The Thunder‘s last-minute win over the Heat on Wednesday assured that Oklahoma City will send its 2020 first-round pick to the Sixers, as Derek Bodner of The Athletic tweets.
That selection had been top-20 protected, and the Thunder had been hovering around the league’s 10th-best record since even before the season was suspended in March. Currently, Oklahoma City is tied with Houston at 44-27, meaning the pick projects to land at either No. 23 or 24, as our reverse standings show.
If OKC loses its final seeding game on Friday against the Clippers, the pick could end up as high as No. 21. However, it can’t get to No. 20, since the Heat and Pacers (both currently 44-28) will play each other on Friday, guaranteeing that at least one of those teams will finish with a worse record than the Thunder. As such, the top-20 protection won’t apply.
The pick will be an important asset this offseason for the 76ers, since they previously traded their own 2020 first-round pick to the Clippers (who flipped it to Brooklyn). If the Thunder’s first-rounder had landed in the top 20, Philadelphia would have instead received OKC’s 2022 and 2023 second-round picks.
The Sixers originally acquired the Thunder first-rounder in 2016 in exchange for Jerami Grant. Philadelphia sent it to Orlando during the 2017 draft to acquire Anzejs Pasecniks‘s rights, but later acquired it back in its 2019 Markelle Fultz trade with the Magic.