Entering Tuesday night's National Basketball Association draft lottery (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.), the Sixers have a good chance at picking up a top-10 pick, a slim chance at losing their pick to the Boston Celtics and an even slimmer chance at the top overall pick for the third straight season.
If the lottery odds hold as-is, Cleveland will still have a top 10 pick which is great.
The Bulls have the 6th best odds of winning the lottery and just under a 20% shot of jumping into the top 3.
Chicago traded for Finnish forward Lauri Markkanen (Arizona), drafted seventh overall in 2017, in a deal with the Timberwolves previous year and established a young core that includes former Minnesota lottery picks Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine.
Meanwhile, the Mavs also have a 42.6 percent chance of finishing with one of the top three selections in the draft. In the end, however, it was all the winning the team did before Kristaps Porzingis got hurt that put them in the unfavorable position they're in tonight. Even if James returns it will become more hard as he ages. As is the case every year, I expect that my mock will look much different once the lottery has passed and we actually know who will select where.
If the pick doesn't convey, it transfers to next year's Sacramento Kings selection, again protected top one.
14- Denver Nuggets. Denver is not a lottery team if they were playing the east but because they do not, they have a chance of moving up instead, even though the likelihood is very little.
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The Sixers have made the first overall draft pick in the last two years.
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Ayton's time at the University of Arizona would quickly make him a hometown hero in Phoenix, and his incredible build makes him a flawless fit for one of the team's biggest positions of need at center. But given that three of the four Eastern Conference semifinalists - Cleveland, Philadelphia, Boston - all with a chance to get lucky and bolster their rosters even further, tonight's lottery could hold major implications for the future of both conferences. They will need some of the luck that has eluded them over the past 33 years to finally catch up with them.
It's worth noting that the No. 9 overall pick has yielded intriguing results. If the Celtics jump up to No. 2 or No. 3 with that pick, it will be a league attempt to give them the sort of high-upside young talent that the Sixers have in Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. And two, the Arizona Wildcats center would give the Suns a local star to boost fan interest. Most often, they claim the league fixes the draw to benefit teams in big markets.
Memphis also isn't a popular destination for free agents and the team has to build primarily through the draft and trades.