Tuesday, May 16, 2017

NBA Draft Lottery: Celtics in a great position towards the future after tonight

The Boston Celtics are on their way to Eastern Conferance Finals for the first time since 2012, after beating the Washington Wizards in seven-games on Monday night.

But before they square off against the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers, history could be made in tonight's NBA Draft Lottery as the C's could end up the first team ever to hold the number one pick as the No. one seed in the same year.

So how did the Celtics get here?

After securing the top seed in the East with a 53-29 record on the final day of the regular season, the C's had already clinched the best odds of landing this year's No. one pick four days prior, thanks to the Brooklyn Nets, who ended up finishing with the league's worst record at 20-62.

It's been four years now since Danny Ainge's Draft Day trade of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn for a hand full of future first and second round picks (including this year's), which at 25-percent, is the best odds of being a top overall selection.

With the Draft Lottery being hours away, if the Celtics do indeed grab the No. one pick tonight, the options are wide open. From drafting Washington's Markelle Fultz or UCLA's Lonzo Ball to packaging the pick in a trade to join All-Stars Isaiah Thomas and Al Horford to form a stronger nucleus.

Considering the upcoming draft to be guard heavy, the Celtics will have to unload some talent at that position if they do draft a point-guard going forward.

Avery Bradley at 6'2 is one of the league's on-ball defender and a huge reason the C's are in the position they're in to battle for the East crown, is on the books for one more season after this one at a $8.8 million (part of four-year, $32 million deal he signed back in 2014) and can easily be moved.

When healthy, Bradley is a border-line All-Star caliber talent, as he's the team's best two-way player.

Terry Rozier is another options that could possibly be involved in a deal. Though he's playing quite well in the postseason so far, he did have his ups and downs during the regular season.

Rookie Demetrius Jackson signed a four-year, $5.5 million deal last summer, but if he's waived prior to July 15, the Celtics will only owe him a cool $650,000.

These are a just a few options that Ainge probably has considered already and if the Celtics land the top pick, all possibilities have to be looked at if they want to be viewed as an title contender in the immediate future.

Joel Pavón

Photo used is courtesy of Associated Press

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