Ainge's patience pays off with Celtics' draft lottery win

The Celtics were active at the trade deadline in talks with both the Bulls for Jimmy Butler and with the Pacers for Paul George, but the asking prices at the time were deemed to be far too steep.

The Nuggets finished 40-42 last season, their best mark in four years, and missed the postseason by two games. "We will make that decision closer to June", the source said.?

Not only did the Lakers defeat the 53.1 percent chance they'd fall out of the lottery. they moved up a slot to No. 2. My whole staff and ownership, we sit and calmly try to figure out what the best path is to take. Jahlil Okafor will have to do an terrible lot this season to prove his worth of being selected No. 3, and next month's selection probably won't be the shooter the team desperately needs.

When another team was called for fourth place, Johnson was relieved. So I can imagine it's gonna happen now. Boston already obtained first-round picks from Brooklyn in 2014 and 2016.

While Lakers draft rumors are already starting, a lot of them point to Lonzo Ball. They moved up one spot to number two.

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The Celtics were going to be in prime position no matter how the Ping-Pong balls bounced in a hotel ballroom Tuesday.

While the Boston Celtics landed the no. 1 overall pick, the Lakers had the most to lose on the night, as the team needed to finish in the top three to keep its first round pick or the pick would have gone to the Philadelphia 76ers as part of the Steve Nash trade. The difference on a guaranteed rookie wage scale contract between the No. 1 and No. 2 picks is $2,202,900, according to the collective bargaining agreement. Johnson badly needs an infusion of talent to help rebuild the franchise he loves, and will now have the opportunity to add a prospect like Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson, De'Aaron Fox, or a number of other talented players. The report doesn't say the Lakers are interested in moving Russell. If they had fallen out of the top three, they would have lost their 2019 first-round pick to Orlando in addition to seeing their pick in this year's draft disappear. A late five-game winning streak by his young team had damaged its odds by falling behind Phoenix for the second-worst record in the league.

"We've seen people be implemented into the spotlight, and it just draws an even bigger target on them", Irving said on Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye's Road Trippin' podcast. "I think there will be a good amount of interest ... but I feel very comfortable with where we are, and I think we're going to get a really good player at No. 4".

The Lakers, meanwhile, can breathe easy. Sacramento was drawn third in the lottery Tuesday, but the 76ers had the right to swap picks with the Kings by virtue of a 2015 trade. Still, the Sixers were fifth, as opposed to eighth, where the Kings were projected to go entering into the night.

Orlando is sixth, followed by Minnesota, New York and Dallas.

  • Lawrence Cooper