The NBA season may have just kicked off three nights ago, but it's never too early to track picks. Philadelphia has an abundance of first-round picks set to come their way at some point, including a maximum of four this year alone. Each Friday, we'll be tracking the five teams who the Sixers are reliant on to keep the dream of #OneFourElevenSixteen alive.
Team: Los Angeles Lakers (0-1)
Protections: Selections 1-3 in 2016 and 2017, Unprotected in 2018
Pick Status: Los Angeles is off to an excellent start (in the eyes of Sixers fans), losing their season opener to the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-112. Lou Williams missed the game-winning floater as time expired, but had a solid 21 points on 14 shots. Julius Randle contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds in the losing effort, while D'Angelo Russell had just 4 points and 3 turnovers. Their schedule isn't too demanding over the next week, playing the Sacramento Kings, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, and Brooklyn Nets. This could be a telling week for just how good/bad the Lakers are. As is, they're a playoff team.
Chance of Pick Conveying: Too soon.
Team: Miami Heat (1-0)
Protections: Selections 1-10 in 2016, Unprotected in 2017
Pick Status: Miami kicked off their season with a 104-94 win over their divisional foe, the Charlotte Hornets. Chris Bosh made a triumphant return to action after being diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs February, scoring 21 points and adding 10 rebounds. Justise Winslow quietly added 5 points and 7 rebounds in his NBA debut. Their schedule is tough this upcoming week, with five games in seven days against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Indiana Pacers. With Bosh back in the fold, as well as Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic manning the backcourt, Miami has the looks of a quality team.
Chance of Pick Conveying: Too soon (but the odds are good).
Team: Oklahoma City Thunder (1-0)
Protections: Selections 1-15 in 2016 and 2017
Pick Status: Considered by some as a sexy pick to win the NBA Finals, Oklahoma City took down the San Antonio Spurs 112-106 in Billy Donovan's coaching debut. The one and only Russell Westbrook led all scorers with 33 points on 23 shots, and Kevin Durant added 22 points of his own. Oklahoma City has a mixed bag of opponents this week, with matchups against the Orlando Magic, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Toronto Raptors, and Chicago Bulls. If both Durant and Westbrook can stay healthy, it's hard to see this pick being a point of contention.
Chance of Pick Conveying: Too soon, but I really, really like the Sixers chances.
Team: Sacramento Kings (0-1)
Protections: Philadelphia has the right to swap their first-round pick with Sacramento's first round pick, provided that it's in the Top 10.
Pick Status: The Kings fell to the Los Angeles Clippers 111-104 in their season opener Wednesday night. DeMarcus Cousins led his team with 32 points and 13 rebounds before eventually fouling out. Sacramento has a tough stretch of Western Conference teams over the next week: the Lakers, Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Phoenix Suns, and Rockets. Wouldn't be a stretch to see Sacramento losing all of those games.
Chance of Pick Conveying: Definitely too soon, but there's an outside chance they could have a better pick than the Sixers.
Team: Golden State Warriors (1-0)
Protections: Philadelphia has the right to swap the less favorable of Miami's 2016 first-round pick (protected 1-10), or Oklahoma City's 2016 first-round pick (protected 1-15), for Golden State's 2016 first round pick.
Pick Status: Golden State picked up right where they left off from their NBA Finals victory last year, trouncing the New Orleans Pelicans 111-95 on Tuesday. Steph Curry had 40 points on 24 shots. Festus Ezeli was the second highest scorer on the team with 13 points. You know things are going well for the Warriors when they shoot just 9-30 from beyond the arc and still handily defeat a decent Pelicans team. The Warriors face the Rockets today, and then the Pelicans, Grizzlies, Clippers, and Nuggets over the next week.
Chance of Pick Conveying: Technically too soon, but it's hard to see the Heat or Thunder posting a better regular season record than the Warriors.