Despite winning just 19 games, Philadelphia 76ers owner Joshua Harris called this season “a huge success.”
The Sixers had the second-worst record in the NBA at 19-63 and hope to get the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft. The draft lottery for the 14 non-playoffs teams is May 20. Philadelphia has a 19.9 percent chance of getting the top selection.
Many believe the Sixers failed on purpose in hopes of landing the No. 1 pick to help them build into a championship-caliber team in the future.
“I think the season has been a huge success for us,” Harris said Friday, according to the Associated Press.
The Sixers, who had a stretch of 26-straight losses during the season, have two lottery picks (one via a trade) and made it clear they were rebuilding. Just do not say they tanked.
“We don’t use that word,” Harris said.
The owner added this season was not about the final record but putting together a team that can win championships in the long run.
“We don’t want to be 41-41,” Harris said. “We don’t want to be one-and-done. We want this team, this city to be proud of the Sixers. We want to be proud of the Sixers.”
The Sixers have hope for the future. Point guard Michael Carter-Williams is the top candidate for rookie of the year and center Nerlens Noel — also a rookie — missed the entire season while recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee.
Harris believes the two lottery picks added to Carter-Williams and Noel give the team a promising future.
“All these pieces are in place to make this an elite team that will compete consistently for the NBA championship,” he said. “There’s no shortcuts to it. Unfortunately, it takes a long time. I’m really happy with the progress.”
The Sixers, who last won an NBA title in 1983, hope to announce plans for a new practice facility this summer and have it built by the beginning of the 2016-17 season.
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