KISSIMMEE, Fla. – It was a best-case scenario for the 76ers.
The organization will select 21st overall in the NBA draft on Oct. 16 because the Oklahoma City Thunder won a three-team tiebreaker Monday with the Houston Rockets (No. 22) and Utah Jazz. (No. 23).
The Sixers acquired the Thunder pick from the Orlando Magic in exchange for Markelle Fultz in a 2019 trade. The pick had been top-20-protected. That same day, the Sixers sent a package that included their 2020 first-rounder to the Los Angeles Clippers for Tobias Harris, Mike Scott, and Boban Marjanovic.
“Our focus right now is, obviously, on the Boston Celtics, but our scouting team and I have been intently focused on the draft all season long,” Sixers general Elton Brand said before Game 1 of his team’s opening-round playoffs series against the Celtics at The Field House.
“We’re fortunate to have multiple quality picks, including a first-rounder, " he added. “So we’re excited by the options we’ll have to add more depth and young talent in October.”
The Thunder pick would have turned into two second-round picks in 2022 and 2023 if the pick didn’t convey this summer. But Oklahoma City’s 116-115 victory over the Miami Heat last Wednesday ensured that pick would be no higher than 21st in the draft.
The Sixers also have four second-round draft picks (34th, 36th, 49th, and 58th).