With the 2016 NBA lottery set to take place at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17, rumors are heating up regarding the Philadelphia 76ers and their potential draft spots in the first round. After finishing with a record of 10-72, the 76ers, by far, had the worst record in the league. Because of their poor record, the 76ers have a 25 percent chance to land the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. In addition to their own first-round pick, the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-round pick will also convey to them if it falls outside of the top three. While the upcoming lottery is going to have huge implications on the draft, the latest rumors are saying that the 76ers are open to trading the Lakers’ pick.
As ESPN reports, the Lakers have a 55.8 percent chance of keeping their first-round draft pick this year. In other words, the 76ers have a 44.2 percent chance of acquiring the Lakers’ first-round draft pick, which is actually what Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak is preparing for. Regardless of the Lakers’ plans, the 76ers have set themselves up admirably for the 2016 draft. While the team’s fans have had to endure years of poor basketball, things may finally be looking up.
With a team full of young talent, the 76ers finally appear to be moving forward. With former general manager Sam Hinkie no longer with the organization, new general manager Bryan Colangelo is apparently putting an end to the tanking for draft picks philosophy. While acquiring young players is always an important part in building a winning NBA organization, there comes a time where you have to add veterans to the roster.
The best-case scenario for the 76ers this year is having the No. 1 and No. 4 overall picks in the draft. The No. 1 overall pick would come from them personally winning the lottery, and the No. 4 overall pick would come from the Lakers falling out of the top three. Since the team is likely to hold onto their own pick, the Lakers’ pick could be a valuable asset used to acquire a proven NBA veteran. In an interview that appeared on RealGM, Colangelo states that the organization is open to trading their early picks.
“It’s hard to put a number or a value on degree of aggressiveness, but we’ll certainly be open for business and listening to whatever is there. I think any time you have certain assets on the table in front of you, you need to determine what your best strategic move is, and some of that is yet to be determined. To what degree we’ll be aggressive, it’s too early to say.”
If the 76ers land the No. 1 or No. 2 overall pick, it is likely that they end up with Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram. While there are talented players after Simmons and Ingram, it is thought that there is a fairly significant drop in talent. If the Lakers’ first-round draft pick is conveyed to them, they would likely have the option to choose between Jaylen Brown and Jamal Murray, as seen in the latest mock draft at CBS Sports.
While those players have upside, the team is looking to be more competitive in 2016. With Joel Embiid finally expected to make his NBA debut and Dario Saric planning to join the team from Turkey, the 76ers are in need of more veteran leadership. At only 20-years-old, Jahlil Okafor is also expected to take another step forward this season. Add in Nerlens Noel, who is still only 22-years-old, and Simmons or Ingram, and the organization has a lot to be excited about. If the 76ers do decide to trade the Lakers’ first-round draft pick, it is likely that they could get a player that allows them to make a run at the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.
With the NBA lottery only a few days away, rumors will continue to involve the Philadelphia 76ers. If the Lakers’ first-round draft pick falls outside of the top three and conveys to the 76ers, expect there to be even more discussion as next month’s draft approaches.
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