Celtics, Lakers, 76ers have plenty riding on the National Basketball Association lottery


The Celtics earned the top spot in the draft lottery 4 years after their decision to trade Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster deal that enabled multiple first-round picks to go to Boston. Yesterday Magic Johnson proved to be the Los Angeles Lakers good luck charm as the team maintained their first round pick by coming in at second overall. At an absolute minimum, the Sixers were guaranteed to wind up with at least the 7th overall pick. The Celtics, who begin the Eastern Conference finals against the Cavaliers on Wednesday, earned the No. 1 spot during the National Basketball Association draft lottery in New York City. With the first overall pick previous year, they drafted forward Ben Simmons out of LSU. Their pick was selected to be third overall. With elite guards like Markelle Fultz and Lonzo Ball as the first two projected picks, the Nets would have been extremely happy with either one.

However, if Ball (the expected pick in next month's draft) can't co-exist with Russell on the floor, or even if the Lakers have even the slightest of reservations of it working, it complicates things. However in 1997 the ping pong balls didn't fall the Celtics' way and the San Antonio Spurs got the top pick, which they used on Tim Duncan.

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"I'm excited", said Joel Embiid, Philadelphia's top pick in the 2014 draft who was representing the organization at the draft lottery in New York City. Many of them were waiting for lottery results before scheduling their workouts.

The Lakers played Russell at both point guard and shooting guard this past season, but aren't convinced that he's part of the future with the team. The two also squared off in the regular season, with Ball (14 points, seven rebounds, six assists) and the Bruins getting the better of Fox (20 points, nine assists) and the Wildcats in Lexington. The Knicks held a 5.3% chance at No. 1 and an 18.2% shot at a top-three selection. Bryan Colangelo and the front office could use those picks as trade bait leading up to draft night, as it is highly unlikely they retain all four picks on June 22.