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May 16, 2017

2017 NBA Draft Lottery: Sixers earn third selection via pick swap with Kings

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Tuesday night marked the fourth straight year that the Philadelphia 76ers were major players in the NBA Draft Lottery. And in 2017, for the fourth consecutive season, the Sixers were able to make it past the commercial break. But unlike last season, when the Sixers got the top spot and the right to draft Ben Simmons, team representative Joel Embiid had to trust the process settle for the number three pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

The Sixers received their top selection via a pick swap with the Sacramento Kings. A brilliant move by former general manager Sam Hinkie, the pick swap dates back to a July 2015 trade in which the Sixers also acquired another unprotected first-round pick and shooting guard Nik Stauskas in exchange for taking on some veteran contracts that are already off their books.

But of course there wasn’t just one pick at stake for the Sixers on this night. The Los Angeles Lakers first-round pick from a 2015 trade that sent Michael Carter-Williams out of Philly had yet to convey, now down to a Top-3 protection heading into Tuesday night’s proceedings. Philadelphia held a 53 percent chance of landing the Lakers pick going into the night.

Unfortunately for the Sixers, they’ll have to wait another year (when the pick is unprotected in 2018), as the Lakers and Magic Johnson avoided disaster by landing the number two pick. Boston won the draft lottery and likely the right to draft Markelle Fultz.

This means that the Sixers will have to wait for Boston and Los Angeles to pick, but they are in the range where UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball (and his, um, enthusiastic father LaVar) is projected to be drafted along with Kansas swingman Josh Jackson.

The actual draft lottery took place in a private room Manhattan at the New York Hilton Midtown, with NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum reading the results on ESPN about an hour later.

The 2017 NBA Draft will be at 7:00 p.m. on June 22nd, 2017 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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