Sure I follow the leagues at large with great detail. I know who is trending up and down, what players are in the conversation for which award, which teams have a realistic shot at a title, and so on and so forth.
But, I rarely, if ever, become emotionally invested in a team outside of Philly during a season. Sure, once the Sixers, or Eagles, or whoever are eliminated from playoff contention then I can pick another team to pull for.
This season however, I will be paying close attention to New Orleans, and pulling for the Pelicans to stink throughout the season; just not as much as the Sixers.
The trade that shipped Jrue Holiday south and brought a guy whose name sounds a lot like ‘New Orleans’ to Philly, also came with a top 5-protected pick for next summer’s draft.
So, in a draft that is supposed to be the most stacked in recent memory, the Sixers should have two picks with which to build the foundation of the franchise; their own likely lottery pick after stinking it up this season, and the pick from the Pelicans.
This pick from the Pelicans however, is top five protected, meaning that if New Orleans winds up with one of the draft’s first five picks they get to hold on to it. This could happen if the Pelicans finish among the league’s worst, basically what the Sixers are trying to do.
So here’s the situation for Sixers fans: We want the Pelicans to stink, we just don’t want them too stink too bad; like league’s worst record bad.
Ideally, the Pelicans will be mediocre but miss the playoffs, likely landing them somewhere in the 6-13 range in the lottery. This would (hopefully) provide the Sixers with a top five pick of their own, and another mid-level lottery selection in a deep draft.
Two top picks in the 2014 draft would be a solid step for the Sixers’ fresh start.
So for the 2013-14 season I have two teams to pay attention to, and I will be pulling for the Pelicans to struggle (moderately) throughout the season.