Celtics Chance At Redemption
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
There is hope for Celtics fans, however. Tuesday night the collective eyes of Celtics fans will be fixated on the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery as the future of the franchise lies in a set of ping pong balls with NBA team logos on them.
After finishing with the fifth worst record in the NBA, the Celtics have 103 ping pong balls in the drawing. That gives the Celtics a 33.4% chance at getting a top three pick. Their chances at getting one of the top two picks goes down to 21.4%.
When it comes to individual picks, the Celtics can pick 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th or 8th. There is no chance for the Celtics to select fourth in the upcoming draft. The odds for each pick are as followed:
1st Pick: 10.3%
2nd Pick: 11.1%
3rd Pick: 12%
4th Pick: 0%
5th Pick: 23.7%
6th Pick: 34.2%
7th Pick: 8.2%
8th Pick: 0.3%
No matter where the Celtics land in the Draft Lottery, they will have their selection at a deep talent pool that includes players such as Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid, amongst others. Which of these players would best fit Brad Stevens' system? Who would be a perfect fit with Rajon Rondo? Or would the Celtics be willing to move their pick for an established NBA player?
SF Andrew Wiggins (6-8, 200 pounds): The Celtics will likely have to get the top pick in the Draft to get Wiggins. Wiggins is extremely athletic and can score in bunches. He showed his athleticism by showing off a 44-inch vertical leap. His combination of size, speed and athletic ability make Wiggins a great developmental pick, but can he score consistently enough to bring the Celtics back to the top of the Eastern conference?
SF Jabari Parker (6-8, 235 pounds): Parker is another player who is in play for the top overall selection. Parker led Duke in points and rebounds last season, showing he is willing to do the "dirty work" that complete players do. Parker showed that he can score at an elite level, but struggled at times to keep his scoring consistency. He also needs to improve on his quickness.
C Joel Embiid (7-0, 250 pounds): Embiid is likely the biggest boom-or-bust pick in the draft. It is not because of his size or ability, but rather because of injuries. Embiid has great size and raw athleticism that will intrigue NBA teams, but a history of back injuries at just 20 years old has some teams worried about his future. If Embiid stays healthy, he could be the next impact center in the NBA.
SG Dante Exum (6-4, 196 pounds): Exum is a relative unknown to many basketball fans. The young Australian guard is a great combination of size, ball skills and scoring ability. He is also just 18 years old, leaving him plenty of time to grow into the NBA game.
Although there are many more players that the Celtics could have on their radar, the possibility of a trade has recently surfaced and is far more intriguing than any pick for Celtics fans. Per multiple media reports, including Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the Celtics have become an "increasingly intriguing destination" for Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love. Per Wojnarowski, the draft positioning following Tuesday's NBA Draft lottery could be the determining factor on whether the Celtics and Timberwolves could pull off a trade.
Love is in the final year of his current contract and has informed the timberwolves that he plans to test the free agent market in 2015. If the Celtics do trade for Love, they could work on an extension to make him a max contract player following the 2014-15 season.
With so many options for the Celtics, only one thing is certain. The city of Boston and Celtics fans around the world have not been this interested in ping pong balls in quite some time.