Boston has the top pick in the 2017 NBA draft, and its fans had a lot to say on Twitter.
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The 2017 NBA draft lottery — an annual event used to determine the first 14 picks of the draft — has come and gone, and the Boston Celtics — who had the highest chance of landing the No. 1 overall pick thanks to a 2013 trade with the Brooklyn Nets — came out on top.
The Los Angeles Lakers landed the No. 2 pick, while the Philadelphia 76ers finished third.
This is the third straight year and just the seventh time in lottery history that the team with the highest odds won the top pick.
The Celtics, who defeated the Washington Wizards in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Monday and begin the East finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, can be considered huge winners. Not only are they one of four teams left standing in the playoffs, but they’ll have first dibs in a strong draft class headlined by point guards Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball.
“Game last night, Game 7, a tough Washington team. Game tomorrow against a tough Cleveland team. And now we squeeze in the lottery and win the pick. I don’t know what’s happening here. It’s pretty amazing,” said Wyc Grousbeck, a Celtics owner who represented them on stage.
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As far as the future of a franchise is concerned, though, it’s the Lakers who were Tuesday night’s biggest winners. Had they fallen outside the top three, they would have been forced to give this year’s pick to Philadelphia and their 2019 first-round pick to Orlando (due to a pair of 2012 trades), which would have been detrimental to an organization looking to climb its way back to relevancy.
Instead, president of basketball operations Magic Johnson and general manager Rob Pelinka can take the next step in the rebuilding process, which will be a whole lot easier with a third consecutive No. 2 selection on the roster.
“When (NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum) called out No. 4 and he said it wasn’t us, I said ‘Um, that’s it, that’s all I care about,’ ” said Johnson, the Hall of Famer in his first year as Lakers president. “I didn’t know where we were going to land from there, but I was like ‘OK, I can breathe now.’ “
The Sacramento Kings also landed in a favorable spot. Although they were forced to swap their No. 3 pick with Philadelphia (due to a 2015 trade), they own two lottery picks (No. 5 and No. 10) for the first time in the Sacramento era (1985).
“We are pleased with the outcome tonight and excited to have secured two top 10 picks in a very strong draft,” Kings general manager Vlade Divac said in a statement. “We’re in a great position to improve our team and we look forward to the draft this summer.”
The full results are below.
- Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn)
- Los Angeles Lakers
- Philadelphia 76ers (via Sacramento)
- Phoenix Suns
- Sacramento Kings (via Philadelphia)
- Orlando Magic
- Minnesota Timberwolves
- New York Knicks
- Dallas Mavericks
- Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans)
- Charlotte Hornets
- Detroit Pistons
- Denver Nuggets
- Miami Heat
WATCH: How the lottery works
The NBA draft lottery is a bit complicated, so we explain how it works. Just know: it has a lot to do with ping pong balls.
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- Boston (via Brooklyn) 25%
- Phoenix 19.9%
- *L.A. Lakers 15.6%
- Philadelphia 11.9%
- Orlando 8.8%
- Minnesota 5.3%
- New York 5.3%
- *Sacramento 2.8%
- Dallas 1.7%
- *New Orleans 1.1%
- Charlotte 0.8%
- Detroit 0.7%
- Denver 0.6%
- Miami 0.5%
* = picks affected by trades
PHOTOS: No. 1 overall picks of past 25 years
Contributing: Associated Press