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May 15, 2017

The Sixers have had good luck at the NBA Draft Lottery the last few years

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The NBA Draft Lottery is on Tuesday, and for the fourth consecutive season, the Sixers will be very involved. Luck obviously plays a major factor here, which is at least partially why The Process was always a controversial strategy.

That’s an oversimplification — Some people just don't have the stomach for 60-loss seasons — because there are so many different angles to the Sixers’ rebuilding strategy that I’m not particularly interested in rehashing now or maybe ever again. But over the past three years, there has been no more important day for the Sixers than the drawing of the ping-pong balls.

The Sixers have made the decision to play the lottery hard, and yeah, the element of luck is never made more obvious.

“I said to Josh & David last year during the NBA’s Draft Lottery that it is rare for the importance of luck in our lives to be laid bare for the whole world to see,” Sam Hinkie wrote in his famous letter.

Strictly from a numbers standpoint, the Sixers have fared well in terms of the picks they have landed. Here is how the Sixers did in the 2014, 2015, and 2016 lotteries with their own pick.

 2016 2017
Initial Position
Most Likely Outcome
4th (31.9%)
5th (26.5%)
4th (35.7%) 
 5th (35.0%)
Average Outcome


Every season, the Sixers have made it to the commercial break without having their hearts broken. Even when they landed the third pick, the Sixers ended up better than or equal to both the most likely and average outcomes.

The Lakers pick will be a major storyline tomorrow as well, but strictly from a lottery standpoint, the Sixers should be satisfied with how the ping-pong balls* have been drawn so far. We’ll see if they can make it four years in a row tomorrow night.

*And again, I’m just talking about the ping-pong balls. When you draft Jahlil Okafor over Kristaps Porzingis, the lottery doesn’t matter nearly as much.

Here are the Sixers’ odds for the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery:

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann

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