Philadelphia 76ers Win The #1 Lottery Pick (Its About To Be A New Day)
The Philadelphia 76ers, who wrapped up the third year of former GM Sam Hinkie's tanking plan with a league-worst 10-72 record, landed the first pick of the 2016 NBA draft in the league's annual lottery.
"It's good for the city of Philadelphia," coach Brett Brown said. "The fans deserve this ... In many ways I feel we have been rewarded for the city's perseverance ... It gives us the injection that we need. We believe the pieces around us give us even more hope."
"I feel this does validate the pain [the Sixers have endured with all the losing the past few seasons]," he added.
The Los Angeles Lakers landed the second pick, with the Boston Celticsdrawing the third choice.
Nobody moved up in the lottery, which sets the top three picks. The remainder of the 14 teams are slotted in the inverse order of their won-loss record.
Entering the lottery, Philadelphia had a 26.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick (their own 25 percent chance, and Sacramento's 1.9 percent chance, since the 76ers had the right to swap picks with the Kings from a previous trade.)
Sixers icon and Hall of Famer Julius Erving posted a tweet congratulating the team.
The Sixers, who hired Bryan Colangelo as president of basketball operations, drafted Joel Embiid (Kansas) and Jahlil Okafor (Duke) in the top three in each of the past two drafts.
They will now have a choice to make between LSU freshman Ben Simmons andDuke freshman Brandon Ingram, the consensus top two prospects in this year's draft.
Simmons, a 6-foot-10 forward from Australia, entered the 2015-16 campaign as the top freshman in the country and was the only player to average more than 19 points, 11 rebounds and four assists this season.
Ingram, a 6-foot-9 swingman from Kinston, North Carolina, averaged 17.3 points per game and was the Atlantic Coast Conference's freshman of the year, helping the Blue Devils to a Sweet 16 berth in the NCAA tournament.
Philadelphia entered the lottery hoping the Lakers would not land a top-three pick; due to the protections negotiated into the 2012 Steve Nash trade, the Lakers had to send their pick to the Sixers if it was outside the top three. The Lakers, who finished a dreadful 17-65 and now must transition into the post-Kobe Bryant era, had a 55.8 percent chance to land a top-three pick.
In a Twitter post, Lakers great Magic Johnson said that "Lakers fans all over should be happy with the No. 2 pick because the Lakers will get another really good player."
Los Angeles took former Ohio Stateguard D'Angelo Russell with the second overall pick in 2015.
Boston was hoping to strike lottery luck after being haunted by the draft lottery ghosts of Tim Duncan and Len Bias in the past. The Celtics, who had never owned the first overall pick in the draft era, were armed with three first-round picks, including the Brooklyn Nets' pick from the Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnetttrade.
Boston, in fact, can swap picks with Brooklyn next year and will have the Nets' first-rounder in 2018 along with Memphis' top-eight protected pick in 2019.
The Celtics, who own eight total picks in this draft, have only had a top-four pick four times in the common draft era, selecting Chauncey Billups (1997), Bias (1986), Kevin McHale (1980) and Dave Cowens (1970).
About four hours before the lottery was due to be held, former All-Star centerDikembe Mutombo congratulated the Sixers, one of his former teams, on winning this year's lottery.
He sent a subsequent tweet saying he was just excited but was keeping his fingers crossed.
Mutombo later told USA Today that the tweet in question had been suggested in an email sent from a Sixers staffer for use if the team did win the lottery. Mutombo said he didn't read the email carefully but posted the tweet to be supportive.
The draft is June 23 in New York.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
2016 NBA Draft Lottery Results
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Boston (from Brooklyn)
6. New Orleans
7. Denver (via New York)
9. Toronto (from Denver)
13. Phoenix (from Washington)