The Philadelphia 76ers enter the draft lottery with the second best odds for the first pick. Draft lottery night is May 20, at halftime of an NBA playoff game. The Bucks have the first best odds, the Magic the third, and the Jazz the fourth. In case you don’t know how the draft lottery works let’s review. Only the first three picks are chosen. Each team gets a combination. For example the Sixers ping-pong ball could read: 3, 5, 7, 2 on each side of the ball. So, if that ping-pong ball is chosen first, then they get the first pick. Let’s see who the Sixers should take with each possible pick they could receive. Let’s start with the worst possible scenario, the Sixers fall all the way to the 5th pick. Here is my big board for the draft:
So, if the Sixers get the fifth pick, who should they take? Well, that depends. Let’s say the Celtics get 1, Magic 2, Lakers get 3, Bucks 4, Sixers 5. The Celtics are taking Wiggins. The Magic have an interesting situation. They have a very good center in Nikola Vucevic. But can you pass on Embiid for Vucevic? The answer is yes. The Magic take Exum with a need at point guard. The Lakers have a tough decision at 3. Parker is likely the flashier prospect. But they take Embiid. The Bucks have an easy decision at 4, Parker. That leaves Randle at 5 for the Sixers. But Sam Hinkie likes analytics, and Noah Vonleh from Indiana is the better “analytic” prospect. The Sixers take Vonleh.
If they receive the 4th pick, let’s assume the last draft order is used, but swap the Celtics for the Bucks. At 1, the Bucks take Wiggins. At 2, the Magic take Exum. At 3, the Lakers take Embiid. That leaves Jabari Parker, a likely first pick in any other draft, for the 76ers. Sixers take Parker.
If they receive the 3rd pick, let’s assume they swap spots with the Lakers. At 1, the Bucks take Wiggins. Exum at 2 to Orlando. At 3, once again, the Sixers take Parker.
With the 2nd pick, lets go with the original draft order. The Bucks take Wiggins at 1. Tough choice for the Sixers at 2. Exum is an overall better player than Parker. Hinkie probably likes Exum better. The Sixers select Exum, Philadelphia goes nuts because all they watched was Parker tear it up at Duke, and demand Hinkie fired. In my opinion, this would be the best decision. Exum could be Dwyane Wade. `
If they get the first pick, they get Wiggins. No questions asked.
So, bottom-line, the best-case is Wiggins. Next best is, the Sixers get the 2nd pick, the Cavaliers get the first and take Doug McDermott or Julius Randle.