After saying Doctor J couldn’t make it and having people on Twitter suggest everyone from A.I. to Joel Embiid to Ric Flair (my choice), the Sixers have decided to send Nerlens Noel as their representative at the draft lottery. And along with what it says in the Tweet above, if the Sixers get one, six, and eleven, it should be against the law to ever get rid of Nerlens.
Post-lottery comes the draft, and D’Angelo Russell is reportedly one of the Sixers’ main targets. According to Keith Pompey, Russell would love to join the Sixers and he “has the best chance to become an NBA All-Star of the four projected top picks,” according to an anonymous scout. The Sixers plan to interview Russell today and I can only assume their side of the conversation will go something like this: It was you. It’s always been you. We traded MCW to make room for you.
And in interviews with former draft picks, Hoops Hype talked to Dario Saric. Saric pretty much scuttled any hope that he would be a Sixer next season, though that was always a slim possibility. “Next season?” Saric said. “I don’t know and I can’t speak about that because I don’t know yet the situation, how things are going to work out. I can say that I’m happy here at Efes and I’m also happy that people from Philadelphia came here and want me there. That’s all I can tell you right now. I don’t have any information or any feeling regarding what could happen. I’m just focused on the rest of the season.” He added that he wouldn’t mind staying in Europe to develop since he thinks he could improve his individual game in the NBA but is better off improving his team game in Europe. You really gotta like this guy. [Editor’s note: We hate Dom Brown for this sort of mentality, because we’re fickle. And because Saric has a chance to be something more than a one-time, Tinder-philanderer, all-star.]
Wouldn’t you be doing the same thing?
Is that some orange on his shorts or is he just… photo credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Next Thursday will finally be the end of all of the Marcus Mariota to the Eagles speculation, so then we can move on to other topics. Or not. Also there are no other topics.
According to Jason La Canfora at CBS Sports, Mariota could be picked at number two by the Tennessee Titans, and still end up as an Eagle:
The Tennessee Titans will be open to exploring any deal that makes sense for them. The Eagles, Browns, Chargers and possibly Rams will all have at least some degree of interest, and there is ample potential for a swap to occur before the Titans make their selection …
It could just as well occur sometime after, whether it sometime later during the first round of the draft next Thursday, or even perhaps days or weeks after [Ed. note: Weeeeeeeks]. Surely, a few wrinkles could get a bit more tricky in the aftermath of the Titans using the pick, though even then a corresponding transaction would be hardly impossible.
As Bleeding Green Nation points out, the “picking a player first and then trading him” is more of an NBA-style move than NFL, “but if there was ever a time for an unconventional trade to be made, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Chip Kelly involved in it.” So basically it comes down to this: The Eagles could make the trade for the number two pick tomorrow. Or on draft night. Or they could trade for Mariota after he’s picked. Or weeks later. Or after his second season. Or never. This will never end.
Photo Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
There’s one big reason why the fans (and front offices) of both the Sixers and Heat won’t want to win tonight’s game: Miami’s first-round draft pick.
No matter tonight’s outcome, the fate of the pick will not be totally sealed. Miami is locked into finishing 10th or 11th from the bottom. Period. Nothing can change that. And the lottery has many tricks up its sleeve. But here’s what it comes down to: If the Heat finish with the 10th worst record, the Sixers have a 9.1% of lucking into their (the Heat’s) top-10 protected lottery pick. If the Heat finish 11th, those odds jump to 97.1%, and it’s up to the lottery to screw the Sixers over.
So why would both teams want to lose? If the Heat lose …
- Miami is locked into the 10 spot, giving the Sixers only a 9.1% chance at getting their pick.
If the Sixers lose and …
- The Magic beat the Nets:
- Miami and Brooklyn will tie for the 10th spot in the lottery.
- Both teams will split the balls for the 10 and 11 spot, with one team winning a coin-flip for one extra ping-pong ball and who would draft first if neither team jumps into the top 3. If the Heat were to lose that coin-flip, the Sixers would have their 97.1% chance at the pick.
- The Knicks beat the Pistons:
- The Sixers and Knicks will tie for the second spot in the lottery.
- The Sixers gain up to 22 more ping-pong balls and have a better chance at jumping up to the first or second pick.
So let’s go Sixers… but also also the Heat and the Magic and the Knicks. The association!
Chip Kelly told reporters after acquiring Sam Bradford in a trade that he’s not a trade chip, but no one is convinced. For one, just ask anyone on the street about Sam Bradford. They’re not convinced. But some NFL coaches don’t buy it either, at least according to Josina Anderson:
That doesn’t mean they know anything we don’t, that just means (some) coaches feel a certain way. That’s fine, it might not mean anything at all. But what if it does? Chip said he wouldn’t “mortgage the future” for anyone, but he might not have to. If the Titans, at number two, decide they really want Bradford, the Eagles might not have to part with that much. It’s a big “if” though, since the 2-14 Titans obviously have bigger question marks than Zach Mettenberger. But it’s still a possibility, and this rumor won’t die until the Eagles actually pick someone in the draft.
Photo Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Larry Brown loves Emmanuel Mudiay. Mudiay was originally committed to play for Brown at SMU before he decided to play professionally in China for a year, and then enter the NBA draft. So of all the basketball people in the country, Brown probably knows Mudiay the best. And he’s still impressed. Brown told the Inquirer‘s Marc Naducci that Mudiay is “physically gifted and … has a great feel.” Brown said the Sixers would throw a parade — though, he clarified, not necessarily a championship parade — if they landed Mudiay in the draft, and that was when they still had MCW.
Well, they don’t have MCW now. And they’re going to have a very high pick in this year’s NBA draft. So, what do they do? They’ll likely go back and forth on that, but they’ve been asking Brown about Mudiay. According to Fansided, many teams have reached out to Brown to ask about Mudiay, and the Sixers were one of them. Mudiay and D’Angelo Russell are currently the top two (or so) guards being talked about to land near the top of the draft, behind a couple of very talented front court players. The Sixers, however, are pretty okay down low, and may decide to snatch up one of those guards. When you draft that high, it’s usually smart to just pick the best player available rather than drafting for need, and then sorting it out later. But who’s to know what is going on in the head of Hinkie.
Brown, who has had his issues with the Sixers in the past, seems to be over it now. Or, he’s feeding them misinformation until they agree to hold an Aaron McKie night and PROMISE TO INVITE HIM.
Photo Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Though the NFL Draft is still months away, mock drafts are starting to spill out, start rumors, and give Kyle special feelings. In addition to Pat Kirwan’s mock from yesterday that had the Eagles moving up to the fourth pick to snag Marcus Mariota, Peter King’s mock was released today and he, too, has the birds soaring up to the number five spot to do the same.
King, of unfounded and incorrect rumors (and being a league mouthpiece), thinks the Eagles can swap their first and second rounders this year and their first and fourth rounders next year for the right to pick their new franchise quarterback.
It seems unlikely that the Redskins, currently slotted at the five spot, would swap picks to allow their division rival to fulfill their coach’s dream of drafting his football soulmate. To defend his theory against those claims, however, King compared it to basically the same situation from before. Yep, that one:
This has so many poetic points to it. The Eagles gave Donovan McNabb to Washington a few Easters ago; now Washington would be giving a longer-term quarterback, theoretically, to Chip Kelly. The Eagles coach would be reunited with the quarterback he recruited out of a Hawaii high school and helped make a star while both were at Oregon. It just feels right, though Howie Roseman will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into giving up so much draft capital for a player with some question marks.
For one, King believes Howie Roseman will even be in the room and that’s cute. Secondly, how dumping and aged and past-his-prime Donovan McNabb on the ‘Skins is anything like trading four high draft picks for a potential franchise star is beyond me. Supposedly Sal Pal will be on the radio again today to sling some more shit at the wall on this very topic. The draft is in 63 days.
Mariota doing his best Hulk Hogan running leg drop.
Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Despite what Sal Pal would like you to believe, the Eagles getting Marcus Mariota in the NFL Draft is a long shot. Not only is he a top talent, but (as usual) a bunch of teams at the top of the draft need a quarterback. The team with the number one pick, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, needs a quarterback. Luckily for the Eagles — and Sal Pal’s space shuttle re-entry level hot takes — the Bucs reportedly favor Jameis Winston over Mariota. So CBS’ latest mock has him going number two to Tennessee, but Cleveland’s got some shady plans, too.
According to Deadspin, the Browns (who are a complete mess from top to bottom) are eyeing Mariota and using a little edge to get in his head. As Tom Ley points out:
The Browns have not yet officially hired Kevin O’Connell to be the team’s new quarterbacks coach, but it’s been reported far and wide that O’Connell will be joining the coaching staff this upcoming season. Before he does that, though, he’s going to finish personally training top prospect Marcus Mariota, a quarterback whom the Browns are reportedly interested in drafting.
The issue? No other team can talk to any prospects at all until the combine starts. But the Browns, and their unofficially new quarterbacks coach, are already getting in Mariota’s head, perhaps teaching him the offense, and doing their damnedest to convince him that Cleveland doesn’t suck. They’re finally getting that Ikea!
But then again, Mel Kiper has Mariota going to the Jets at number six, and going from pick 20 to pick 6 doesn’t seem like that much of a jump and … oh my god … I’ve been consumed by the fire from Sal Pal’s hot takes. Help me.