NEW YORK -- No one from the Sixers’ camp was too excited about showing up at the Millennium Broadway Hotel in Times Square for the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night.
After all, who wants to go to the prom designed specifically for the guys without dates?
Worse, the mood at the swanky midtown hotel was one of resignation. An invitation to the NBA draft lottery is the ultimate proof that the season was a bust. For the Sixers, who were perfectly mediocre in 2012-13, the trip to New York was doubly frustrating. Not only did the team have virtually no chance in grabbing one of the top three picks in next month’s draft, but they also were all but assured to lock into where they finished the season.
So with the ping-pong balls working against them and the odds too fat to deny, the Sixers will have the No. 11 overall pick in the June draft.
The Sixers had a 90.74 percent chance to get the 11th pick, compared to .80 percent chance to win the lottery, a .95 percent chance to get the second pick and a 1.15 percent chance for the No. 3 pick.
Maybe they would have been better off buying a Powerball ticket …
Or making the playoffs.
“We had a small probability of being super happy and a small probability of being slightly sad,” Sixers’ managing owner Josh Harris said. “We’re neither. We’re right where we were expected to be.”
Nevertheless, one item on the Sixers’ summertime to-do list has been checked off. Now that the team knows where it will be picking in the draft, it can prepare for which player it wants to take. That should be a whole lot easier than some of the seemingly more important tasks.
After hiring Sam Hinkie to be the president and general manager, the Sixers need to hire a new coach. They also need to develop a plan for free agency and decide whether or not Andrew Bynum fits into the team’s future plans.
So at the loser’s prom, the Sixers took a step.
“I don’t want to comment on Bynum specifically, but it’s all interrelated,” Harris said. “Over the next weeks and months we’re going to get more articulate about our strategy. Sam has been here for a week and he’ll be speaking about our basketball strategy. It’s all interrelated. All of this stuff has to be focused on building a winner. Every decision you make has multiple affects on every other decision.”
Still, Harris is in no hurry to hire a basketball coach. Though the draft is next month and free agency begins shortly after that, followed by summer league and then training camp, the Sixers are being very deliberate in the search for Doug Collins’ successor.
“It’s an important decision,” Harris said. “If you get the right coach really fast, that’s better. But at the end of the day, you want the right coach. We’re not putting a deadline on it. It doesn't work to your advantage because the reality is we have a lot of talented coaches on the staff right now. Some of them have been head coaches, so we’re trying to get the right coach, not to get a coach quickly.”
Hinkie is running the show when it comes to hiring the new coach. He is also putting together the plan in regard to what to do in the draft and everything else that follows.
That’s a lot of work for a team that has a lot of needs, but Harris will lean heavily on Hinkie.
“I feel great with Sam’s hand at the helm of this thing,” Harris said. “We’re very like-minded, he’s very smart and he’s always working. I get texts from him at one in the morning and six in the morning. He’s all over it, and I feel good that we’re going to make good decisions.”
Of course, those decisions should have one minor goal at the fore. And that’s to never return to the NBA Draft Lottery any time soon.