What the Draft Lottery Results Mean for the Celtics

Boston’s late-season surge may have cost them a spot in this year’s NBA Draft lottery but that doesn’t mean the Celtics weren’t paying attention to the developments on Tuesday night. And in case you haven’t heard it yet, the Minnesota Timberwolves ended up as the big winners, grabbing the no. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft. Minnesota fans may be rejoicing with that piece of fortune but that news is also music to the ears of the Boston faithful. As you may all remember, the Celtics received a protected 2016 first-round pick from Minnesota as part of the trade that sent Brandan Wright to the Phoenix Suns.

In case the Timberwolves fall past No. 12 in next year’s draft, the Celtics will acquire their pick. If the Wolves struggle once again, though, and get a pick inside the top 12, Boston will instead receive Minnesota’s second-round picks in 2016 and 2017. So it’s in the Celtics’ best interest for Minnesota to succeed next season for Boston to have a shot at grabbing that coveted first-round pick. With Minnesota selecting first this coming June, the odds of that happening have increased dramatically. That possible lottery pick will be crucial for the Celtics as they look to build on their playoff appearance this season. As the Cavaliers continue to roll as the favored team (though they are just a pick’em when they play the Hawks on Wednesday according to odds at this sportsbook) in the East, the conference is perhaps more wide open than ever.

The Celtics, who own picks No. 16, 28 (via the LA Clippers), 33 (via Philadelphia) and 45 in this year’s draft, will also take heart in the fact that none of the teams that almost made the 2015 Eastern Conference playoffs, vaulted in this year’s draft. Detroit (8), Charlotte (9), Miami (10) and Indiana (11), four teams that went toe-to-toe with the Celtics in the race for this year’s postseason, didn’t vault ahead in the lottery. That will provide some solace to fans who disapproved of the Celtics’ late playoff push which some argued hurt Boston’s long-term plans.