Fans Cheer As Sixers Land No. 3 Draft Pick

It's another year in the NBA Draft Lottery for the Sixers. But the team will make the leap next season, we hope.

Last night, hundreds of Sixers fans crowded a Buffalo Wild Wings in the Far Northeast to cheer on the team. Of course, the 76ers aren’t in the playoffs — they’re in the NBA Draft Lottery for the third consecutive season.

That didn’t stop a certain subset of Sixers fans — the ones who believe in general manager Sam Hinkie, and think he’s setting the team up for Spurs-like dominance over a decade or so — from cheering like the Sixers were in the playoffs. The party, held by Sixers blog Liberty Ballers and Spike Eskin’s Sixers podcast, jammed in so many fans people had to tailgate in the parking lot.

The mantra was #OneSixEleven, which was the best possible result in the Lottery for the Sixers. The 76ers wouldn’t get the Lakers’ or Heat’s picks unless each team dropped in the lottery. The best-case scenario would see the Lakers falling to No. 6 and the Heat falling to No. 11. They could also move up to the No. 1 selection in the draft, from No. 3.

This had a .28% chance of happening. Still, the fans at this party didn’t let it get them down that the Sixers didn’t land pick No. 11 or pick No. 6. They were just happy the Sixers stayed at the No. 3 spot.

This seems odd, of course — to hope for something that’s absolutely not going to happen, to have the lottery be the highlight of your season for a third consecutive year. But if you believe Hinkie is going to bring the Sixers a championship, or at least a good shot at one, you might as well get excited. Even if you’re a 76ers fan who hates the tanking plan and doesn’t think it’s going to work, it’s nice to see people excited about the Sixers.

The Sixers could now have four draft picks next season. The two picks the Sixers didn’t land tonight will go to them if they’re not in the top 3 (Lakers) or top 10 (Heat). Additionally, if the Thunder’s pick isn’t in the top 15 next season — it probably won’t be — the Sixers also get that one.

But who cares about the future anymore. Next year the season the Sixers should at least start winning some games. They’ll have the No. 3 pick, a second-year Nerlens Noel and another rookie in Joel Embiid. The Eastern Conference stinks! This lottery BS is finally over and we can start to get excited about the team, right? Right??

Eh, who knows. It is the Sixers.

Follow @dhm on Twitter.