, especially when the NBA announced the Sixers’ pick as 10th. One of the confused parties: NBA legend and Sixers draft representative Julius Erving, who thought the Sixers had fallen all the way to 10th for a minute. Let’s look at his reaction in animated GIF format.
But Dr. J wasn’t done making faces on the night. When it was sorted out and the draft went to commercial break with the Sixers in the top-3, we saw … Sad Dr. J. The Sixers did not land the top pick — just the third overall.
He was, however, consoled by Cleveland’s representative, GM David Griffin, afterward.
Cheer up, Dr. J. The Sixers have two top-10 picks in an incredibly deep draft. We won’t know if they’ve screwed it up for years! (He did have a sunnier outlook later in the evening.)
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