Celtics get top pick; Knicks eighth

Paola Ditto
Mag 19, 2017

General manager Danny Ainge, a member of those perennial NBA Finals Boston teams from the 1980s, has some hardwood First World problems to tackle in the coming weeks.

During Colangelo's 21-minute media availability Wednesday, the day after the Sixers got the No. 3 pick at Tuesday night's NBA Draft Lottery in NY, he said he thinks the Sixers might be able to have their cake and eat it, too. Because of the ridiculous cap-clearing trade that the Kings made with the 76ers in 2015 (a deal that only cleared a few million more than Sacramento could've simply by waiving the players it dealt away), the Kings had to give up the third pick, which they would've gotten otherwise, to the Sixers for the fifth pick.

They earned another win Tuesday night as they won the NBA Draft Lottery and were awarded the #1 overall selection in the upcoming draft. As great as Fultz will one day be, losing an immediate rotation player for him won't be ideal for next year's team as they try to win the championship. 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.

The Boston Celtics defeated the Washington Wizards in Game 7 just two days ago to head to the Eastern Conference Finals that begin on Wednesday.

"Pretty unbelievable - all one great feeling of Celtic pride right now", said Wyc Grousbeck, a Celtics co-owner, who basked in the spotlight of the annual game show proceedings on Tuesday as he stood alongside Johnson and Embiid. Game tomorrow against a tough Cleveland team. He doesn't have the assets to gain any lottery picks but he can acquire late first round picks for the future.

The Celtics will go from No.1 seed to No.1 pick after their 25 per cent chance of winning came through today. The Nets finished with the NBA's worst record this season and their first-round pick this June is not until No. 27. "It was going really well, and there was a little misdirection there by one of the envelopes, and then we got right back on track".

"We have plenty of time to decide what to do, but I would imagine we'll make the pick", Grousbeck said.

"Getting the No. 1 pick is very fun". The Sixers have one of the most intriguing young cores in the league with Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Dario Saric, and now they'll get to add a top-three pick. Endless motor. Louisville coach Rick Pitino picked him as the early Rookie of the Year favorite.

"We have a number of our players who are young enough (that) they know a lot of these players in the draft".

Ainge said the lottery victory, coupled with the team's playoff run, vindicates his decision to hold onto the pick rather than use it as a bargaining chip at the trade deadline. I feel for you, Magic fans. It's hard for me to be patient. "So, we know we're not taking their heart", he said after Tuesday's 136-100 rout.

Is that really how the Suns want to be perceived by the very people who must be employed to organize a competitive team? "It's an uphill battle and we just got to be better to start the game". They will have two first round draft picks which are vital to a rebuilding team.

But given they can set the agenda, how the 2017 draft pans out with Boston will be fascinating as they choose from a guard-heavy class with a roster already possessing three excellent players in that position in Isaiah Thomas, Marcus Smart and Avery Bradley, so the need to find "a superstar" isn't as great. However, as reported by the Chicago Tribune, the Celtics will not go as far as sending their first round pick, especially now that it's the first pick overall.

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