Sixers fail to move up from 11th pick in draft lottery

Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and his son Nick after Cleveland won the draft lottery. The Cavs had the NBA's second-worst record.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert and his son Nick after Cleveland won the draft lottery. The Cavs had the NBA's second-worst record. (Associated Press)
Posted: May 23, 2013

NEW YORK - 76ers majority owner Joshua Harris, a guy well-acquainted with numbers and probability, knew the odds of moving up Tuesday night in the NBA draft lottery were long.

He was right.

The Sixers stayed put at No. 11 after the drawing. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who had the second-worst record in the league, beat the odds and will have the first selection in the June 27 draft.

"I came here with a small probability of being super happy and a small probability of being super sad," said Harris, a hedge-fund billionaire. "But right now I'm neither - we're right where we're supposed to be."

Which player the Sixers will draft is anyone's guess at this point. In several mock drafts, they have been associated with players such as Indiana's Cody Zeller and 20-year-old French big man Rudy Gobert. The Sixers have multiple needs and can be said to be truly stable only at point guard, where Jrue Holiday was an all-star last season.

The Sixers had a 0.8 percent chance of winning the lottery.

The Cavaliers won it for the second time in the last three years. The Orlando Magic, who had the best chance of getting the first pick, fell back to No. 2. The Washington Wizards made the biggest jump on Tuesday, vaulting up to the third pick from the eighth spot.

Tuesday's appearance marked the first by the Sixers since they were a participant after the 2009-10 season. That year they moved up from the sixth spot to second and selected swingman Evan Turner.

Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel, a 6-foot-11 shot blocker, and Kansas guard Ben McLemore, also a freshman, are the front-runners to be the top pick in the draft.

Kelly Olynyk, a 7-foot Canadian out of Gonzaga, could be available when the Sixers pick. Plenty of other players will be associated with the Sixers in the weeks before the draft.

Harris said that the search for a coach was still in the early stages. He said he has been happy with the man conducting the search, general manager Sam Hinkie.

"I feel great with Sam's hand at the helm of this thing," Harris said. "I just feel like we're very like-minded. He's very smart. I get texts from him at one in the morning, 6 a.m.

"He's all over it and I feel good that we are going to make good decisions. We're still early to midstream in all that, but we're being very deliberate in the process."


Contact John N. Mitchell at  jmitchell@philly.com. Follow on

Twitter @JmitchInquirer

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