Philadelphia 76ers win 2016 NBA draft lottery
The result gives the 76ers the number one selection in June as they look to improve on last season's miserable 10-72 record.
"The pain that we've all gone through, the pain of losing is real. You can't camouflage it," said coach Brett Brown.
"The city has been incredibly patient, tolerant, choose any word you want. I think this validates some of the pain we went through."
The Los Angeles Lakers finished second, with the Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Minnesota Timberwolves rounding off the top five.
The 76ers entered the lottery with a 26.9 percent chance of landing the top pick – their own 25 percent chance and Sacramento's 1.9 percent chance, which came from a previous trade with the Kings.
With a record of 47-199 over the past three seasons, the 76ers have been on a mission to accumulate draft picks rather than be competitive on the court in order to build a better team in future years.
"We can now make the decision all by ourselves," added Brown. "We don't have to wait and see what someone else does. It gives us the injection we need.
"I never felt jinxed - I truly believed in what we were doing, and in many ways, I feel like we have been rewarded for the patience and perseverance, especially the city's perseverance."
LSU freshman forward Ben Simmons or Duke freshman forward Brandon Ingram are considered to be the top two prospects in the draft.
Australian forward Simmons was the only player to average more than 19 points, 11 rebounds and four assists during the 2015-16 college season, while Ingram averaged 17.3 points and won Atlantic Coast Conference freshman of the year honors.
"I coached Ben's father a long time ago," said Brown. "I've known Ben since he was born. I've known his family since the late '80s.
"Just having that knowledge of where he was raised and understanding the culture, I also lived 17 years in Australia.
"There are a lot of different connections to make me better informed how to help our organization make a calculated decision.
"Ben Simmons is an extremely talented man, and I think he comes from great stock with his family."
The NBA draft is on June 23 in New York.
2016 NBA Draft Lottery Results
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Boston (from Brooklyn)
6. New Orleans
7. Denver (via New York)
9. Toronto (from Denver)
13. Phoenix (from Washington)