A win against fellow cellar-dweller Boston Celtics hurts the Philadelphia 76ers‘ chances of getting the top draft pick. The effort against fellow tanker Boston has been there, but the winning could take the Sixers a step back from drafting their next franchise player.
The Sixers ended their losing streak to the Celtics this week, but it helped the Celtics take a step in getting more lottery balls. With the win the 15-32 Sixers jumped ahead of the 15-33 Celtics in the standings.
As of January 27, NBADraft.net lists Marcus Smart as the fourth pick. The problem for the Sixers is this would create a problem for point guard Michael Carter-Williams who’s a natural point. The Sixers would probably draft Australian big guard Dante Exum instead.
Exum or Smart would give the Sixers another star, but their upside isn’t nearly as high as top three choices Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Joel Embiid. The latter three appear to be franchise players, particularly Wiggins who would give the Sixers the scorer they need.
If the Sixers are in rebuilding mode they should go all out in tanking even though there’s no guarantee the league’s worst team will win the lottery. With two first-round lottery picks, the Sixers are in a favorable position to win the top pick as the Orlando Magic are the other lottery team with two lottery picks.
This season’s team is surpassing expectations, but it only takes them a step back if they can’t draft any of the projected top three players.