The NBA draft lottery is only six days away. All over the world (mainly just at Xfinity Live!) people will be biting their nails anxiously, waiting to see if the Sixers can end up with the #1 pick they damn well deserve. Some – including Shaq – think the whole system is rigged. If it is, there’s plenty of reason the NBA should (and shouldn’t/won’t) give the first pick to the Sixers. First, lets look at the numbers.
According to LotteryBucket, here are the odds the Sixers end up with certain picks:
- #1 – 26.9%
- #2 – 22.6%
- #3 – 18.2%
- #4 – 32.3%
And pick combinations (when adding in SAC pick swap, to the best of my calculations):
- #1 and #4 – 13.4%
- #2 and #4 – 13.4%
- #3 and #4 – 13.7%
- #4 and #5 – 1.7%
The odds of the Sixers getting a top-3 pick and the #5 overall pick are very slim. Overall, there’s a 44.2% chance the Sixers get the Lakers pick, and a 67.7% chance they pick in the top 3.
Why the NBA Should Rig the Lottery for the Sixers
The Sixers did everything the league asked – or definitely didn’t ask, nope, not at all. From hiring Jerry Colangelo to give the front office some clout, pushing Sam Hinkie out, bringing Bryan Colangelo in, and now hiring Ned Cohen from the league office, the Sixers went from fringe assholes to being firmly in the NBA’s good graces. Whether they meant to or not, they embarrassed the hell out of themselves in the process.
Historically, the Sixers are one of the NBA’s marquee franchises in one of the league’s biggest markets. Outside of New York, Chicago, and LA, Philly is the biggest media market in the country. If the NBA is worried about the health of the league, the Sixers and Lakers are in need of a serious boost. The Lakers just had the spotlight on them all year long with Kobe’s masturbatory farewell tour, so they can take one year to grow out of the spotlight of having the top pick. The Sixers need it. Philadelphia needs it. The league needs it.
Why the NBA Won’t Rig the Lottery for the Sixers
Two words: The Lakers. With Kobe gone, the NBA’s premier franchise is without a star for the first time in 20 years. A hole needs to be filled. As much as the Lakers “tanked” by trotting the geriatric Kobe out to do whatever he wanted, they didn’t tank in the face of basketball progress like the Sixers did. The Sixers shouldn’t be rewarded for making themselves the national embarrassment of the NBA. If the Sixers don’t get the number one pick and they’re really bad for another year or two, does it hurt the NBA? No. At this point, that’s business as usual. However, the Lake show being dreadful next year, in the NBA’s spotlight, with no top pick on their squad? That’s no good.
What Will Happen
If the lottery is rigged – and depending on who you are that’s a big IF or a small one – the league would benefit from giving the Lakers and the Sixers the top two picks. Having the Lakers pick convey to the Sixers (even though they get it eventually) validates Hinkie’s work, and we just can’t have that. Here’s how the top five is gonna shake out:
- Boston (via Brooklyn)
- New Orleans
If I was rigging it from the point-of-view of the league, that’s how it’d go. The negative Nancy in me thinks we’re getting #4 and only #4 (21.6% chance).