As we all know, Philadelphia 76ers general manager Sam Hinkie has wheeled and dealed with an eye firmly fixed on the future. The team could very well have four first-round picks in the upcoming draft if everything shakes out correctly.
With that in mind, I figured we would take a semi-periodic look around the league and check in on how the teams that will determine those draft picks are faring. Let’s get going.
Philadelphia 76ers (0-6, projected 2nd pick): Yup, right on schedule.
Sacramento Kings (1-6, projected 4th pick): Soon to be 1-7 after San Antonio comes into town tonight. PICK SWAP! PICK SWAP! PICK SWAP! Did you know that the Kings are 17.4 points per 100 possessions better when Rajon Rondo leaves the floor? Well, it’s true. The schedule has been tough and Boogie Cousins has been hurt, but this is why it was prudent for Hinkie to ask for extra lottery balls in the Nik Stauskas trade. You just never know with the Kings.
Lakers pick (protected 1-3)
Los Angeles Lakers (1-5, projected 5th pick): If the first week and a half is any indication, the Lakers are going to try their hardest to keep their pick. Anytime you’re a coach of a rebuilding basketball team and can call out the second overall pick after only a few games, you gotta do it.
Heat pick (protected 1-10)
Miami Heat (4-3, projected 16th-21st pick): With Chris Bosh back in the lineup, Justise Winslow, and a retooled bench, Miami has been impressive to start the season. For instance, their point differential (+6.1) is very good. Remember, though, this team also started out well last year. We’ll see how Dwyane Wade holds up over 82 games.
Thunder pick (protected 1-15)
Oklahoma City Thunder (4-3, projected 16th-21st pick): Haralabos Voulgaris is a gambler that makes a lot of money on the NBA, which he often tweets about very entertainingly. His early thoughts on Billy Donovan?
Obviously, the talent is still here to be a pretty darn good basketball team, as long as their stars stay healthy.
Golden State Warriors (7-0, projected 30th pick): The option to pick swap (either Miami or OKC pick) wasn’t the main reason Hinkie traded Jason Thompson, and it looks like it won’t be necessary. The Dubs are must-see TV right now, especially because you only have to watch the first half of most of their games. This is a juggernaut.
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann