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March 30, 2016

2016 NBA Draft: Sixers’ first-round pick tracker, part five

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With the NBA regular season now in the home stretch, the Sixers’ plethora of protected draft picks are starting to come into focus. And while Brett Brown’s team will easily finish with the league’s worst record, another down-on-its-luck franchise is dealing with off-court problems concerning a high-profile rookie.

Let’s get right to it.

•    Part one
•    Part two
•    Part three
•    Part four

Sixers pick

Philadelphia 76ers (9-66, projected 1st pick): The Sixers have already all but locked up the league’s worst record and best lottery odds. The question is if they can get that elusive 10th win and avoid tying the worst 82-game record in NBA history. Mullin broke this down in detail.

Looking at the schedule, the last seven games have a decent mix of teams that are out of the playoffs (New Orleans, Milwaukee, NY Knicks, possibly Chicago) and a Toronto team that should have nothing to play for. I think the Sixers will get at least one more win, but it’s not something that I would feel confident betting a lot of money on.

Sacramento Kings (29-45, projected 7th pick): What are the Kings up to? Well, DeMarcus Cousins is openly mocking George Karl, so business as usual:

Sacramento currently has the seventh-worst record, but four teams are within two games ahead of them. If the Kings finish 7th, the pick swap would give the Sixers a 29.3 chance of landing the first overall pick in the draft.

Lakers pick

Los Angeles Lakers (15-59, projected 2nd pick): D’Angelo Russell for Jahlil Okafor, who says no?

All joking aside, bad times in L.A.: The second overall pick is reportedly being shunned by all of his teammates after filming Nick Young talking about being with a woman other than rapper Iggy Azalea, Swaggy P’s fiancée. This has been Wednesday’s topic du jour. From ESPN.com:

At a recent breakfast meeting, one source said, no Laker would sit with Russell at his table. The source added that, in another instance, Russell came into the locker room and sat next to guard Lou Williams, who got up and walked away.

"It's bad," one team source told ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne. "It's about as bad as it can get. There were trust issues already. Now there's no trust."

As far as the pick is concerned, the Lakers are going to finish with the second-worst record. This means that the Sixers will have a 44.2 percent at nabbing that pick this year, either at 4 or 5. 

Heat pick (protected 1-10)

Miami Heat (43-30, projected 23rd pick): Remember when I wrote that Chris Bosh’s absence could potentially knock the Heat into the league’s bottom ten teams? Oops. Great job by Erik Spoelstra and co. to keep on keepin’ on without their best player. Boston and Charlotte are nipping at the Heat’s heels, but regardless of how the East playoff picture shakes out, the Sixers are getting this pick in June at a spot much lower than they barely missed out on last June.

Thunder pick (protected 1-15)

Oklahoma City Thunder (52-23, projected 27th pick)


Golden State Warriors (67-7, projected 30th pick):


Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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