After declaring last season’s last-place finish a “huge success,” the Philadelphia 76ers now appear to be fighting the NBA’s efforts to prevent another similarly unmitigated Sixers victory.
The Sixers have mounted a “strong objection” to the league instituting changes to the draft lottery system, ESPN.com’s Brian Windhorst reported Wednesday, citing multiple sources. Essentially, the Sixers want to delay proposed changes that would lessen the supposed benefit of “tanking.”
“The rough draft of the plan was met with opposition by 76ers management, who are in the midst of a multi-season rebuilding project that is depending on a high pick next year,” Windhorst wrote. “The 76ers, sources said, are hoping to get the NBA to delay plans for at least a year because it acts as a de facto punishment while just playing by the rules that have been in place.”
Led by general manager Sam Hinkie, the Sixers organization has expertly navigated the NBA’s draft lottery and collective bargaining rules to stockpile draft picks and shed contract obligations. Owner Joshua Harris called last season’s 19-63 campaign “a huge success for us.”
Philly, which landed the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft, clearly intends to be back in the lottery next year. The team drafted center Joel Embiid, who could miss the entire 2014-15 season while recovering from foot surgery, and forward Dario Saric, whose contract with a Turkish team could prevent him from joining the NBA for another two years.
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