The Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics came away with the top three picks of the 2016 NBA draft.
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Trusting the process finally paid off, even if the process’s architect wasn’t around to see his vision come to fruition.
The Sixers won the rights to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA draft lottery, held Tuesday in New York City, a little more than one month after polarizing GM Sam Hinkie resigned following three years of tanking. The Sixers now hold the top overall pick for the first time since 1996, when they selected Hall of Fame guard Allen Iverson out of Georgetown
The Lakers will select No. 2 after keeping their pick, which was top-three protected. The Celtics will select No. 3 after receiving the Nets’ first-round pick via trade.
LSU’s Ben Simmons, Duke’s Brandon Ingram, Providence’s Kris Dunn, and Dragan Bender (who played professionally in Israel) are expected to be among the first players selected in this year’s draft, which is set for June 23 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Entering Tuesday, the Sixers had a 26.9% chance to win the top selection after finishing with a league-worst 10-72 record. Philadelphia selected at No. 3 in 2015 following an 18-win season and at No. 3 in 2014 after a 19-win season as Hinkie pursued a complete rebuild.
“We’ve taken hits for three seasons,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said after the results were revealed. “We’re excited for the position we’re now in. … I’m thrilled for our city and the fans of Philadelphia.”
Hinkie resigned his position in April, months after longtime executive Jerry Colangelo was brought on as an advisor. Following Hinkie’s departure, the Sixers hired Colangelo’s son, Bryan, as his replacement.
The Lakers had the second-best chance at the top overall pick at 19.9% and the Celtics were third at 15.6%.
The lottery produced no truly dramatic surprises, as all 14 selections came down in order. No teams jumped up into the top three.