Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Boston Celtics win NBA draft lottery, Lakers second

Rita Gibson | 17 May, 2017, 20:13

He flashed his trademark smile, pumped his fist, and did a little shimmy in his seat. But those chickens keep coming home to roost, and hindsight was especially painful Tuesday night when the Celtics won the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery with a pick belonging to the Nets, whose NBA-worst 20-62 record gave them the most lottery balls. But make no mistake: this night was all about the Lakers, once again dodging what would have been a crippling blow to one of the league's flagship franchises.

Given the fact that the Sixers, during Sam Hinkie's tenure as general manager, were linked to Russell ahead of the 2015 NBA Draft, and that the ping pong balls awarded the Sixers the No. 3 overall pick in next month's NBA Draft, it is fair to wonder if there could be a Russell to the Sixers deal in the works.

The Boston Celtics get to pick first in the NBA Draft this year.

Not even Jack Bauer can pack as much into 24 hours as the Boston Celtics have over the past two days. They'll have the top pick in this year's draft, which they'll likely use to draft Washington star Markelle Fultz, as well as oodles of cap space to chase a potential star free agent this summer like Jazz forward Gordon Hayward.

The Celtics finished dismantling the team that beat the Lakers to win the 2008 championship when they traded Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn on the night of the 2013 draft.

Danny Ainge, Boston Celtics president of basketball operations, gestures as he passes the team's NBA vhampionship banners st the team's training facility in Waltham, Mass., Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

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It's not a awful trade-off, given the Kings were supposed to have the eighth pick, but it is another embarrassing moment for a franchise that can't stop having them. Sacramento isn't really short of future draft assets in the way that an ideal trade partner would be, but the Hawks could potentially make an offer that might improve the optics for the Kings regarding the trade of Cousins as to move up from the 19th to 10th selection. After having the best odds for the No. 1 pick in 1997, Boston missed out on the chance to get Tim Duncan; in 1986, the Celtics landed the No. 2 overall pick and used it on Len Bias, who died two days later of a cocaine overdose. "That's what you have to do when you have a chance".

When it was shown that the Pelicans were giving their draft pick to the Kings, the camera flashed to coach Alvin Gentry, who looked like he'd just ate a lemon. "Happy for our organization, happy for our team, happy for our fans".

"I was very excited and happy", Johnson said on the Lakers' Twitter feed. But I think that it's going to be a tough choice for us where we sit at No. 1.

Embiid then doubled down: "Hopefully we take that pick". The Kings will select fifth and 10th.

The Philadelphia 76ers, who used the top overall pick to land Ben Simmons previous year, will select third.

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