U.S.

Danny Ainge: Celtics likely to keep the No. 1 pick

Danny Ainge: Celtics likely to keep the No. 1 pick

The Celtics - who are now battling the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals - received the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, prompting Magic to let the world know that he still "hates them". Russell averaged 15.6 points, 4.8 assists and 3.6 rebounds per game. With the Cleveland Cavaliers still considered the top team in the NBA Eastern Conference, the Celtics need players that have produced, and will continue to do so.

Asked following Wednesday's media availability at the team's training facility if extending Embid is a priority, Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo replied, "It's something we'll talk about at the appropriate time".

Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck was the lucky charm for a team that, despite its shamrock logo, hasn't had such good fortune in the lottery.

The Celtics arch-rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers, also have reason to celebrate tonight, as they ended up with the second-overall pick despite coming in with the third-worst record.

"You trade this pick, because [Markelle Fultz] can not help the Celtics get over the top", Pierce told The Jump.

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

"I don't know who we're gonna take right now".

The Celtics finished dismantling the team that beat the Lakers to win the 2008 championship when they traded Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn on the night of the 2013 draft.

Jahlil Okafor: 76ers still open to keeping Jahlil Okafor?
Danny Ainge: Celtics likely to keep the No. 1 pick

Not only that, but Philly also got the Lakers' 2018 first round pick - unprotected - since LA kept their pick this year.

"And look what I leave behind for the Celts on my way out #1 pick", Pierce wrote on Twitter, following by some celebratory emojis.

That bold move paid off on Tuesday as the Celtics earned the top spot in the draft, giving them their first first pick since the introduction of the lottery in 1985. Beyond being the second best prospect in this draft class, his outspoken father LaVar Ball famously stated in February that Lonzo will "only play for the Lakers" before backtracking somewhat with the following: "All I said was that my boy is going to play for the Lakers. And with the fact that we have jumped a spot at least from our fourth position, the assets are rolling forward now in a very concrete way". "I wish we would have gotten the No. 1 pick, but we trust the process and it's going to be exciting to see what we're going for".

The Celtics were going to be in prime position no matter how the Ping-Pong balls bounced in a hotel ballroom Tuesday. All signs point towards the Boston Celtics, who have the first pick despite finishing the season with the best record in the Eastern Conference, drafting Markelle Fultz, so the Lakers will have an opportunity to draft one of Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum or De'Aaron Fox with the number two pick on June 22nd.

"We can't expect to be a team on the rise this year", Connelly said.

And the Lakers will get a chance to take one of them after beating the odds to move up.

The best case scenario for Philly on Lottery Night was getting two of the top four picks, either by them getting in the top three and the Lakers falling out, or the Lakers falling out and the Kings jumping up into the top three.

Not only that, but they would have had to trade their 2019 first-round pick to Orlando if that happened, so Johnson was all smiles even after finishing behind the rival Celtics.





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