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Speculation surrounds the Celtics and what they might do if they land a top-three pick during the NBA Draft lottery Tuesday night.
If the pick falls that high, the Celtics could send it to Minnesota as part of a package for All-Star forward Kevin Love, according to reports.
“Nothing has been discussed until we see the pick,” Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck told the Globe Monday night. “When we see what pick it is, the phones will start ringing and we’ll start answering the phones.”
There’s a lot of speculation and discussion as to whether the Celtics would be willing to move the pick in a potential Love deal if that pick fell in the top 3. It’s long been simply accepted that Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid, and Jabari Parker are this draft’s three potential franchise players, and there is a bit of a drop-off once you get to the 4th pick.
What we don’t know is whether Danny Ainge and the Celtics value those guys as highly as the general public. We all know how easily accepted narratives can be, so it’s still a question as to whether this is one of those easily spewed lines that any slob can use to sound smart about the draft, or if it’s truly the case.
We’ll find out after tonight, when the Celtics figure out whether they get one of those top 3 picks. This whole thing could be like a game of blackjack when the dealer shows an ace and asks if you want insurance.
The insurance in this case is Kevin Love. The Celtics can try to work out a deal, give up a bunch of their accumulated assets and get back a 25-year-old who’s already a top-tier player but who’ll also demand top-tier money. Or they can play out the hand, hoping they get a blackjack of their own in one of those three guys who can make an impact of his own on a rookie deal while the Celtics keep a stack of assets in hand.
The Celtics will have some time to figure out how to proceed. Even if they get a top 3 pick tonight, they can’t actually make a move until draft night, so they’ll have time to do their due diligence with the three guys who skipped the combine. The Celtics will put them through their paces on the court, and, perhaps more importantly, get inside their heads a little. From there, the team will have a better idea of how comfortable they feel pushing forward with one of them as a cornerstone player.
We’ll see tonight, and you can watch the draft lottery along with us because Celtics Stuff Live returns tonight live at 8pm. Yes, we’ll be watching on TV along with all of you, giving you our reactions to what’s happening as we feel them. You can call in too and help us figure out what to do next. We’ll post a link to the show later tonight, so be sure to come back and watch with us.
Page 2: Steve Pagliuca is whipping out his lucky cock for the lottery
Oh come on, did you think I’d be mature about this? $5 says Pags made this joke to someone too.
Read all about Pags’ lucky 8 inch… rooster… on ESPN Boston
To clear up something some fans might not know: The Celtics can’t get the 4th pick in the draft. The lottery is for the top 3 spots, and then the rest are determined by last year’s record. So if you don’t see Phoenix at the bottom of the draft board, that means they got lucky and got into the top 3.
Anyway, since the C’s can either win one of the top 3 spots or then be slotted by record, there will always be at least one team with a worse record than the 5th-worst Celtics. If 3 teams with better records somehow get the top 3 spots, then four other teams would be slotted 4-7 and the Celtics would slide down to the worst-case scenario: the 8th pick.
So to recap, the Celtics can pick anywhere 1-through-8 except the 4th pick. And if you don’t see a team with a better record than Boston in the slot it was supposed to occupy by record later in the draft, the odds of that top 3 pick dropped significantly.
Related links: ESPN Boston: W2W4 at draft lottery | Celtics hoping to bounce back | Boston.com: The Celtics long, tortured lottery history | CSNNE: Stevens and Ainge: Mindset heading into lottery | Looking back on C’s lottery history | WEEI: Valuing Celtics lottery trade potential
The rest of the links: