The Philadelphia 76ers have to be pretty close with the Cleveland Cavaliers these days. The Sixers need to get out of the No. 3 pick in the NBA Draft if they still want Andrew Wiggins, and trading for the Cavaliers' No. 1 pick is the best way to do it. However, Cleveland may have other big concerns now, after LeBron James officially opted out of his contract with the Miami Heat on June 24 -- and that could be where Philadelphia comes in.
The Sixers need to give the Cavaliers some assets in order to seize the No. 1 pick away from them. If they offer the right amount of picks and players -- especially ones that can make financial room for James to come back to Cleveland -- it may be just the incentive the Cavaliers need. Of course, the likes of the Orlando Magic and Utah Jazz may also try to trade up with the exact same strategy.
It all depends on how serious the Cavaliers are about bringing James back, especially since they can already build around Kyrie Irving and whoever their top draft pick will be. Is there really a lot that the Sixers or anyone else can give them that would bring them closer to James -- or at least close enough to justify trading the No. 1 pick in a rich NBA draft away?
Cleveland is not the smartest franchise in the league, so that can bode well for Philadelphia if it has the right tricks. But it would be better if the Sixers made the right assets available, like the No. 3 pick, one or a few of their other six draft spots, and perhaps even Thaddeus Young and/or Michael Carter-Williams to sweeten the deal. If it's sweet enough to get the No. 1 slot, and to make the Cavaliers think it would help them in the James sweepstakes, the Sixers could reap the benefits even if the Cavs ultimately don't.
The Sixers are in the same boat in a way, in gambling a whole lot for the chance to get one special player -- especially since Wiggins is far less of a sure thing than James. But Philadelphia and Cleveland each desperately need a superstar to become relevant again, no matter what the cost. Perhaps these two once proud franchises are ideally suited to help each other out on June 26.