There is a chance the Sixers could have three top-10 rookies on their roster next season.
Nerlens Noel is the one we already know. He was last year’s sixth overall pick but because he took the entire season to recover from knee surgery, he retains his rookie status.
Blake Griffin was selected No. 1 overall in 2009 but never played a game because he too was recovering from knee surgery.
Griffin made his NBA debut in the 2010-11 season and at the end of it was named Rookie of the Year.
By virtue of the Sixers having the second-worst record in the NBA this season, they will have a 19.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. They have a 55.8 percent chance of getting a top-three pick and can do no worse than No. 5
The Pelicans' first-round pick belongs to the Sixers (via the Jrue Holiday trade), so long as it is not in the top five. New Orleans has a 1.1 percent chance at the top pick and a 4.0 percent chance at a top-three pick.
All the mathematical possibilities and how much one right or wrong bounce of a ping-pong ball could impact the Sixers' future is getting to head coach Brett Brown.
“That night when you find out where you pick is is a nerve-racking night for me,” Brown said. “I don’t remember the last time I was that kind of nervous, but that night I will be nervous.
“It's a really important night for the club. We will continue moving forward no matter what happens, but I would be lying if I said it any other way -- there will be some anxiety that night.”
The draft lottery takes place on May 20.