The Boston Celtics’ 2019 draft picks are officially slotted, so here’s what it means for the franchise moving forward.
The Celtics had the chance at two picks during Tuesday’s NBA Draft Lottery and where they both ended up will have a significant effect on the team’s imminent future.
Going into Tuesday night, Boston had the 14th best odds at the top pick thanks to the Jayson Tatum trade, where the Celtics acquired the rights to the Kings’ first-round selection with top-1 protection. The pick had a 1.0 percent chance at landing first overall, and a 4.8 percent chance of falling in the top-4.
They also had the rights to the Grizzlies first round pick if it fell outside the top-8. Memphis held the eighth-best odds at the top pick at the start of the night. Not only did they have a chance at two top-10 picks, but Boston was also already locked into picks 20 (via Clippers) and 22 (Celtics own pick).
Where these picks landed has a major impact on potential Anthony Davis trade negotiations as well as the direction of the franchise if Kyrie Irving decides to leave in free agency. Here’s a breakdown of where the Celtics’ picks landed and what it means moving forward.
Round 1, Pick 14 (via Kings)
There was a small chance this pick landed anywhere but No. 14, so there’s a good chance the Celtics already have an idea of what they’re going to do with this selection. They can obviously use it in a trade, but unlike a top-10 pick, this selection should allow the Celtics to get creative with their selection.
Boston’s roster is stacked with young talent, so a draft-and-stash player could be a real possibility here. Let that player develop for a year or two overseas before you bring him over to contribute to a contender. If Irving leaves and the Celtics rebuild around their young stars, this pick could go a long way in building depth behind the likes of Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart.
Grizzlies pick does not convey
While securing a top-10 pick is never a bad thing, I consider this a major win for the Celtics. If they intend on going after Davis or another superstar in a trade, having a future lottery pick in your back pocket has much more value to Boston than having it now. As soon as draft picks are used on a player, they lose significant value to another team. GM’s like to pick their own guys.
The Celtics now own the right to the Grizzlies’ top-6 protected first round pick.
Pelicans win the lottery
Any hopes for an Anthony Davis trade may have died the moment the Pelicans won the lottery. They will now have the ability to draft Zion Williamson and pair him with Davis in their front court.
Adrian Wojnarowski said on air that Pelicans GM David Griffin told him they would try to convince Davis to stay in New Orleans if they won the lottery, so a new variable has been introduced that could change the landscape of the league. All eyes will shift to Davis to see if he is interested in staying to play with Zion in New Orleans.