The NBA Draft lottery will be held Tuesday night in Chicago with the anticipation of picking players at the annual draft June 21 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The Phoenix Suns have the best chance of earning the No. 1 overall pick by finishing 21-61 for a 25 percent chance of seeing the top ping pong ball fall their way.
Amazingly, the 76ers can still finish with the first pick if the Los Angeles Lakers’ logo comes up due to a previous trade between the teams in 2016 which involved guard Michael Carter-Williams. If it falls between 6-14, it can still head to the Sixers. If the pick goes from 2-5, it goes to the Boston Celtics and the Sixers get the Sacramento Kings' 2019 unprotected first-rounder.
Sounds complicated? You’re right.
Philadelphia has a miniscule 1.1 percent chance of garnering the top pick. If that happens, the player available appears to be a no-brainer -- Luka Doncic of Slovenia. The 6-foot-8 guard-forward owns a wide array of skills on both ends of the court and would be an immediate asset.
If the pick lands between 6-14, there are a number of players who will be able to contribute right away.
Villanova guard-forward Mikal Bridges is an intriguing prospect with his ability to shoot, drive to the basket and defensive prowess. Bridges helped the Wildcats win two national championships and improved every season on the Main Line. Watching Bridges’ defense evolve has to be especially enticing for NBA teams. He will do all the little things on defense and is never concerned with statistics. That’s rare these days.
Other interesting names who could fall to the Sixers include Michigan State’s Miles Bridges, Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr., Arizona’s DeAndre Ayton, Miami’s Lonnie Walker IV and Duke’s Wendell Carter Jr., among others.
The Sixers also own the No. 26 overall pick in the first round and four second-rounders – Nos. 38, 39, 56 and 60. They could package the two first-round picks to move up depending on how the lottery shakes out.
Some interesting names later in the first round could be Villanova’s Jalen Brunson and Omari Spellman (if he stays in the draft) along with UCLA’s Aaron Holiday and Duke’s Gary Trent Jr.
All eyes will be on the lottery on Tuesday, especially if the ping pong balls fall the Sixers’ way.
Nothing is guaranteed as evidenced by Markelle Fultz’s maddening rookie season following a trade to grab him at No. 1. Jayson Tatum is starring with the Celtics into the Eastern Conference Finals.
But the Sixers won 52 games and defeated the Miami Heat in five games before bowing out to the Celtics in five hard-fought games.
The roster is expected to be different in 2018-19 between the draft and free agency. If the pick is conveyed to the Celtics, then the Sixers will likely build through free agency – are you listening LeBron James?
Last year, they got the No. 3 pick and moved up for Fultz. That move could be widely questioned in the future.
For now, all the Sixers can do is wait for the ping pong balls to land. Who knows? The slim chance of seeing that No. 1 pick head their way again is possible.That's more than enough to tune into the draft lottery.