The Philadelphia 76ers have two players that could have been No. 1 draft picks on their roster. Of course, the Sixers only have Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid on their team because injuries kept them from being picked No. 1 first. But according to reports on August 4, the Sixers may finally have an actual No. 1 pick joining them and playing soon -- yet naturally, the catch is that he happens to be a massive flop at the moment.
The latest trade rumors involving the Cleveland Cavaliers, Minnesota Timberwolves, Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and the Sixers now has Philadelphia taking 2013 No. 1 draft pick Anthony Bennett from Cleveland, while sending Thaddeus Young to Minnesota. The rumors of Young going to the Timberwolves had been well established, but Bennett being selected as his replacement is a new wrinkle.
This trade is still more than two weeks from becoming official, thanks to Wiggins being unable to get moved until the first 30 days of his rookie contract run out. So far, it is just a "handshake deal" according to ESPN's Brian Windhorst.
If all this is true, however, then the Cavaliers will have won the NBA draft lottery for two straight years under debatable circumstances, and yet have none of their choices left on their roster. Still, having LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Love on their team should help make up for it.
As for the Sixers, they would appear to be getting the short end of this deal, although that doesn't seem to concern general manager Sam Hinkle. Winning and putting together a substantial roster for the present day hasn't been his concern for some time.
The Sixers have waited a full season for Noel to play, and may wait another year for Embiid to play. Yet the healthiest top draft choice on their roster may soon be Bennett, of all people. He was a No. 1 pick just over a year ago, and now he stands to be the fourth least promising youngster on a bottom feeding Sixers team behind Noel, Embiid and Michael Carter-Williams.
But the Sixers are a long rebuilding project in of themselves, which is why they're seemingly getting rid of established but comparatively old contributors like Young. By that measure, Bennett may be the perfect choice to join them.