Breaking down Sixers' possibilities for NBA draft lottery

Breaking down Sixers' possibilities for NBA draft lottery

This time last week the Sixers were fighting in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Now the shift has focused to the NBA draft. The team will find out its selections at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday night at the lottery held in Chicago.

The Sixers are locked in for Nos. 26, 38, 39, 56, 60, acquired through their own picks or previous trades. 

The big question mark is the Lakers’ 2018 first-round pick, which dates back to the Michael Carter-Williams deal in 2015. The Sixers included that pick with conditions in the 2017 trade to the Celtics in which they landed the No. 1 selection to draft Markelle Fultz. 

If the Lakers’ pick is one or six and beyond, the Sixers hold on to it. The Celtics keep it if it ends up two through five. 

With a 35-47 record, the Lakers are most likely to get the 10th pick. They do have a 1.1 percent chance of No. 1. If that small possibility pans out, the Sixers would draft first for the third straight year. 

Lottery picks and odds of getting the No. 1 selection: 

1. Suns: 25.0%
2. Grizzlies: 19.9% 
3. Mavericks: 13.8%
4. Hawks: 13.7%  
5. Magic: 8.8%
6. Bulls: 5.3%
7. Kings: 5.3%
8. Cavaliers (via Nets): 2.8% 
9. Knicks: 1.7%
10. Sixers or Celtics (via Lakers): 1.1% (Celtics keep pick if 2-5) 
11. Hornets: 0.8%
12. Clippers (via Pistons): 0.7% (Pistons keep pick if 1-4) 
13. Clippers: 0.6%
14. Nuggets: 0.5% 

Non-lottery first-round picks:

15. Wizards
16. Suns (via Heat)
17. Bucks 
18. Spurs
19. Hawks (via Timberwolves)
20. Timberwolves (via Thunder) 
21. Jazz
22. Bulls (via Pelicans)
23. Pacers
24. Trail Blazers
25. Lakers (via Cavaliers)
26. Sixers
27. Celtics
28. Warriors
29. Nets (via Raptors)
30. Hawks (via Rockets)

Second-round picks: 

31. Suns
32. Grizzlies
33. Hawks
34. Mavericks
35. Magic
36. Kings
37. Knicks (via Bulls)
38. Sixers (via Nets)
39. Sixers (via Knicks)

40. Nets (via Lakers)
41. Magic (via Hornets)
42. Pistons
43. Nuggets (via Clippers)
44. Wizards
45. Nets (via Bucks)
46. Rockets (via Heat)
47. Lakers (via Nuggets)
48. Timberwolves
49. Spurs
50. Pacers
51. Pelicans
52. Jazz
53. Thunder
54. Mavericks (via Trail Blazers)
55. Hornets (via Cavaliers)
56. Sixers 
57. Thunder (via Celtics)
58. Nuggets (via Warriors)
59. Suns (via Raptors)
60. Sixers (via Rockets)

This model is awfully high on the Sixers' chances to make the NBA Finals

This model is awfully high on the Sixers' chances to make the NBA Finals

If you’re looking for a reason for optimism as the Sixers return to the court following the All-Star break, one model is awfully high on them.

According to FiveThirtyEight, the Sixers have the third-best chance to win the NBA Finals — an even higher percentage than the NBA-best Bucks. 

It shouldn’t be surprising that the Lakers and Clippers have the best chances, but it’s certainly a shock to see Milwaukee fourth. You can see in the chart above that while the Sixers have a better chance to win the Finals, the Bucks actually have a better chance to make it there.

FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR player ratings have been high on the Sixers since the beginning of the season. For most of the year, the Sixers have actually been favored to win the title over both L.A. teams. You can learn more about how the ratings work on their site.

The Sixers currently sit fifth in the East with 27 games left to play. They have basically no chance of catching the Bucks for the top spot and are six games behind the Raptors for the second seed. 

Considering they’re just 9-19 on the road, making the Finals as a fifth seed would be an awfully big ask, but if you’re looking for hope, maybe this model will help.

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More on the Sixers

Allen Iverson tears up remembering his friend Kobe and the one time they played as teammates

Allen Iverson tears up remembering his friend Kobe and the one time they played as teammates

Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson has shown his softer side since retiring from the NBA in 2010. While he was known for his hard-nosed style of play on the court during his heyday, he's become known more lately for the love he shows his NBA brethren and his big old hugs.

Whether he's talking about the current Sixers squad being his "little dudes" or his old rivals like Ty Lue, A.I. never has a bad word to say. He's a true ambassador of the game.

The Players' Tribune did a nice sitdown with Iverson over All-Star weekend and it's making the rounds again today thanks an ESPN bump.

While Iverson shared an incredibly heartfelt written remembrance of Kobe Bryant shortly after his death, as Sixers fans know, there's nothing quite like seeing the emotion in Iverson's face when he's feeling it.

Iverson talks fondly about the one time he got to play on the same team as Kobe in the 2008 All-Star game. 

"It was always a battle between me and him," Iverson said. "And then, having the chance to be on the same team with him..." 

"I mean, looking back on it, that was it. Just having the chance to play with my guy. Not knowing that would be the only time that I had a chance to play with him."

The two didn't see much action together in the 2008 game as Kobe was limited with a finger injury and only played three minutes.

Back when he was involved with the Big3 League in 2017, Iverson dreamed about a potential pairing with Kobe: "That would be a dream of mine to play with Kobe." 

It never happened, sadly.

Iverson went on to retell the story about Iverson going to the club and Kobe going to the gym which lead to the most poignant quote from the whole interview.

"That was the Mamba. He was younger than me, but I actually looked up to him and his greatness," Iverson said.

You can watch the full sitdown with Iverson on Perriscope here.