Much has been said about the ‘process’ in Philadelphia. Some don’t care for it, because a professional sports team should always be doing whatever it can to win. Tanking in order to draft better goes against the spirit of competition.
However, the results of the ‘process’ are starting to bear fruit. They won 50+ games this season, something they hadn’t done since the turn of the century. For the first time since 2012, they made it to the playoffs. They were knocked out in the same round (conference semis) as the last time and by the same team (Boston Celtics).
But they made it. While making it to the second round is nice, it is not the end goal. No one plays just to become one of the top eight teams in the league. They want to be the best.
While they gave Boston a good fight in a few of the games, they were clearly outclassed by the Celtics in the Conference Semifinals. You can blame it on coaching or the players. But only one thing is clear: the ‘process’ is not over. But it could take a huge step in the right direction depending on how the draft lottery plays out.
As a playoff team, they are not going to be in the mix. But the 76ers will have some interest in how things play out thanks to a previous trade. It’s a slim interest, but an interest nonetheless.
When the Boston Celtics traded the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft to the 76ers, they got Philadelphia’s pick (No. 3) in return and a conditional pick from the Los Angeles Lakers.
This is where it gets interesting.
If the Lakers get the No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, or No. 5 pick in the 2018 Draft, it goes to the Boston Celtics. However, should they get the No. 1 pick, it will belong to the 76ers. Should that happen, for the fifth year in a row, the 76ers will have a selection inside the top three of the draft.
Pretty cool if you’re a Philadelphia fan, right? Yeah, but don’t count on it happening. Since the Lakers had to go and flirt with respectability this year (35-47), the odds are against them getting the No. 1 pick (1.1 percent).
The odds aren’t much better for the Celtics getting the No. 2 (1.3 percent) or No. 3 pick (1.6 percent).
But as long as the Lakers pick isn’t No. 2-5, the 76ers will get it. When it comes down to it, they will probably not have a pick inside the top three this year. But they have a good shot at getting one inside the top ten.
There are some very good players available inside the top ten. Should they get the right one, the ‘process’ could reach new heights in 2019.