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Celtics capitalize on trade, win NBA draft lottery

18 May 2017

The Nets, who finished with the worst record in the National Basketball Association (20-62), would have held the best odds (25%) to lock up the top pick, but the Celtics exercised their right to swap first-round picks this year as part of the 2013 dubious trade that brought Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from Boston to Brooklyn. "We've had a lot of luck in my career with one, two or three picks and them turning into top players, so that's the plan here".

"And look what I leave behind for the Celts on my way out (No. 1) pick", Pierce wrote on Twitter.

Fortunately for those in Lakerland, that didn't happen, and they're guaranteed the opportunity to draft one of Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball - the consensus top two prospects in the class.

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"I'm good at No. 2, when you've got this much quality of talent that's in this draft", Johnson said. Since it was able to hold onto this pick, its first-round pick next season will now be sent to the Philadelphia 76ers regardless of where it finishes in the standings.

The NBA's Draft Lottery is a fickle foray into both faith and fantasy, one where the bounce of a ping-pong ball means nearly as much as a bounding basketball and respected executives - many of whom have dedicated their lives to studying the sport - are reduced to rubbing hokey good-luck charms and casting wishful prayers.

Phoenix owned the second-highest odds for the No. 1 pick (19.9 percent) and were 55.8 percent sure to retain one of the top three picks. "We won five in a row and everybody thought we were insane".

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The Lakers figure to face tremendous pressure from fans in Southern California to keep Ball at home in L.A. Instead, they landed the third pick, but only thanks to their ability to swap picks with the Sacramento Kings from a previous trade.

Orlando is sixth, followed by Minnesota, New York and Dallas. Denver 14. Miami ---- 15.

The draft is June 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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