NBA

Dikembe Mutumbo.

Did Dikembe Mutombo actually predict who would get the number one draft pick?

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Before the 2016 NBA Draft Lottery began, quite a stir was caused on social media when a former 76ers star declared that the eastern franchise had already secured the number one pick in the 2016 draft.

To make matters even more interesting, his prediction turned out to be true.

Former Sixers All-Star center Dikembe Mutombo tweeted congratulations to the club for winning the first overall pick, several hours before the draw even took place.

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A Sixers employee had emailed Mutombo and asked other former players to tweet support for the team in the event they did win the first overall pick, which, statistically speaking, the they were the favourites to do.

Mutombo cut and paste a congratulations message and accidentally tweeted it out several hours before the lottery was determined, which created quite the stir on social media. Even current Sixers big man Joel Embiid had to see the funny side.

"I was trying to congratulate the Sixers if they win the draft," Mutombo explained when reached by telephone after the lottery. "For some reason I made a mistake. I'm just laughing so hard about what people are saying [online]. It's funny."

"[People are] posting all these funny videos of me laughing in the All-Star Game, my reaction during the Dunk Contest," Mutombo added. "It's making me laugh. But I also want to make sure that people should not be thinking about anything negative [from the mistake]."

Mutombo rejected the notion that he might have been in on any kind of lottery conspiracy; even the mere suggestion is nothing short of ridiculous. The rationale behind the error is as perfectly plausible as the the whole episode is laughable.

BASKETBALL-NBA-SIN-MUTOMBO

L.A. Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak - who enjoyed the good fortune of securing the second overall draft pick - couldn't resist a fun jab at the 49-year-old.

As Kupchak said, "Dikembe should go to Vegas tonight. That's what he should do."

There would be queues as far as the eye could see to meet with mystic Mutombo.

The Sixers now find themselves in an interesting situation having grabbed the top pick for the 2016 draft. Many analysts have argued that this isn't the strongest class in recent memory, but in Brandon Ingram and Ben Simmons, there are two forwards up for grabs that have superstar potential.

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With Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor, the Sixers roster is already stacked with talented big men. In a league where stretching the floor is becoming paramount, a small forward like Ingram may be the better option over the 6'10" power forward Simmons.

It's unlikely that Bryan Colangelo will trade away the draft pick in search of an established top-tier talent given their dedication to the 'process', but either way, the NBA draft on June 23 in New York is set to be a game-changer in Philly.

Topics:
NBA Draft
Nerlens Noel
Philadelphia Sixers
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
NBA
Joel Embiid
Jahlil Okafor
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference

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