The NBA Draft lottery is less than a month away, and when it is completed we will know exactly where the Sixers will be selecting, and how many lottery picks they have.
Until then though, all we can do is speculate, as several scenarios could play out.
By finishing with the league's second-worst record, the Sixers secured themselves a top-5 pick in the upcoming draft. They could pick as high as first overall, and their first pick can't be any lower than fifth overall.
The odds of the Sixers landing at each of the first five selection spots are as follows:
1st overall pick: 19.9%
2nd overall pick: 18.8%
3rd overall pick: 17.1 %
4th overall pick: 31.9%
5th overall pick: 12.3%
They have the highest odds of landing at the fourth selection spot (31.9%), followed by the first spot, then the second, third, and finally fifth. The draft is deep, so regardless of where they select in the first five, they are going to come away with some top incoming talent.
In addition to their own pick, the Sixers also possess the Pelican's first pick, which is top-5 protected by the Pelicans. In other words, if the Pelicans pick falls in the top five, New Orleans gets to keep it. Otherwise, it swings to the Sixers. Luckily for Philadelphia, the odds of the Pelicans' pick falling into the top five (listed below) aren't too high:
1st overall pick: 1.1%
2nd overall pick: 1.3%
3rd overall pick: 1.6%
4th overall pick: 0.0%
5th overall pick: 0.0%
The Pelicans have a very slim shot of landing in one of the top three selection spots; they cannot end up selecting fourth of fifth. As long as they don't land in one of those top spots, the Sixers pocket the pick.
New Orleans' pick also can't fall between sixth and ninth, meaning that the best-case scenario for the SIxers would be having the first, and tenth overall selections. The worst-case scenario for the Sixers would be owning only the fifth overall selection.
So here is a chart of possible pick positions for all of the teams in the lottery.
If the Pelicans' pick falls in the first five in this year's draft, the pick going to the SIxers carries over to next year, and remains top-5 protected. In fact, the pick remains top-5 protected until 2019, when it becomes simply a second round pick.
As long as New Orleans doesn't end up picking in the top 5 every year between now and 2019, the Sixers will get their selection at some point. Considering the depth of the draft, and the Pelicans landing in the lottery, it would be ideal to get the pick this summer for the SIxers' sake.