The 76ers are energized about the June 21 NBA draft and the free-agency period that begins July 1. Tuesday night’s draft lottery in Chicago could shape how they approach both avenues to upgrade their roster.
The lottery will give the Sixers a better idea of whom they’ll be able to draft and how much money will be available for free agency. Right now, the Sixers have around $25 million to give to free agents.
“We will know specifically on Tuesday when the lottery results reveal themselves,” said Bryan Colangelo, the Sixers president of basketball operations and general manager.
The uncertainty surrounds the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-round pick. The Sixers acquired that selection when they shipped Michael Carter-Williams to the Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 19, 2015.
The Sixers are expected to have two first-round picks — Nos. 10 and 26 — and four selections in the second round. Where they draft will affect how much they pay those players, because of the rookie pay scale, and thus how much money they’ll have available to spend on free agents.
While it’s highly unlikely, the Sixers might have to surrender that pick to the Celtics as part of last summer’s trade with Boston for the right to move up and draft Markelle Fultz. Philly received the No. 1 pick for the No. 3 choice and a 2018 or 2019 projected pick. The Celtics will get the Lakers’ pick if it falls in slots 2 or 3 in the lottery. If it does not, Boston will receive the Sacramento Kings’ or Sixers’ first-round pick in 2019. The Celtics would take whichever one is more favorable, unless one of those picks is the first overall. Then the Celtics would receive the lesser of the picks.
The Sixers are expected to keep the Lakers pick because Los Angeles finished with the league’s 10th-worst record. The pick has an 87 percent chance to remain in the 10th spot. There’s only a 1.1 percent chance of it being No. 1. It has 1.3 and 1.6 percent chances of falling second and third, respectively. The pick won’t fall in slots 4-9.
The Sixers then will have their own first-round selection, at 26, and picks Nos, 38, 39, 56 and 60 in the second round.
“We are really looking at all facets of the draft,” Colangelo said of the Lakers’ pick. “We talk about the things that we will like to do with our roster internally. We look at some of the players available that could address that.
“Then with the 26th pick, it’s starts to get into ‘Do we have the roster spots to give up to select two players on this team next year?’ We could consider doing something with a stash in terms of the second pick.”
The Sixers are also considering trading both picks to acquire a player from another team or move up in the draft.
Elton Brand will be the Sixers’ on-stage representative at Tuesday’s lottery. The former Sixer is the general manager of the team’s NBA G-League squad, the Delaware Blue Coats.