IT'S STATUS QUO, at least as far as this year's draft is concerned, for the 76ers. The draft lottery last night yielded no surprises for the Sixers, who retained the 11th pick for June 27.
"We came in with a small probability to move way up and a small probability to move down," majority owner Josh Harris told reporters in New York. "Neither thing happened and we're going to pick at 11, so we'll make the best out of that selection."
The question now is: Who is "we?" New president of basketball operations and general manager Sam Hinkie is in place, but there is still a coaching vacancy that needs to be addressed. That would appear to be an urgent dilemma that needs to be addressed as teams usually start bringing in potential draft picks in the next week or so. The Sixers also hold the 35th and 42nd picks.
The 11th pick certainly won't yield the kind of player the Sixers need to reverse the misfortunes of a 34-48 record this season, but moving up probably wouldn't have, either. This is considered a very light draft, filled with peripheral pieces and not building block-type players.
The Cleveland Cavaliers won the lottery for the second time in 3 years, and were followed by the Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards. All those teams, of course, reside in the Eastern Conference with the Sixers. Cleveland also won the top pick in 2011. They took Duke product Kyrie Irving, who won rookie of the year honors. Washington moved up from the eighth spot.
Asked if the 11th pick in any way would alter his decision-making on whether to look into signing free agent Andrew Bynum, Harris was non-committal.
"I don't want to comment about Bynum, really," Harris said. "It's all inter-related. We're going to be, over the next weeks and months, more articulate about our strategy. Obviously, Sam's been there for a week. He'll be speaking about our basketball strategy, but it's all inter-related. You have all of this stuff and it has to be focused on, ultimately, building a winner. Every decision you make has multiple effects on every other decision."
And there are plenty of decisions waiting to be addressed by Harris and Hinkie in the upcoming days and weeks.