Joel Embiid had himself a night on Tuesday. The Philadelphia 76ers acquired a top-3 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft in a somewhat unconventional way. As the team’s representative at the lottery, Embiid was the center of attention after we learned that Philly got one of the premier picks in the draft.
The crazy thing was Philadelphia did not actually get a top-3 pick on its own – the team received the fifth selection in the draft. However, the Sixers’ fate was sealed when we got to the eighth pick and the Kings were not called. This meant that Sacramento was guaranteed to get a top-3 selection, which meant that Philly’s odds of getting their hands on the pick skyrocketed.
The whole thing is kind of complex. We’ll explain in a sec, just know that Embiid was stoked.
Back in the summer of 2015, the Sacramento Kings sent Carl Landry, Nik Stauskas, and Jason Thompson to Philadelphia for the rights to Arturas Gudaitis and Luka Mitrovic. It was a brazen salary dump by the Kings, and to make it work the Sixers’ time, they added two draft-related stipulations: the team’s 2019 first-round pick, and the right to swap first rounders in 2016 and 2017.
Obviously that wasn’t going to happen last year, when Philly got the top overall pick and selected Ben Simmons. But the Sixers’ pick was likely to be the No. 4 or No. 5 selection this year, so with a little lunacy, the pick swap lived. It ended up happening, and Philadelphia is now in the top-3 (at No. 3 behind the Celtics and Lakers) while Sacramento is sitting at No. 5.
Oh, also, this has nothing to do with the picks, but Embiid was posted up with a gigantic Shirley Temple at the lottery.
We do not deserve Joel Embiid.