For the third consecutive season, every 76ers loss feels like a win. With every final buzzer that sends the players walking out of the arena with their heads hung low, supporters of "The Process" rejoice at the possibility that their team may finally get the first overall pick.
That would make folks erase from their memory what has been a season full of disappointments.
Jahlil Okafor's off-the-court troubles have overshadowed his being one of the league's most polished rookie big men since Tim Duncan.
So far, the twin towers tandem of Okafor and Nerlens Noel has been a failure, partly because both players are traditional centers. And the Sixers (1-20) would still be winless if not for taking advantage of Kobe Bryant's ill-advised and off-target shots in the first stop of his farewell tour.
Yes, the Sixers have major problems.
But regardless of how challenging this season becomes, it will become a mere footnote if the Sixers are lucky enough to get the first overall pick next June.
Of course, that will be determined by how the franchise fares in the draft lottery in May. The team that finishes with the worst record will have a 25 percent chance to nab the top spot and can finish no lower than fourth.
Should the basketball gods deliver the No. 1 selection to the tanking Sixers, they will undoubtedly pick Louisiana State freshman Ben Simmons.
The 6-foot-10 forward is being dubbed the next LeBron James. The Sixers would be the perfect destination for Simmons. Sixers coach Brett Brown coached Simmons' father, David, in 1988 on the Melbourne Tigers of the Australian Basketball League.
The Sixers could also get the Lakers' top-three-protected first-round pick. If that happens, they could be in position to draft Kentucky guard Jamal Murray or Providence point guard Kris Dunn. Like Simmons, Murray and Dunn would fill immediate needs.
That doesn't even account for the protected first-round picks they could receive from Miami and Oklahoma City. And they'll also have the opportunity to swap their first-rounder with Sacramento's, if need be.
But to his credit, Sixers coach Brett Brown won't allow himself to focus on the prospect of getting the first overall pick.
The Sixers did that two seasons ago with the hope of drafting Andrew Wiggins first. Instead, they selected Wiggins' Kansas teammate Joel Embiid third overall. The 7-foot-2 center has yet to play after two right foot surgeries while Wiggins was last season's rookie of the year.
Dario Saric was the Sixers' other first-round acquisition that draft. He has yet to join the team while he plays professionally in Turkey.
"I think you sort of get tricked so easily, and you sort of deflect where you have to put your energy," Brown said of focusing on upcoming drafts. "You can go to a comfort zone when you start looking at the obvious people that they say that are going to go No. 1. I'm assuming people know my history with that alleged No. 1, and it's dangerous if you start going there. So I don't."
Instead, Brown is trying to find ways to make what the team has on its current roster work.
That will involve finding a way for Noel and Okafor to coexist on the court. That will involve making sure Okafor doesn't get into any more violent, off-the-court altercations with hecklers.
If they can do those things, and have some luck on draft night, folks just might forget about the team's current state quicker than you think. That will be especially true next season, if Embiid is healthy and Saric opts out of his Turkish contract and plays for the Sixers.