A few months ago a story came out that the NBA was attempting to change the NBA Draft Lottery system as early as the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery. The proposed change would give every team in the lottery better chances of obtaining a top pick, lessening the incentives for tanking and balancing out the field. Then, another report came out that the 76ers were vehemently trying to get these changes delayed, at least past the 2015 NBA Draft Lottery. It appears that the NBA saw Philly’s drafting of Joel Embiid and Dario Saric as a slap in the face, seeing as it’s highly unlikely that either suit up for the Sixers next season.
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The NBA seems to believe that the 76ers are taking advantage of the lottery by bottoming out and seeing losses as victories. It’s not like this is the 76ers fault when this is one of the lone ways the League gives middling teams the option to climb to the top. Not to mention, the Association is pretending as if the Sixers are the only team in the NBA that has “tanked” before. Boston Celtics or Miami Heat anybody? But, regardless of when these changes take place, it’s already too late.
The 2013-2014 season was the only “tanking” season the 76ers will endure and fans realize that. It’s only tanking when a franchise sells out their entire team as the 76ers did last season when shipping away Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes and LaVoy Allen. This year the 76ers have nothing to get rid of. Possibly Thaddeus Young, but Young alone isn’t adding that many victories to this squad. With or without him, the 76ers will still be a bad team. However, none of this changes the fact that the 76ers are already set up for the future regardless of the impending lottery changes.
Oct 29, 2013; Lawrence, KS, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Joel Embiid (21) shoots the ball and is fouled by Pittsburg State Gorillas guard Josiah Gustafson (4) during the first half at Allen Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Last season was all about acquiring a top three pick to get Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins or Joel Embiid. The 76ers completed that goal and although the season of “Winless for Wiggins” didn’t deliver Andrew Wiggins, it did deliver Joel Embiid, who has drawn comparisons to Hakeem Olajuwon in his early stages.
Embiid suffered a foot injury before the draft, which caused him to fall to the 76ers at No. 3, which could turn out to be the most fortunate foot injury ever if he pans out to be Olajuwon and not Sam Bowie. Along with Nerlens Noel and Michael Carter-Williams, the addition of Joel Embiid already solidifies the 76ers core of the future. Even Dario Saric, a Croatian forward, looks to be joining the mix within the next 2-3 seasons, just when this team should really be looking forward to the playoffs.
The point is that the 2015 NBA Draft isn’t anything that 76ers fans are going completely insane over like the world saw with the 2014 NBA Draft. Whatever happens, happens. The 76ers will predictably be bad and will end up back in the lottery, but hell won’t freeze over if this team doesn’t get a pick in the top three, or even top five. Philadelphia believes they have a franchise player in Joel Embiid, which means the focus is on getting players to surround the already solid youthful core of the 76ers.
The lottery changes may occur, but that’s completely fine. This team already has the players it needs, all it needs now is time and development to ensue. So, go head NBA. Change the lottery all you want, we already got everything we needed out of you.
Follow me on Twitter @Dcorrigan50.