Pregame Post-Ups: C’s Don’t Cash in at 2018 Lottery, but Still Could Next Year

Tuesday, May 15 - Cavaliers at Celtics

Pregame – C’s Don’t Cash in at 2018 Draft Lottery, but Still Could Next Year

BOSTON – The Boston Celtics didn’t cash in at the NBA Draft Lottery Tuesday night, but that didn’t eliminate the franchise’s chance of adding another high draft pick in the near future.

The C’s entered the Lottery with a 2.87 percent chance to claim the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-round pick, which they landed with protections last spring in a deal with Philadelphia. The 76ers had previously acquired the protected pick from L.A., then dealt it to Boston along with the rights to the 2017 No. 3 overall pick (Jayson Tatum was later selected) in exchange for the rights to the 2017 No. 1 overall pick (Markelle Fultz was later selected).

The pick was protected unless it landed between 2 and 5. In the end, it landed at 10, so the 76ers will hang onto the pick.

However, there was another condition to the trade. The orders of the deal stated that if Boston didn’t land this year’s pick, it would be guaranteed the rights to the better of Sacramento’s pick and Philadelphia’s pick next season, unless it falls at No. 1. If falls at No. 1, the C's would receive the worse of the two picks.

So, the C’s will have that to look forward to next season.

None of this would have been possible if it hadn’t been for the incredible trade president of basketball operations Danny Ainge pulled off during the summer of 2013. That was when he dealt Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, D.J. White, a future first-round pick and a future second-round pick to Brooklyn in exchange for Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, Gerald Wallace and three future first-round picks.

As we all know, the trade didn’t work out so well for Brooklyn, and those three first-round picks skyrocketed in value. The C’s would go on to select Jaylen Brown (2016) and Jayson Tatum (2017) with the first two draft picks, and then they traded the third to Cleveland this past summer in the Kyrie Irving deal.

“I don't think anybody really knew what the value of those picks were going to be,” C’s coach Brad Stevens stated Tuesday evening before taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals. “Nobody could have guessed that at that time. Certainly would have never guessed that they were what they were, because when that trade was made, for every reason, Brooklyn was stacked, and it looked like they were going to go on a run that year, but multiyear.”

Of course, that didn’t happen, so the C’s ultimately cashed in with the picks.

Now, the Celtics have an incredibly bright present, being one of four teams left in the running for the 2018 NBA Championship. And, they have an even brighter future, considering the recent selections they have made, as well as the likely high pick that awaits them next year.

“All that was kind of his (Ainge’s) vision and our ownership's vision, and it just kind of came to fruition,” said Stevens. “I think we all realize there was a great deal of luck in it, but I also know that (Ainge) has been incredibly measured every step of the way.”

While the C’s are out of the Lottery this year, it doesn’t mean that they can’t continue to carry on Ainge’s vision right now. They still have a monumental postseason game to play Tuesday night, as they look to grab a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals to place them six wins away from Banner 18.

- Taylor Snow