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Ainge's patience pays off with Celtics' draft lottery win

19 May, 2017, 04:45 | Author: Iris Sanchez

Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck told CSNNE that they are not taking their no. 1 pick lightly.

That's why it can't necessarily be ruled out that Ainge would be more interested in UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball, a native of Anaheim, California who could very well be the pick for the Lakers at No. 2. The consensus top prospect in the class is Fultz, so it is probable that the Celtics take him if they keep the pick.

"I don't think I would max him out because you can wait for restricted free agency", said an National Basketball Association source. "If you're going to trade these picks for an established star making max, you've got to send max money out the door as well", he said. And they still get one more first-round pick next season from the Nets, who likely will miss the playoffs again.

The Nets finished with the league's worst record at 20-62.

"And look what I leave behind for the Celts on my way out (No. 1) pick", Pierce wrote on Twitter.

I don't see a scenario where the Lakers and 76ers are trading the #2 or #3 picks respectively, so that leaves Phoenix at #4 as Chicago's next best option after Boston. Not because they'd want to, but because Thomas might not want to stick around with an organization that's committing to the kids, especially one at his point-guard position, rather than acquire NBA-ready talent to make a serious championship run right now.

The ping pong balls finally went Boston's way.

Boston holds the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed after finishing with a better regular season record than the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Their victory made it three straight years the team with the best odds has won the lottery, after going the previous decade without a victory. Minnesota snapped that streak by getting eventual Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns in 2015 and Philadelphia emerged with Ben Simmons last season. Coming into the Tuesday evening the Suns entered the draft with a 19.9 percent chance of landing the top pick in the draft and had a 55.8 percent chance of a top-three selection.

In addition, keeping their first round pick meant that the Lakers no longer owed the Orlando Magic the 2019 first round pick in relation to the Dwight Howard trade from the summer of 2012. And now we squeeze in the lottery and win the pick.

The Lakers, meanwhile, can breathe easy.

It wouldn't be that surprising if the Hornets chose to move their pick considering that they traded the 22nd overall selection in the first round (Malachi Richardson) to the Sacramento Kings past year. The Kings will select fifth and 10th.

Up Next: The 2017 NBA Draft takes place Thursday, June 22 from New York City and will air on ESPN. Charlotte is No. 11, with Detroit, Denver and Miami rounding out the 14 lottery spots. It's a Boston team that many wrote off after the Celtics fell into a 0-2, first-round hole against the Bulls.

On June 22, NY will also be presented with the opportunity to add depth, via two second round picks.

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