Are the Sixers in a playoff race? Or are they better off in the lottery for another season? 

They are currently the eighth-worst team in the NBA, but are just 4.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the eastern conference.

If the Sixers knock off Houston on Friday night, it would be their 10th win in the month of January, they won 10 games all of last season.  As it relates to the Sixers’ future, no matter what happens from this point on is a win for Philadelphia.

As GM Bryan Colangelo decides what to do going forward with potential trades of Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel and Richaun Holmes, the results of the next few weeks leading up to the deadline shouldn’t affect any of those decisions.

Making the playoffs would be a great thing for this team. Sure, they’d play Cleveland in the first round and be out in four or five games. Lessons would be learned. Joel Embiid and maybe even Ben Simmons would experience playoff intensity.

If the team makes a strong push to the playoffs and falls short, the Sixers have the ability to pick swap with Sacramento, if the Kings pick is better than the Sixers.  They also could still land the Lakers pick if it falls outside the top-three in a stacked draft.

The Sixers are young and provided enough entertainment already this season to make people believe with Embiid and Simmons, they are moving in the right direction. So even if the Sixers stink for the remainder of the season, it would have some disappointment attached as a fan, but the Sixers could add more ping-pong balls in a point guard-heavy draft.

The main goal of this season has already been accomplished: Embiid has clearly established himself as the present and future. From this point forward, Bryan Colangelo is in an unbelievably positive position to move the Sixers forward. He can be given credit for the Ersan Illyasova trade and whiel Sam Hinkie put the Sixers in position to draft Ben Simmons, that pick may turn out to be his crowning achievements.

The decisions he makes over the next three months will could define his tenure as the Sixers’ general manager.