All the talk has been about the Sixers pick in the draft and how high it can get. That’s the main prize, but the Sixers still have a treasure trove in the lottery pick from the Pelicans.
As of right now, the Pelicans are 30-40 and have won their past three games. According to tankathon.com, the Pelicans are currently slated to have the 11th pick in the draft. Just because, the Pelicans have a 2.9 percent chance to land in the top five and a 0.8 percent chance to land the No. 1 overall pick. Remember, the pick from the Pelicans is top five protected, so if any of those situations happen, the Pelicans receive the pick and the Sixers will get the pick next year.
Initially, when the Jrue Holiday injury occurred, a lot of people freaked out about the Pelicans being too bad. It was too dangerous for the Pelicans to be that bad, where the pick could not come over to the Sixers this season. Even with season ending injuries to Holiday and Ryan Anderson, the Pelicans have stayed afloat. The complete destruction that is Anthony Davis is the reason that this pick is going to stay safe. The Sixers are already playing the lottery with their first pick, no one wants to sacrifice that second lottery pick. It would be wonderful if the Sixers wound up with the No. 1 and No. 6 overall picks, but Jesus, that would be a little to close for anyone to bear. Just imagine on draft lottery night if Adam Silver is about to announce the No. 6 pick and the team is NOT the Pelicans. Philadelphia might have a heart attack as a whole.
Right now, that pick appears safe. It would take a miracle for that pick to end up in the top five. Anthony Davis will keep the Pelicans above water, enough for Sixers fan to not worry about that pick. Signs are pointing that the Sixers will be getting that second lottery pick, which is crucial.
So, who will be available in that No. 10-13 range?
A lot depends on who the Sixers take with their pick. The DraftExpress.com Mock Draft, has Doug McDermott at No. 10, Jusuf Nuric (?) at No. 11 and Willey Cauley-Stein at No. 12. Clint Capela is also slated to be available at No. 13. This mock draft has Dario Saric being selected with the ninth pick, but it appears that Saric just signed a new deal overseas and that he won’t be eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft. This shakes everything up a little bit. However, with the Sixers pick, all the shooting guards should be available, sans Marcus Smart.
Tyler Ennis, Gary Harris, Rodney Hood, PJ Hairston, Nik Stauskas — these are all names that should be available with the Pelicans pick, assuming the Sixers want a two guard. Carter-Williams is the point guard, praying that Wiggins/Parker are there at small forward, then Nerlens Noel at center. Thaddeus Young could be there at power forward, but he could also be traded on draft night — we won’t know that until draft night. This leaves that pick up in speculation. However, there will be plenty of prospects available in that range.
The main point is that the Pelicans pick is almost safe enough where it’s a guarantee that the Sixers will obtain it, barring an unfortunate miracle that would make all of us cry if the Pels leapfrogged into the top three.
Tank on, Philadelphia.