ESPN's Lottery Mock Draft And How Lady Luck Fell

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Luck be a lady. Or a ping pong ball. Preferably the latter.

What do you get when you combine 2,184 lottery scenarios and the draft expertise of Chad Ford? ESPN.com's NBA Lottery Mock Draft, of course.

The rather addictive and entertaining machine returned today, and should be of special interest to Sixers fans as we take baby steps towards the June draft.

As the machine stands right now (and will obviously update as the year progresses), Philadelphia currently has a 7.5% chance at the first pick with their selection, and a .8% chance with the New Orleans Pelicans pick acquired in the Jrue Holiday trade.

I ran the simulator 25 times to see where the picks fell. In 18 out of the 25 scenarios, New Orleans landed the Sixers the 11th pick. Four times they ended up 12th, while three other times they weren't even in the lottery at all.

Philadelphia's own pick was a little scattered across the board. Eight times Philadelphia ended with the sixth pick, and seven times they earned the seventh, and the eighth and ninth pick one each. They cracked the top 3 seven times total as well, with the top slot going to them twice.

The most common scenario for both picks was the Sixers ending with the sixth and eleventh pick, where Ford had them selecting Arizona's Aaron Gordon and then Michigan State's Gary Harris.

The team obviously has needs in multiple areas, a wing, a power forward (when Thaddeus Young is inevitably traded) and a two guard who can shoot will be areas of desperate need heading into next season. Aaron Gordon and Harris would be able to fill two of those holes. Only issue is, I'm not in love with either.

I've heard a handful of likely lottery picks that the Sixers are fond of. Neither Gordon and Harris were among said players, but that might differ depending on who you're talking to within the organization.

While many seem to believe Gordon could be a dominant post player when he fills out, it doesn't take away from the fact that he's undersized and doesn't possess a great mid-range game, making a fit with Nerlens Noel questionable. If there's anything to love about him, it's his athleticism, and Brett Brown probably has wet dreams thinking about Gordon and Michael Carter-Williams running the floor on the fast break. He still doesn't excite me, however.

When it comes to Harris, he fits the need of a true two guard with a respectable shot. Maybe I'm just too damn picky, but I'd pass on him as well. He's not hitting his shot with consistency this year, and struggles with shot creation. I find that he has a tendency to stand idle around the three point line as he waits for someone to feed him the ball.

For a team that has shown value in height and length, I'd opt for Duke's Rodney Hood over Harris if available in the 11-12 range. Hood, a 6'8" wing is athletic enough to play the two guard. He can hit from just about anywhere on the floor, including beyond the arc, and the stats show it. He's a steal waiting to happen, and if teams continue to sleep on him the Sixers would be wise not to pass on him.

Philadelphia's odds in the lottery seem on tap to increase, and soon enough we could be once again talking about the "Big 3".

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