By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Boston Celtics were projected to be the winners of the NBA Lottery thanks to having the most ping pong balls. On Tuesday night, the Celtics won the NBA Draft lottery and earning their first No. 1 pick in the Common Draft Era.
The Celtics are joined in the Top 3 picks by the Los Angeles Lakers and the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s the second straight year that these three teams will be in the Top 3 selections.
“I’m excited,” Joel Embiid said. “We jumped up one more spot [Phoenix Suns were the fourth pick]. I wish we would have gotten the No. 1 pick, but we trust the process and it’s going to be exciting to see what we’re going for.”
It’s unheard of for the team, who had the best record in the Eastern Conference, to get the top pick. But that’s exactly what they did thanks to a trade with the Brooklyn Nets several years ago.
In fact, they’ll join the Lakers, who finished with the best record in their conference, then get the No. 1 overall pick. With the top pick in the 1982 draft, the Lakers selected James Worthy.
In the key trade with the Nets in 2013, the Celtics sent Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry to Brooklyn. Since the Nets were the worst team in the league this season, they had the greatest chance of getting the top pick – for the Celtics.
In the wild trade, the Nets will unfortunately get the Celtics original pick, which will be 27th overall. The Celtics also have the Nets first-round pick next year, which will be for the third straight year.
Pierce, a Celtics legend, who also retired at the end of the 2016-17 season with the Los Angeles Clippers, said he had a hand in the Celtics’ fortune. It’s also the first-time ever that the Celtics and the Lakers have the top two picks in the same draft.
The Lakers will be picking second for the third straight year. They acquired D’Angelo Russell with the second overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, while picking Brandon Ingram with the second pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
The NBA Draft will be on June 22nd on ESPN.
Lottery results, followed by the first-round order:
1. Boston (From Brooklyn)
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Philadelphia (from Sacramento)
5. Sacramento (from Philadelphia)
8. New York
10. Sacramento (From New Orleans)
20. Portland (From Memphis via Denver and Cleveland)
21. Oklahoma City
22. Brooklyn (From Washington)
23. Toronto (From LA Clippers via Milwaukee)
25. Orlando (From Toronto)
26. Portland (From Cleveland)
27. Brooklyn (From Boston)
28. Los Angeles Lakers (From Houston)
29. San Antonio
30. Utah (From Golden State)
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