CHICAGO — What's not to like?
The 76ers did not receive the first and 26th overall picks — the best-case scenario — in the first round of the NBA draft. However, they still walked away pretty pleased Tuesday night after the draft lottery. Their first pick on June 21 will be 10th overall. The pick came from the Los Angeles Lakers. The Sixers will also get their pick, No. 26, and four second-rounders.
The Phoenix Suns won the lottery here at the Palmer House Hilton. The Sacramento Kings were second, followed by the Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks in the top five.
Outside of finishing first overall, 10th was the best-case scenario for the Sixers. They would have had to give the selection to the Boston Celtics had it fallen in slot 2 or 3 in the lottery as part of last summer's trade with Boston for the right to move up to draft Markelle Fultz at No. 1. The Sixers knew the pick would not fall in slots 4-9 because the 10th spot they held going into the lottery could only jump into the top three.
"We feel like at No. 10, there's going to be an opportunity to grab a player that will add to our young core," said Bryan Colangelo, the Sixers' president of basketball operations and general manager. "It's a developing core. We are getting young guys in the system and we're continuing to take strides forward.
"As we've said in the past, when you start added these pieces the higher you select obviously the better. But No. 10 has some pretty good history."
In 2010, the Indiana Pacers used the 10th pick to select Paul George, out of Fresno State. The small forward is a five-time NBA all-star and a 2014 All-Defensive first-teamer.
The Portland Trail Blazers used the 10th pick of the 2013 draft on C.J. McCollum, out of Lehigh. The standout shooting guard was the 2016 Most Improved Player.
Villanova All-American Mikal Bridges could be a great option for the Sixers with the 10th pick. The 6-foot-7, 210-pounder fits perfectly in coach Brett Brown's system. He's a multi-dimensional defensive standout and a solid three-point shooter.
Bridges' mother, Tyneeha Rivers, is a global vice president of human resources at Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which includes in its portfolio the Sixers.
"Just like Brett says, defense first, pace and space," vice president of player personnel Marc Eversley said when asked what the Sixers are looking for with the pick. "We think this player at No. 10 is going to be able to provide us with defense, a little bit of shot-making, a little bit of shot creation. We feel we'll get a good player."
The Sixers will have a lot of options involving the 10th and 26th picks of the draft. One option is using the 26th pick on a player they will stash overseas. A second option would be trading both picks to acquire a player from another team or to move up in the draft.
But three members of the Sixers' front office — Colangelo, Eversley and Elton Brand — all said there's enough depth in this summer draft to get a solid player at 10.
"If we choose to keep the pick, I think we'll definitely get a solid player who we can add to the rotation," Eversley said.
The Celtics had a slim chance to get the pick due to last summer's trade. The Sixers received the 2017 No. 1 pick for the No. 3 choice and a 2018 or 2019 protected pick.
Since it didn't cash in Tuesday, Boston will receive the 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.
In June, the Sixers also will select 38th, 39th, 56th and 60th in the second round.
Brand represented the team on stage at the lottery.
"I really wanted that No. 1 pick to bring home to the city and the fans," said Brand, a former Sixers player turned general manager of team's NBA G-League squad, the Delaware Blue Coats. "But it was fun. I enjoyed it."
Brand was jokingly asked if he was bad luck, considering the Sixers' first pick was no lower than third in the previous four lotteries.
"I'm average luck," Brand said with a smile. "It didn't go bad. It didn't go up. Bad luck would have been dropping out."