Celtics improve odds on Grizzlies pick after draft tiebreakers

(USA Today Sports)

The biggest day on the Celtics offseason calendar remains the NBA Draft Lottery on May 14th, but the team got a lot more clarity about their positioning for the 2019 NBA Draft as the league held seven tiebreakers (via ping pong ball drawings) after the NBA Board of Governors meeting in NBA. The Celtics had potential picks involved in four of those tiebreakers (their own, Kings, Grizzlies, Clippers) and got a mix of good and bad news when it comes to their own selections for June. Let's take a closer look at the results and how they could impact the Celtics offseason.

Picks that are locked in

  • Celtics will draft at No. 22 after losing tiebreaker with Thunder for own pick.
  • Celtics will draft at No. 20 (via LA Clippers) after finishing third in three-way tiebreaker with Pacers and Spurs.

BSJ Analysis: These clearly weren't high leverage selections but the Celtics got bad breaks here as they could have had No. 18 or 19 and No. 21. Instead, they will pick a couple of slots later than projected. It's highly likely that at least one of these picks are traded this summer since the C's will not have much room for late first round talent on a team that will be contending to win-now.

Picks that aren't locked in


The Celtics lost another three-way tiebreaker with the Heat and Hornets that decided a slotting of the picks for the draft in the event all three teams do not jump in the lottery. For now, the Kings pick still has a 3.7 percent chance of jumping into the 2-4 spot of the NBA Draft after the Draft Lottery. If that long shot does not pan out, the Celtics will be selecting at No. 14 overall with the selection, instead of potentially N0. 12 (Heat) or No. 13 (Hornets).

BSJ Analysis: It's been bad news all year long with the Kings pick and this set of events followed that pattern as a selection that most executives believed would be in the top-5 for 2019 has a 95 percent chance of landing at No. 14 for Boston. That's decent ammo for a trade but moving up a spot or two certainly could have helped in negotiations for an All-Star this summer.

Here are the official odds on where the Kings pick might land:

No. 1: 1 percent (goes to Sixers since it's top-1 protected, Sixers send their pick at No. 24 to Celtics)
No. 2: 1.1 percent
No. 3: 1.2 percent
No. 4: 1.4 percent
No. 14: 95.2 percent


This was the best news of the day for Boston as far as the tiebreakers went, although it wasn't the best case scenario. As a reminder, the Celtics own the Grizzlies pick for 2019 (top-8 protected) and Memphis was in a three-way tie for the seventh worst record in the league heading into the tiebreaker. While the draft lottery can certainly change the order (any lottery team can jump into a top-4 pick), this tiebreaker was held to break the tie in the draft order for the No. 7-9 slots between the Pelicans, Mavericks and Grizzlies in the event none of them jump up into the top-4 on lottery night.