Yesterday I wrote about all nine (!) picks the Sixers could potentially have in the 2015 NBA Draft. There are many protections and provisions and if/then statements, so you should probably read all that before you dive in here. Because it's about to get messy and Sam Hinkie traded all our napkins for a top 55-protected second rounder, and you don't want to use your shirt to wipe it up because it's your only nice shirt and I just did a load of wash.
Over the next few months, we'll be having a weekly feature focusing on the games to watch that are pertinent to our draft pick cause. Due to the OKC and Miami picks, that will be like 80% of the games. Justin will be running that feature weekly starting next Friday. Justin will be asking to be paid by the word within two weeks.
There's a lot to consider with about a third of the season left. Who to root for? Who to root against? Who to root for sometimes, and against other times? Who let the dogs out? I'm here to help. Consult TANKATHON for more.
Perfect team to start with. Nothing they do matters to us pick-wise, but it does make Spike Eskin mad, so I'd love the Hawks to win out.
Verdict: #FuckSpikeEskin. Do you, Hawks.
Part of me always wants to see the Celtics win, because they're trying to tank in a more socially acceptable way, so screw them. They're 7 games up on the Lakers right now, and the Lakers may not win 7 more games this season. Now that Boston have Isaiah Thomas and got rid of Tayshaun Prince, it seems like they'd win some more. Evan Turner, however, remains on the team. And Jared Sullinger is out for the season with a stress fracture in his tanking foot, so maybe not. I'm torn. They need to either start losing a lot right away, or win a bunch of games so they don't get a good draft pick.
Verdict: Tank quickly or not at all. Feel free to root for wins and Evan Turner superstar games if you think it's impossible to catch the Lakers.
Could actually use some wins out of Billy King, Thad Young, and our friends in Brooklyn. They're currently half a game back of Miami for the 7th seed (and . We'll get to Miami, but since the Sixers have that pick if it's outside of the top 10, let's see if we can edge it closer to 10.
Verdict: Root for wins. Plus, if they make the playoffs, they'll probably make some more ill-advised free agent signings out of dumb excitement.
I got love for Charlotte, in a your-sad-cousin-who-gets-bullied-at-middle-school kind of way. But then Charlotte changes the channel to The Mentalist during a Booker T segment on Smackdown. Screw you, Charlotte.
Verdict: Same as Brooklyn, tentatively. Wins.
I really like the Bulls a lot. They're five games up on OKC, so kinda catchable, but there are other more pressing teams that need to lose, so I don't think it'll be Chicago. I can't believe Jimmy Butler leads them in scoring. Incredible.
Verdict: They still employ Nazr Mohammed! Of course we want them to win!
They're a half game back of the Bulls, and 4.5 up on the Thunder. Unless they cool off drastically, they're not getting caught. And I'll say this as well: if they make a run, it might keep Kevin Love in Cleveland and away from the 2016 Lakers (and their pick).
Verdict: LeBron is good. Like Joe Harris good.
Seven up on OKC. Not happening.
Verdict: Moving on.
Heeeere we go. Finally a fun one. Denver is tied with Boston, seven games up on LA. But Denver is in shambles and may shut everybody down and let J.J. Hickson run point. Could see an historic losing streak coming for them. Starts against OKC tonight. Yes, please.
Plus, the other thing to think about, is the Sixers own their 2nd round pick (or Minnesota's if they pass them). So even if LAL is uncatchable, let's get that 2nd rounder as shiny as possible!
Verdict: TANK, NUGS!
Same as Charlotte and Brooklyn. Not all of those teams are good enough to each individually pass Miami. So we can root for all of them to do it, and then when a few do, we'll be happy! Plus, the opportunity to reference the Sixers beating Detroit twice this season as often as possible.
"If you're putting that roster on the floor, you're doing everything you can possibly do to try to lose." - SVG on the Sixers.— Brandon Lee Gowton (@BrandonGowton) January 29, 2015
Verdict: G'head and win.
They have lost 9 times this season. That is a negligible amount of times to lose. This is the most fun team in the league, next to the Sixers. I so want Steph and Andre to win a championship, even if that means Mo Speights getting a ring. The Sixers own their 2nd round pick, and that will stay at 60.
Verdict: Maybe let's get it to 59!
Another tremendous team who generously gave the Sixers their 2nd rounder and houses a former Sixer in K.J. McDaniels and a future Sixer in Nick Johnson.
Verdict: Wouldn't mind them slipping a bit and the pick sliding up to 50. God, this is thrilling.
Same as Charlotte as Detroit as Brooklyn. Once Paul George gets back, things could get real.
Verdict: Pacers gonna Pace.
Negadelphia Deadline Analysis
The K.J. Trade
I've tried to make sense of the K.J. McDaniels trade, and I still can't understand it.
Negadelphia Deadline Analysis
There are many good basketball teams in the West. The Clips don't have anything to do with the Sixers, but Boston owns their first rounder, so let's try to make that as crappy as possible.
Verdict: Eat it, Boston.
Los Angeles Lakers
I wrote allllll about this yesterday. They need to win games. They will not. But let's root for it anyhow, yes? They play Boston at the Staples Center tonight. WIN.
Verdict: PASS THE BALL TO SWAGGY.
Don't care. Too good. Next.
Verdict: Give me Jordan Adams and nobody gets hurt.
The pick stands at 16 right now. They're just 1.5 games ahead of the 10-spot, but with 4 teams (Detroit/Indiana/Charlotte/Brooklyn) standing in their way. Chris Bosh is out for the season -- but thankfully not in any life-threatening danger -- with a blood clot in his lung. People are concerned that means they will drop out of the playoffs and into Top 10 territory, thus keeping the draft pick away from us. I'm not worried about it yet. Goran Dragic should make them good enough, especially if Dwyane Wade keeps his limbs together for another couple months. Spoelstra is a great coach and they want to make the playoffs, even with Bosh out. Praise Jeebus for Hassan Whiteside.
Verdict: LOSE (with the option to start yelling WIN at a later date)
Aw, Bucks. I'm happy they're happy. They're our Bucks! And now Michael Carter-Williams plays for them! I do hope he's good. Quite a bit. Wish Jabari was healthy, because a lineup of MCW-Middleton-Jabari-Giannis-Henson is INSANE. I'm also interested to see what happens with Larry Sanders, if he ever signs with a new team or becomes a pro skateboarder and starts a rivalry with Bucky Lasek.
We do, however, need them to lose a few games, or at least let Oklahoma City pass them. They have 1.5 games on them, and I'm pretty confident they'll swap places. OKC is 17 now, Milwaukee is 18.
They're getting better every day. Ricky Rubio really helps. Kevin Garnett won't. Andrew Wiggins is unreal.
Verdict: Win enough games to overtake the Sixers but lose enough to keep the Lakers above. Tight fit.
Hi Pellies! We have their second rounder again. Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson got hurt last night. Jrue is still hurt. I think Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans are playing better. Everything happening to this team is a damn shame.
Verdict: That being said, lose games. That 2nd rounder figures to be pretty okay. Plus we can't have them catching OKC.
Nothing I say matters.
Verdict: They are going to lose, and lose badly.
Oklahoma City Thunder
They're 17th in the draft right now, and we need them to get to 19. That means passing Milwaukee and Washington. Only three games back of the Wizards. Kevin Durant needs to get healthy. Enes Kanter, Kyle Singler, and DJ Augustin will help immensely. Why are Jeremy Lamb and Perry Jones not on the Sixers? I'm getting off-topic.
The pick turns into a Top-15 protection next year, but OKC figures to be better, so I want it now. Give it to me.
Verdict: WIN YOU BASTARDS
Could use some tanking from them, but they've got a good bit of talent all over the place. They're 5 games up on the Lakers and I don't see a way for them to switch. Gonna need Lottery Luck on that one.
Verdict: LOSE AND LOSE BADLY
Logical Take: We should be rooting for the Sixers to lose every game (except the Lakers games -- which will be the best games of the season -- and mayyyybe the Miami games). The Lakers pick is probably not coming, so it's essential we maximize our odds at a top pick by being as tanky as possible.
Love Is All You Need Take: I love it when this team does stuff. Wins are so much stupid fun. Stupid fun is my very favorite kind of fun.
They've lost four straight, sit 1.5 games back of OKC for the 8 seed, and have to figure out a way to gel without Dragic/Isaiah and with Brandon Knight/others to make a run. I don't think it's likely.
Verdict: Like our own sun any day now, these Suns need to BURN OUT AND DIE. No offense. #EnviroTake
I really like Arron Afflalo on the Blazers. I would like CJ McCollum on the Sixers. That is all.
Hinkie Rules Deadline
It's About Superstars
For Sam Hinkie and Brett Brown, the trade of Michael Carter-Williams for the Los Angeles Lakers draft pick is all about acquiring a superstar player, which is the goal of this phase of the Sixers rebuild.
Hinkie Rules Deadline
Verdict: Overtake Houston so that 2nd rounder looks better. Let's say win.
Kingsssssss. Man, what a fun organization to not be a fan of. Hopefully it will take George Karl the rest of the season to implement his system and while that happens, they lose every game and decide to rest DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. They're six up on LAL. Possible.
I do really like the Spurs a lot, but I'm exhausted from all their success, and would prefer any other team out west to get in the Finals. In keeping with that, they're just four games up on the Thunder, and sorta struggling. Could this be the end of the run for them?*
Verdict: I am asking you nicely to lose.
I like the Raptors! Do whatever you want! Lou Williams!
Verdict: Have a televised open mic night where Patrick Patterson and Greivis Vasquez read slam poetry. Or whatever.
They did just trade Kanter, but that means more minutes for Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors, which is probably better for them anyhow. Trey Burke shoots like 8% from the field. Spike and I talked about them being basically the worst case scenario for the Sixers, and why it was a necessity to trade MCW when they did. They're tied with Denver right now, and I don't expect them to be bad enough to catch the Lakers in tankville.
Verdict: But still lose. Love you, Jazz.
Strangely, it almost all comes down to the Wizards if the Sixers get that OKC pick or not. Milwaukee will probably struggle enough with MCW (at least initially) to let the Thunder overtake them, but San Antonio is probably too good and a bit too far away to give the Thunder a window. So it'll be the Wizards, who sit three games up on OKC right now, and are 3-7 in their last 10, that could get the Sixers that Thunder pick this season, at a position of prime value -- #19.
Verdict: They need to play like Squibs. Lose.
So! To recap:
TEAMS THAT MUST LOSE
TEAMS, MOST OF WHOM SHOULD WIN
TEAMS THAT MUST WIN
Los Angeles Lakers
TEAMS THAT HAVE TO BOTH LOSE AND WIN
TEAMS THAT ARE THE SIXERS
The Sixers! Gah!
There you go. Simple as that. Sixers will pick 1st, 6th, 11th, 19th, 34th, 36th, 45th, 53rd, and 60th in June. K bye!