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Hits by Phillies in 3 of their last 4 games

3rd pick might be charm

Posted by Eric Fisher On May 16

There are no guarantees in the NBA Draft. There isn’t a guarantee that Markelle Fultz or Lonzo Ball, presumed to be the top two picks in the NBA Draft, will be better than the player the Sixers select with the third overall pick.

The Sixers will select third, barring a trade, because of the outcome of Tuesday night’s NBA Draft lottery. The Sixers dropped to fifth, but exercised their right to switch first-round picks with the Kings, who jumped up from eighth to third in the lottery. You can thank exiled former Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie for that swap of picks.

But the Sixers’ hopes of securing two picks among the top six did not come to fruition. The Lakers moved up one spot to No. 2, behind the Celtics, who have the Nets’ first pick. If the Lakers had dropped below No. 3, their draft pick would have been conveyed to the Sixers. Instead, it was the Suns who dropped out of the top three, moving back from No. 2 to No. 4.

So three of the NBA’s storied franchises will have the top three picks in the draft for the second straight year. Last year, of course, the Sixers  selected Ben Simmons first overall. The Lakers selected Brandon Ingram second, and the Celtics took Jaylen Brown third. This year the order is reversed, with the Celtics, who earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference and have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, having the first overall pick.

The Sixers will have the No. 3 selection for the third time in four years. In 2014 they selected Joel Embiid, who represented the Sixers at Tuesday’s draft lottery. In 2015 they selected Jahlil Okafor.

Whom will they select this year at No. 3? Options include Kansas swingman Josh Jackson, Duke small forward Jayson Tatum and Kentucky guards Malik Monk and De’Aaron Fox.

There is also the possibility that the guard-heavy Celtics select Tatum, leaving the Sixers with either Ball or Fultz, depending on which player the Lakers select. There is also the possibility that the Celtics would trade the No. 1 pick and move back a few slots if they were certain they could get Tatum there.

The Sixers need a shooter, and there are plenty of shooters available in this year’s draft. They didn’t get one of their top scenarios — the first and fourth picks or two of the top six, but there’s no reasons the Sixers shouldn’t emerge from this year’s draft with a talented player who can be a large part of their future.

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1 year ago: NBA Draft lottery