Over the last ten games, the Sixers are 5-5. No other team among the five worst in the league have as many wins over the last ten games, including most importantly the Minnesota Timberwolves, 2-8 in their last ten games and perhaps now entrenched as the team with the second best shot at winning the draft lottery. How are things shaping up over a month after the Trade Deadline? Let's explore, but first, check out TANKATHON for tanking standings updated every ten minutes and Derek Bodner's daily Sixers Draft Pick Tracker for daily game recaps and previews concerning games that concern the Sixers draft picks.
Sixers Draft Pick [15.6% chance Sixers pick 1st overall]: The Sixers currently hold the 3rd worst record in the NBA and given they have two more wins than the Timberwolves and one less win than the Lakers, it seems they may be locked into the 3rd spot barring a run from the Wolves or strong tanking from the Lakers. If there is any movement though due to the Sixers bringing in a healthy string of losses in their last 10 games, the Wolves are the only team they could "pass." The Sixers are four wins better than the Knicks, who have managed an accidental tanking job worthy of all plaudits, proving once again that no draft lottery system overhaul will fix the biggest problem regarding its bad teams: front office incompetence.
Lakers Draft Pick [17.2% it conveys to the Sixers]: The Lakers currently hold three less wins than the 5th place Magic and seven less wins than the sixth place Kings. The dream of the Lakers catching Sacramento is dead and the dream of them the Magic can best be described as on-life support. Perhaps more likely than the Sixers ending the season with the second worst record is the Sixers ending the season with the fourth worst record. The Lakers are a bad team that's slowly gaining on the Sixers in losses.
Heat Draft Pick [Conveys to Sixers at 16th overall]: The Sixers are back to rooting for teams to pass the Heat. What started out as hoping three of Brooklyn, Detroit, Charlotte, and Indiana pass the Heat has become hoping two of Indiana, Boston, and Charlotte to pass Miami as well as hoping Utah pass Miami as long as all three aforementioned Eastern Conference teams do not pass them. The Heat are three wins clear of the 10th worst record so it appears as if the danger of the Heat bottoming out and keeping the pick for themselves has passed. Barring an incredible turn of events this pick will convey to the Sixers, it's just likely a matter of where it will fall between 11th overall and 16th overall.
Thunder Draft Pick [Conveys to Sixers at 19th overall]: They're doing it! Well, they're close anyway. Two weeks ago when we last left this off the panic alarms were beginning to sound. But now the Thunder currently sit in the playoffs and if the season ended today their draft pick would fall outside the top 18 meaning the Sixers get it at 19th overall. The Pellies are three games back of the Thunder, meaning that danger may have passed. At this point the biggest concern for this pick is the Wizards and I'm confident the Thunder will be able to hold them off for the rest of the season.
We are less than three months away from the NBA Draft. Grab your favorite tanking animal and hold on tight, because we are so close to the return of Sixers Time!