NEW YORK — The Philadelphia 76ers won the NBA draft lottery Tuesday night and will have the No. 1 pick in June.
The Los Angeles Lakers finished second but also felt like winners, as they would have dealt their pick to Philadelphia had they fallen out of the top three.
The Boston Celtics, with a pick dealt to them by the Brooklyn Nets, remained in the No. 3 slot.
Nobody moved up in the lottery, which sets the top three picks. The remainder of the 14 teams are slotted in the inverse order of their won-loss record.
The 76ers finished 10-72, just off the worst record in the history of the 82-game schedule, and had a 26.9 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick (their own 25 percent chance, and Sacramento’s 1.9 percent chance, since the 76ers had the right to swap picks with the Kings from a previous trade.)
They also would have garnered another top-five selection had the Lakers tumbled a couple of spots, since they would have been entitled to the pick the Lakers originally dealt to Phoenix for Steve Nash that the 76ers later acquired in another trade.
But Philadelphia certainly won’t complain, not after doing no better than No. 3 in the previous two drafts during a three-year process where the focus was more on building for the future than trying to win in the present.
And their win Tuesday certainly won’t quiet those believers in lottery conspiracies, as former 76ers center Dikembe Mutombo tweeted congratulations on their victory about four hours earlier. He sent a subsequent tweet saying he was just excited but was keeping his fingers crossed.
The draft is June 23 in New York.