Boston Celtics Get #1 Pick in NBA Draft

The Boston Celtics will pick first in the 2017 NBA draft.

The Celtics will now have a chance to add a potential franchise player after winning the NBA draft lottery on Tuesday night. The draft is on June 22.

"This is pretty good. It's a good time to be a Celtics fan," Celtics CEO Wyc Grousbeck said after winning the lottery. "I wish the draft were today - we could get a little help for tomorrow night."

It's been a crazy couple of days for the Celtics, having just eliminated the Washington Wizards in Game 7 of their second round playoff series on Monday. And Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers is on Wednesday night at the TD Garden.

This year's draft is considered a strong one, loaded with point guards like Washington's Markelle Fultz, UCLA's Lonzo Ball and Kentucky's De'Aaron Fox.

Despite being the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Celtics were in line for the top pick because of a trade they made with the Brooklyn Nets four years ago. 

Brooklyn finished with the worst record in the league but the Celtics had the right to swap picks with them as a result of the 2013 draft-night trade that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets.

The Los Angeles Lakers were other big winners on Tuesday night, moving up one spot to second to hold onto their pick. They would have had to trade it to Philadelphia if it fell outside the top three.

The 76ers will pick third, while Phoenix fell two spots and is fourth.

The Celtics were going to be in prime position no matter how the Ping-Pong balls bounced in a hotel ballroom Tuesday. They were guaranteed no worse than the No. 4 pick to add to a team that had the best record in the East this season. And they still get one more first-round pick next season from the Nets, who likely will miss the playoffs again.

Boston acquired the Nets' 2014, 2016 and 2018 first-round picks in the deal. 

Their victory made it three straight years the team with the best odds has won the lottery, after going the previous decade without a victory. Minnesota snapped that streak by getting eventual Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns in 2015 and Philadelphia emerged with Ben Simmons last season.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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