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Land The Picks Sam: Sixers Alone At The Bottom While Kings Disintegrate

Sean subs in for Jake this week as the Kings fall apart.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers fans have seemingly been more fatalistic after this rough start than I imagined they would be. Yeah, the team as it stands still stinks, as any team with nine players whose best is a 19-year-old center would. When looking at draft possibilities, it's still in their best interest to be bad. Being bad in the short-term might be a good thing!

A lot of the pre-season optimism didn't, I think, take into consideration that things could go poorly for a long stretch. Despite last season's historically bad start, overall things went well relative to pre-season expectations. Nerlens Noel stayed healthy and steadily improved throughout the season. Michael Carter-Williams was bad but got traded, and Ish Smith proved somehow capable of helping the team greatly. Robert Covington emerged as a real piece.

Things haven't been as great this year. Robert Covington sprained his knee in the team's final preseason game and aggravated the same injury a day after his initial return. Nik Stauskas missed the entire preseason and part of training camp with his own knee problem. Nerlens Noel bruised his wrists punching chairs on a fall against the Cavaliers. Kendall Marshall and Tony Wroten, the team's best point guards entering the season, are still rehabbing from injuries.

While there have been on-court bright spots - namely Okafor's offense and T.J. McConnell's passing - most of the games have been endurance tests for die-hard fans.

Given all this - on top of the roster turnover - it's no surprise the Sixers are putrid. If the team gets healthier and this is still an issue, then maybe panic is in order. Now? Remember that our draft pick is likely to be better, and celebrate when wins eventually occur.

Team: Philadelphia 76ers (0-8)

Pick or Swap?: Both?

Protections: N/A

A Stat About The State Of The Team:

The Sixers are, for the first time since the end of 2013-14, not last in offensive rating. They're 29th! Thank you Memphis! The bad news? The Sixers are also 29th in defensive rating.

Team: Los Angeles Lakers (1-7)

Pick or Swap?: Pick!

Protections: 1-3 this year and next

A Tweet About The State Of The Team:

Team: Miami Heat (6-3)

Pick or Swap?: Pick!

Protections: 1-10 this year

A Trade About The State Of The Team:

Miami traded Mario Chalmers and James Ennis to the Grizzlies for Beno Udrih and Jarnell Stokes this week. I'm not sure they've weakened their team much - Chalmers was so erratic Erik Spoelstra could hardly trust him to execute throughout the game, let alone in major moments. And they saved money and maybe got slightly worse - not bad for the Sixers, if it helps their draft positioning.

Team: Oklahoma City Thunder (5-3)

Pick or Swap?: Pick!

Protections: 1-15 this year

A PSA About The State Of The Team:

By PSA, I meant an article in The Players' Tribune! It must be hard for Durant to be a deputy publisher on top of his sponsor commitments and basketball career and not being nice. What does "deputy publisher" even mean? Do players get to pick their own titles? Did that just sound good? Will his injury recovery (slated to be 7-10 days from a hamstring strain) be hampered by the huge burden of being a deputy publisher for a major internet publication?

Team: Golden State Warriors (10-0)

Pick or Swap?: Swap!

Protections: none, other than having Stephen Curry just in general

A Vine About The State Of The Team:

Team: Sacramento Kings (2-7)

Pick or Swap?: Swap!

Protections: none, pick swaps with Sixers if it is worse

A Quote About The State Of The Team:

"We don't know what to do with George (Karl), do you think we should fire him?" - Kings GM Vlade Divac, according to Jason McIntyre from The Big Lead. Things in Sacramento are going smoothly, of course.

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