Boston sports fans are universally the most insufferable people on the planet already, and they all just got a massive extra reason to crow even louder.
Despite the fact that the Boston Celtics were the number one side in the Eastern Conference this year, and despite the fact that they are very much still in the NBA Playoffs as we speak, the side just scored the swindle of a lifetime by walking out of the NBA Draft Lottery with this year’s coveted #1 pick.
The Celtics continue to reap the rewards of a staggeringly bad trade the Brooklyn Nets somehow agreed to way back in 2013 that virtually crippled the Nets future and gifted the Celtics the fast track back to dynasty town.
At the time, the Celtics sold the virtual farm in giving up Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and D.J. White – the bulk of their core 2008 NBA Championship side – in exchange for a handful of scraps from the Nets in Kris Humphries, Keith Bogans, Gerald Wallace, MarShon Brooks, and Keith Joseph, along with a Santa’s sack full of future draft picks.
None of the players acquired in that trade remain on the Boston roster. But it’s the picks that have proven to be worth their weight in gold.
The Nets mystifyingly gave up three first-round picks (one each in the 2014, 2016, and 2018 drafts) as well as giving Boston the right to swap first-round picks in 2017. As in, this year. All in exchange for a nursing home of veterans all closer to the Hall of Fame rather than their rookie cards.
None of those picks were protected, and thus when Brooklyn’s on-court fortunes fell off a cliff, Boston was handed the future of the league on a silver platter.
Brooklyn’s league-last win/loss record meant that the best team in the Eastern Conference walked into the draft lottery with the highest chance (25%) of securing the first pick in a talent-rich, extremely-top heavy draft that is overflowing with potential superstar guards.
Picking No. 1 in the draft AND appearing in the conference finals.
It’s Boston’s time. pic.twitter.com/0pRsnWwisu
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) May 17, 2017
They’re gonna be monsters, hot dang.
Elsewhere, the draft continues to wail mercilessly on the fortunes of the hapless Sacramento Kings. The Kings did strike it lucky by scoring a pick inside the top 3, but a prior deal with Philadelphia meant the 76ers enacted a right to swap picks, elevating them up to pick 3 and dropping the Kings down to 5.
Cue: Joel Embiid‘s magnificent reaction.
When the picks swap. #NBADraftLottery pic.twitter.com/REXlYsynBX
— Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers) May 17, 2017
The Los Angeles Lakers leapfrogged the Phoenix Suns to snare the second overall pick in this year’s draft, making it the second year in a row that they’ll pick at two.
Celtics at one. Lakers at two. “The NBA is rigged” conspiracy theorists just had simultaneous aneurysms.
Joel : Trust The Process ??
Magic : Trust the Nba ?? #NBADraftLottery pic.twitter.com/SriStpPROC
— They Block ?? (@ManaliAmine) May 17, 2017
The full draft lottery order looks a little something like this:
1. Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn)
2. Los Angeles Lakers
3. Philadelphia 76ers
4. Phoenix Suns
5. Sacramento Kings
6. Orlando Magic
7. Minnesota Timberwolves
8. New York Knicks
9. Dallas Mavericks
10. Sacramento Kings (via New Orleans)
11. Charlotte Hornets
12. Detroit Pistons
13. Denver Nuggets
14. Miami Heat
Boston’s number one pick, it should also be noted, is the first time in the modern draft era that the Celtics have received the first overall pick. And it comes at a time when they’re a really bloody good basketball side already.
The entire borough of Brooklyn is more or less one giant Crying Jordan RN.
Photo: Boston Celtics/Twitter.