BOSTON (CBS) — There was no lottery luck for the Celtics on Tuesday night.
The Celtics entered the night with a 2.9 percent chance at receiving the Los Angeles Lakers’ pick, which would have happened if it landed at No. 2 or No. 3 overall. But the pingpong balls did not bounce Boston’s way at the NBA Draft lottery. Instead, the Lakers received the No. 10 overall pick, which was then sent to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Celtics have to wait until next year to complete last season’s pre-draft blockbuster with Philly.
What a waste of an evening for Celtics president Rich Gotham. Not only was he in Chicago and not in Boston for Game 2 of the Celtics’ Eastern Conference Finals showdown with the Cavaliers, but he had to share a desk with Elton Brand (representing the 76ers) during the hour-long and extremely drawn-out NBA Draft Lottery show.
So now the Celtics will get the better of the Sacramento Kings and the 76ers pick in 2019, unless it’s the No. 1 overall pick. If either team gets the No. 1 overall pick (we’re looking at you, Kings), the Celtics will receive the other team’s selection. So Celtics fans will be hoping the Kings, who received the No. 2 overall pick on Tuesday night, lose plenty of games in 2019. But not enough so they get the No. 1 overall pick.
Don’t worry, there’s only one more year left for this Popsicle headache.
As a quick refresher: The Celtics received this future pick last summer when they sent the No. 1 overall pick to Philadelphia for the No. 3 overall pick in 2017 (some kid named Jayson Tatum) and an additional pick — either the Lakers’ 2018 first-round pick in 2018 (as long as it landed between Nos. 2 and 5) or the Kings’ first-round pick in 2019 (unless it’s the No. 1 overall pick) or the 76ers’ first-round pick in 2019. At least you can scratch one of those three possibilities off the list now.
Elsewhere from Tuesday night’s draft lottery, the Cavaliers now own the No. 8 overall pick in June, which they received from the Celtics in their summer swap for Kyrie Irving. That is the final draft pick Boston received from the Brooklyn Nets in their 2013 blockbuster trade of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. That deal worked out fairly well for the Celtics, essentially landing them Jaylen Brown, Tatum, Irving and whatever pick they receive next year.
While the Celtics didn’t get another Top 3 selection on Tuesday, they still have to feel pretty darn good about their future. Their young roster, led by Brown and Tatum — the last two No. 3 overall picks, has them competing for a trip to the NBA Finals despite season-ending injuries to Irving and Gordon Hayward, and there’s a good chance they’ll be able to add another young star to their core next summer.