In recent years, the NBA draft lottery has provided perhaps the finest example of Danny Ainge’s wizardry.
The lottery is generally reserved for bottom-feeders, for teams hoping to find some luck so they can find their way out of the doldrums. But the maneuvering of the Celtics’ president of basketball operations has often allowed Boston to work on two timelines — fielding a talented playoff roster while also taking a seat on the lottery stage and hoping for even more.
And Tuesday night in Chicago will be no different. The Celtics will once again be represented at the drawing, this time with a keen interest in the draft picks of two other teams. And while the chances of striking gold this time are minuscule, the fact that Boston is in position to add two more high picks is significant: The Celtics will receive the Kings’ pick in next month’s draft as long as it is not the No. 1 overall choice, in which case it would go to the 76ers and the Celtics would receive Philadelphia’s 24th overall choice instead.
It'll be fascinating to see how the Celtics proceed with AD talks if they get the No. 2 pick and Kyrie makes it clear he's leaving.
Maybe you just take Ja Morant and move on with a Morant/Tatum/Jaylen/Smart core.
(Assuming AD is giving no indication he'd re-sign with Boston.)
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) May 13, 2019