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Two Days Until Sixers: These Won't Be The Sixers Of Old

It does not matter that the Sixers best case scenario is a 25% chance of drafting Andrew Wiggins.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Contradictory things can be true.

I am at my very core, a cold, dark, analytically-minded person. When someone tells says the 2011 best-team-in-baseball Phillies has a 25% chance of winning the World Series come playoff time, that just means the field has a 75% chance of winning the World Series. Having the best chance among the qualified teams does not a guarantee make.

Championships are usually determined by small sample size roulette. Odds are your team will not be the highest roller. It's cold rationality taken to an extreme that you may rightly feel takes some joy out of a journey we all hold so dear. Combine that cold analysis with steadfast Sixersing, and skepticism becomes an easy crutch with which to dismiss Sam Hinkie's plan.

Turning toward the draft lottery, the same logic can be applied. But unlike the playoffs, odds remain fixed. Assuming the Sixers are, in fact, the worst team in the NBA this season, they will have a 25% of achieving the top overall pick in the draft. They'll have a better chance of nabbing the fourth overall pick (35.7%) than they would the top one.

Even with an absolutely perfect 11-71 regular season record, they may still fail at getting the top overall pick. In other words, this can get Sixers'd. But the difference between this Sixers-ing and a Sixers-ing in the Collins/Stefanski eras is in this instance, the greatest of failures can still breed the greatest of successes.

The Sixers are starting from nothing. Nerlens Noel may not play the season. Michael Carter-Williams enters the season with the label of point guard who can't shoot. Brett Brown is a rookie head coach. The few remainders from the past few seasons will almost surely be gone by next July.

Ultimately this is not just about Andrew Wiggins. Sure, Wiggins would be nice, but this is about clearing cap space, timing, acquiring assets (of which draft picks are an extension), and making the most of them. Does it matter that much if the Sixers end up with Julius Randle instead? Or Dante Exum? Or Jabari Parker?

Wiggins is not the sole focal point of this class, he simply leads it, and smart money says this draft produces more than one superstar. Preseason projections may not be spot on -- some players will fall, others will rise. And while having the fourth or fifth overall pick would not be the most desirable outcome of this season, given the draft class it is still an outcome that could lead to a future superstar. Or an asset used to acquire a superstar via trade. Sam Hinkie absolutely knows what he is doing and he will not sit idly by if the Lottery and Draft go about as bad as they could possibly go.

It's about setting the team up for the future. Even if the lotto goes sideways, the Sixers have multiple picks and assets they can leverage. Hinkie can wheel and deal as he sees fit until the Sixers are exactly where they need to be: standing in the middle of a basketball court hoisting the Larry O'Brien Trophy.

This team as we knew them no longer exists. From here on out, this is a Sixers team willing to do whatever it takes to win a championship.

The Sixers probably will not draft Andrew Wiggins. The 2013-14 season will be a success.

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