Lost in all the excitement of this unexpectedly deep playoff run for the Celtics is the fact that they are still sitting on yet another potential goldmine. The Celtics have an outside shot at having a Top 3 pick fall into their laps this year.
The NBA Draft Lottery is tonight before Game 2 and the C’s will be watching with great interest as they could walk away with Philly’s first round pick (via Los Angeles) tonight. Boston is basically riding a heater after landing the No. 1 overall pick for the first time in franchise history last summer. Tonight will be a heat check from Danny.
To recap last year’s draft day trade that got us here, Danny Ainge traded the No. 1 overall pick to Philadelphia (who drafted Markelle Fultz) in exchange for the No. 3 overall pick (C’s drafted Jayson Tatum) and a future first round pick, which could be Philly’s pick this year that the Sixers had previously acquired from the Lakers. There were some protections on that pick though. The Celtics will get the Sixers/Lakers first round pick this year if it falls at No. 2 or No. 3 overall, which has a 2.87% chance of occuring at the Draft Lottery tonight.
We have a 2.87% chance of getting pick 2 or 3. I’ve worn the same jacket to every Celtics home game since it replaced a smaller one when I was a kid. Never worn it anywhere else. Do I wear the jacket in the room with the ping-pong balls?
— Mike Zarren (@mikezarren) May 14, 2018
Those aren’t great odds, but imagine the chaos we’d see on NBA Twitter if the Celtics, who are already pushing the Cavs to the limit and are expecting both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward back next season, get a Top 3 pick? People would be screaming about frozen envelopes and crafting conspiracy theories about Danny Ainge having naked pics of Adam Silver to explain this great run of luck in Boston.
However, the Sixers (via the Lakers) are currently projected to get the No. 10 pick based on the Draft Lottery odds. We’ve seen teams make crazy jumps before (i.e. Cleveland jumping from 8th to 1st in 2011 to draft Kyrie Irving) so this wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility. If the Cavs somehow jump from their current spot at No. 8 to No. 1 with the Brooklyn pick the Celtics sent them in the Kyrie trade I’m gonna snap though. Cleveland has had the No. 1 overall pick 3 times in the last 7 years. So who’s rigging the league for who? It would be hilarious though to watch Trader Danny hoard those Brooklyn picks for YEARS and then jump off the bandwagon at the last second to flip his last Nets pick, only to see it fall all the way to No. 8. Seriously though, Danny should be a stock broker.
If the Philly/Lakers pick ends up being anything other than No. 2 or No. 3 then the Celtics’ return for the Fultz/Tatum trade gets kicked to next summer when the C’s will receive a first rounder from the Sixers. The Sixers have their own pick next year as well as the Sacramento Kings’ first rounder so the Celtics would get the higher of the two next year unless either lands on No. 1 overall then they’d get the other pick instead.
In case you were wondering, the Kings finished 27-55 this year, which was tied for the 6th worst record in the NBA, with no signs of improvement next year. So either way the Celtics could be nabbing another Top 5 pick if not this year then very likely next year.