Celtics Seek Top Pick, Lakers Aim to Keep Theirs in Lottery
NEW YORK (AP) — A night that's normally for the NBA's biggest losers has huge consequences this time for its greatest champions as the league holds its annual draft lottery Tuesday night.
There's plenty at stake for teams such as Philadelphia, New Orleans and Sacramento, whose draft strategies can change enormously if the Ping-Pong balls bounce right in a New York hotel ballroom. But for the Celtics and Lakers, who were busy playing each other in the NBA Finals back when the lottery was instituted in 1985, the swings could help determine how quickly they can get back to their former heights.
A night after the East's top seed hosts Game 7 of its second-round series, the Celtics will have a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick, thanks to a trade that keeps paying off for them nearly four years after they made it.
When the Celtics decided to break up the remaining core of their 17th NBA championship team, they dealt Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn as part of a draft-night deal in 2013. Boston got back first-round picks in 2014, 2016 and 2018, as well as the right to swap picks this year.