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So You’re Saying There’s a Chance: NBA Draft Lottery Preview

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Basketball: Luka Doncic Sipa USA-USA TODAY NETWORK

Here we are again, Sixers fans. Another season has ended, and another NBA Draft Lottery takes place tonight. This time, it feels way different (and way better) than in recent years.

Since 2014, Sixers fans have watched the NBA Draft Lottery with the same level of excitement and anxiety that one would watch the NBA Finals with. We even attend parties centered on the lottery. This year’s Rights to Ricky Sanchez lottery party is at Xfinity Live!, and tickets have sold out.

There have been three more lottery parties since then, and there will be at least one more depending on what happens tonight. If the Lakers pick falls between two and five, that pick conveys to Boston. Next year, there will be one more lottery party where we take advantage of the unprotected 2019 Sacramento Kings pick.

That’s a lot to think about, though, so let’s focus more on this year.

The lottery party will have a much happier feel to it because of the success in 2017-2018. The Sixers won 52 games, were the 3-seed in the Eastern Conference, and won a playoff series for the first time since the “Show ya Luv” era. (Remember that? Those were some hamster wheel years, weren’t they?)

In terms of odds, the Sixers have a 1.1% percent chance at getting the #1 pick and a 4% chance for a top-3 pick. It would be a bit disappointing if the pick does land 2 or 3, because then Boston has yet another asset in their cupboard. But the good news would be that the Sixers then have full control of a 2019 unprotected first round pick from the Sacramento Kings. If the order doesn’t fluctuate at all, the most likely scenario is the Sixers getting the #10 pick.

For fun, we’re all running NBA Draft Lottery simulators (either on ESPN or Tankathon). Here’s one I ran that got the Sixers the #1 pick:

It took 22 tries to get that to happen, by the way, but pick your funny cliche:

[long pause] “So, you’re saying there’s a chance?” - Lloyd Christmas

“Anything is possible. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!” - Kevin Garnett

If the Sixers do get the #1 pick, several things will happen. Adam Silver’s jaw will drop while he’s at home (or at Boston/Cleveland game 2). Deputy Commissioner and COO of the NBA Mark Tatum will simply shrug his shoulders as if to say, “Look, ya’ll. I don’t know what to tell you.” Whoever the Sixers send to represent the team at the NBA Draft may just run around the stage in glee and disbelief. The roof of Xfinity Live will literally come off like in the beginning of the movie “House Party”. Last, of course, every non-Sixers fan will claim collusion of some kind — to which we’ll remind everyone of how often the Cavaliers got the #1 pick in the last decade.

After all of that, it’s good times for the rest of us. The Sixers will have won the Luka Dončić sweepstakes. With all due respect to Mike Schmitz of ESPN (formerly Draft Express), the Sixers are taking Dončić #1, not Deandre Ayton. We have our big man, thank you.

For anyone not up to speed on Mr. Dončić, see below:

If the Sixers get the #1 pick, Dončić is the pick. I apologize for any salivation caused. Even if the Sixers get the #10 pick — which is most likely — there’s a lot to choose from: Mikal Bridges (yes!), Zhaire Smith (yes!), Collin Sexton (yes!), Miles Bridges (eh.).

There’s a lot to be hype for going into tonight’s draft lottery. If you’re going to the lottery party, look for the blue, over-sized Tony Wroten jersey and say “What’s up?” — or you can yell at me for any asinine takes I’ve had in the two months I’ve been a staff writer. Either choice is fine with me.