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The odds are small, but they are there. It all comes down to where the Lakers pick ends up on May 15 when the NBA draft lottery takes place. The Lakers finished the season with the 10th worst record in the League and have roughly a 4.0% chance of landing a top-3 pick.

That pick, no matter where it lands, will go to either the Philadelphia 76'ers or the Boston Celtics. There is a 1.1% chance it lands at the #1 spot and goes to Philadelphia. If it ends up at #2 or #3 (2.9% chance), it goes to Boston. If the choice does not end up in the top-3, it will go to the #10 spot and be transferred to the 76'ers.


The Boston Celtics ended the regular season with the 4th-best record in the NBA, followed by the 76'ers with the 5th-best record. Both teams have a combination of youth and talent already. If either one adds a top-3 pick, and goes with him or trades him, they will probably be set for a 10-year reign over the rest of the League.

The drama doesn't end there. Philadelphia, having won their first-round series against the Miami Heat, will meet the winner of the Celtics/Bucks series. If that ends up as a Celtics/76'ers series, it will begin on or about May 1st and if it goes seven games, conclude shortly before the lottery.


The absolute worst scenario for Boston is that Philadelphia gets the top pick in the draft. That would be a travesty. Philly acquired their talent via shameless tanking. Boston acquired theirs by means of shrewd trades and drafts. The next-worst outcome is that the 76'ers end up with the 10th pick. The best outcome for the Celtics is getting the #2 pick, or as a consolation prize, the 3rd pick.

Either of the two Eastern Conference teams could have a shot at Deandre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Luka Doncic, Mohamed Bamba or Michael Porter. Danny Ainge's shrewdness has yielded a bright present and future for Boston Celtics fans. But it may be time for a little luck at lottery time.

Follow Tom at @TomLaneHC

Photo via Steve Freeman/NBAE/Getty Images








Tom Lane 4/26/2018 06:47:00 AM Edit
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