The Sixers' NBA draft lottery odds are up in the air thanks to the Kings' play last week, but they were aided by a rare Lakers win Sunday night.
With the Sixers going into full tank mode -- whether they're doing it intentionally or not -- by ruling out Jahlil Okafor and Robert Covington for the remainder of the season, it should strengthen their odds in landing a top pick in June's NBA draft.
Let's take a look at the Sixers' lottery odds and matchups in the future that could affect their lottery position.
Kings pick swap
Well, this week didn't start off well for Sixers fans cheering for the Kings to lose. The Kings stole two wins each by one point, beating the Clippers and the Grizzlies.
But it wasn't long until the Kings turned into, you know, their usual selves. They followed that two-game winning streak with a two-game losing streak in blowout losses to the Jazz and Pelicans.
However, the Kings ended that skid with a 123-117 win over the Timberwolves on Saturday.
Last week, they were slotted at the sixth spot in the draft lottery at 27-45. Now, they're at the seventh spot with a 30-47 record.
With the Kings' pick swap, the Sixers have a 44.1 percent chance of landing in the top three, according to Tankathon.com. Last week, the Sixers had a 43.9 percent chance of landing a pick in the top three.
The Sixers' chances of getting the Lakers' top-three protected pick have swayed in their favor.
Last week, the Lakers had a 55.8 percent chance of keeping their pick, while the Sixers had a 44.2 percent chance of landing the pick. But with a 108-103 victory over the Grizzlies on Sunday, the Lakers have fallen to the third spot in the lottery, a half-game back behind the Suns, who have lost 12 consecutive games.
The Suns are 22-56; the Lakers are 22-55.
Currently, the Lakers would have a 46.9 percent chance of keeping their pick, while the Sixers would have a 53.1 percent chance of it landing outside of the top three.
If the season ended with the Lakers finishing with the third-worst record in the NBA, the Sixers would have a 22.6 percent chance at the fourth overall pick, a 26.5 percent chance at the fifth overall pick and a 4.0 percent chance at the sixth overall pick.
But, with five games left for the Lakers this season, there's also a good chance they could end up with the second-worst record in the NBA.
The Lakers are 2-8 in their last 10 games. They're also 3-15 since the All-Star break.
Matchups to watch
The Sixers play the Nets on Tuesday, the Bulls on Thursday and the Bucks on Saturday.
Even though head coach Brett Brown will have his guys motivated to play every night, the Sixers' plan the rest of the season should be to lose out in order to maximize their lottery chances. There's no other way to put it.
Again, losing Okafor and Covington should help them in the lottery as they continue to lose games and finish out the season.
This might seem backwards for Sixers fans to do, but you have to cheer for the Lakers to win. The more games the Lakers win, the farther they slip outside of the top three.
They have a matchup with the Spurs on Wednesday and the Kings on Friday.
The Kings play the Mavericks on Tuesday and the Lakers on Friday. A Lakers win over the Kings would help the Sixers in two ways: by pushing the Kings closer toward the top of the lottery and pushing the Lakers farther ahead of the Suns.
The Suns will play the Warriors on Wednesday and the Thunder on Friday.
Phoenix obviously won't be favored in either of those games, as each of those teams has clinched a playoff berth, which is great for the Sixers.
Orlando isn't talked about a lot regarding the draft lottery, but the Magic are in the fourth spot, with a one-game lead over the Sixers. The two teams could flip-flop spots in the coming weeks, though.
If the Magic and Sixers did switch spots, and the Kings remained in the seventh spot, the Sixers would have a 52.7 percent chance of landing a top-three pick.
The Magic play the Cavaliers on Tuesday, the Nets on Thursday and the Pacers on Saturday.