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A Philadelphia 76ers blog, hosted by Christopher A. Vito

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sixers nab 11th pick at NBA draft lottery

(Associated Press)
NEW YORK – Ask Josh Harris where he thought the 76ers would be slotted in the NBA's draft, and he would've told you 11th. Doesn't mean he held out a sliver of hope they might've been picked higher, though.

“Expected value,” said Harris, the Sixers' owner. “I figured when I came here, we had a small probability of being super happy and a small probability of being sad, and I had neither. We were right where I expected to be.”

The odds were long that the Sixers would move into the top three selections of the NBA draft. And that's exactly how the draft lottery at ABC Disney Studios played out, with the Sixers – the league's 11th-worst team – getting slotted the No. 11 choice for the June 27 draft.

The Sixers had only a 2.9-percent chance to slide into one of the first three choices, and a  90.7-percent chance they would remain at No. 11. Of course, it remained possible they also could fall into picks Nos. 12 through 14, so all things considered … not bad.

“This is pure luck,” Harris said of the lottery.

Washington didn't win the lottery, so to speak, but the Wizards were the night's big winner. The league's eighth-worst team climbed to No. 3, while Orlando – which finished with the worst record in the NBA – was leapfrogged by Cleveland for the top pick. The Magic ended up with No. 2.

For more on the Sixers and the NBA draft lottery, including the team's impending free agency decision on Andrew Bynum, pick up Wednesday's Delco Times.

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NBA draft lottery odds and ends

NEW YORK -- A few notes from the Millennium Broadway Hotel on Times Square, the site of the 2013 NBA draft lottery:

PING-PONG BALLS. The Sixers have eight ping-pong balls out of 1,000, which means the 11th-worst team in the NBA this season has a slim chance of moving up. Here are the odds:
  • 0.80% chance for No. 1
  • 0.95% chance for No. 2
  • 1.15% chance for No. 3
  • 90.74% chance for No. 11
  • 6.28% chance for No. 12
  • 0.08% chance for No. 13
  • 0.0001% chance for No. 14

RECENT HISTORY. The Sixers have participated in 13 of the league's NBA draft lotteries, which is in its 29th year. In the previous 12, they've stayed at their projected pick five times, moved up six times and dropped only once. Their last go-around here, they went from No. 6 to No. 2 in 2011, when they took Evan Turner.

FACES IN THE CROWD. NBA commissioner David Stern will speak to reporters at around 6:45 p.m. Sixers owner Josh Harris will represent the team when the draft lottery commences, at around 8:30 p.m. It'll be televised live on ESPN.

BYNUM UPDATE.  Harris said the Sixers plan on keeping Andrew Bynum, a free agent this summer, in their offseason plans ... but admits he has not spoken to Bynum or his agent, David Lee. “Our basketball people are in touch with (Bynum) all the time,” Harris said.

COACH SEARCH UPDATE. Yes, Harris would like a coach in place as soon as possible, but he said the Sixers are proceeding cautiously in an attempt to find "the right coach." Added Harris: “It's an important decision,” he 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 time deadline on 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.”

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How Sam Hinkie, Josh Harris approach the Andrew Bynum situation

(Getty Images)

With a quizzical look on his face, Josh Harris tried to understand the question being lobbed his way. And find a way to answer it. The query was about Andrew Bynum, so Harris had to approach this one delicately.

Harris was being asked whether there was anything the Sixers could reclaim from the Bynum situation, the one in which they spent $16.5 million for zero minutes played from the big man.

“Sunk cost,” Harris said. “That’s all sunk cost.”

In business-speak, that’s money a business will never get back. Harris and new general manager Sam Hinkie spoke at length about Bynum, their unrestricted free agent center, at Hinkie’s introductory press conference Tuesday at PCOM. And whether they can hope to get anything from him next season.

Mainly, the conversation hovered around the Sixers’ involvement with Bynum this offseason.

Hinkie, an analytics guy, is all about the process by which decisions are made as opposed to the outcome of those decisions. Calculated risks sometimes backfire. But if the process is employed, taking into account traditional basketball know-how plus beyond-the-box-score logic and other related metrics, they’re almost viewed as acceptable losses, Hinkie said.

That’s why Hinkie lauded Harris for his approach to the Bynum trade, and his willingness to say he'd make the trade again if given the chance. Hinkie didn’t rule out ending the Sixers’ relationship with Bynum.

Bynum, 25, missed the entire season with bilateral bone bruises in both knees and underwent season-ending surgery in March. The Sixers own Bynum’s Bird rights, which means they can sign him for more years and more money than any other team in the league. That, Hinkie said, makes Bynum appealing.

“I don’t think there’s anything else to be said about the trade,” Hinkie said. “I suspect this makes me boring, but I think of Andrew like the thousands of other young men walking around the world that are unrestricted free agents that have the potential to play NBA basketball, and he is one of those. I am duty-bound to consider and look at them.
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Sixers hire Sam Hinkie as general manager; Tony DiLeo will not remain with team

The 76ers have agreed to terms with Sam Hinkie, who will become their general manager and president of basketball operations, and the team could make his hire official as early as next week, according to a league source.

To make room for Hinkie, and expedite their search for a new head coach, the Sixers have cut ties with general manager Tony DiLeo. According to a league source, DiLeo – who had been with the organization for 23 seasons – will not remain with the Sixers in any capacity.

Hinkie comes to the Sixers on a multi-year contract believed to be at least three years, a league source said. Hinkie had worked with the Houston Rockets for the last four seasons as their vice president of basketball operations while serving as an advocate for analytics within the organization.

The Sixers are believed to have sought Hinkie last offseason before promoting DiLeo. They had to wait until Houston had been eliminated from the playoffs before initiating discussions with him, but negotiations proceeded quickly. Hinkie, according to a league source, was the Sixers' “only target” for the general manager position.

The Sixers have been without a head coach since Doug Collins resigned April 18, the day after the team's regular-season finale. It's believed they have narrowed down a list of candidates to fill the post, but it seemed peculiar that they would allow DiLeo to lead the coaching search while his contract was set to expire July 1. And Sixers owner Josh Harris didn't exactly give DiLeo a ringing endorsement during Harris' end-of-the-year press conference.

With Hinkie in place, the Sixers can move forward in their search. Harris has said he would like to have a coach in place by the June 27 NBA Draft. The reported list of favorites for the job, according to another league source, remain the same: Brian Shaw, Indiana's associate head coach; Michael Curry, the Sixers' associate head coach under Collins; Mike Malone, Golden State's top assistant; and Jeff Hornacek, an assistant with Utah.

DiLeo had been with the Sixers for the last 23 seasons, serving as interim head coach, assistant general manager and vice president of basketball operations among other jobs, before assuming the GM duties last summer.

It was believed DiLeo had spent the season being groomed by outgoing Sixers president Rod Thorn, who would be transitioning into a consultant's role with the team. Instead, DiLeo is out of a job.

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