For the first time in three years, the Celtics will not be in action during the NBA Lottery (8:30 p.m. ESPN on Tuesday night). We’ve covered the ramifications of the Draft Lottery all season here at BostonSportsJournal.com, but here is a guide to assist you with the watching experience as the C’s try to add to their assortment of draft assets in what will be a critical night for the team's offseason plans
Q: What picks can the Celtics land tonight and why?
A: The Celtics own two potential lottery picks. The first is the Kings pick, as long as it does not land at No. 1 (Sixers protected it in the Jayson Tatum trade. Boston will receive the Sacramento pick likely in the No. 14 slot (95.2 percent) chance but there is an outside chance (three percent) that Sacramento could jump up into the 2-4 spot. If it lands at No. 1 (one percent chance), the Celtics will get the Sixers pick instead (No. 24)
The Celtics' second potential lottery pick is the Grizzlies selection (top-8 protected). This pick could fall anywhere from 1-4 or 8-12 depending on how the ping pong balls fall. The Grizzlies keep it if it lands at No. 1-4 or No. 8 (55 percent chance) while the Celtics take it in 2019 if it falls in the No. 9-12 spots (45 percent chance).
Q: What are the odds of the Celtics landing a top-four pick?
A: There is only a 3.7 percent chance that the Celtics will end up in the top-four (via Sacramento). If the Grizzlies pick jumps up into the top-four, they will keep the pick.
A: Team president Rich Gotham will be the Celtics’ representative at the team podium on ESPN, while assistant general manager Mike Zarren will be the team’s representative inside the private room where the ping-pong balls are drawn.
Q: Will we see the lottery happen on TV?
A: No, the NBA will hold the proceedings out of sight Tuesday evening before the results are announced live in a half-hour special on ESPN. One representative of each team, as well as several members of the media, will be in the room for the drawing but all of their communication devices will be taken away so there will be no spoilers. You’ll have to watch live for the results.
Q: Is there any way to know if the Celtics are in good shape as the draft lottery is going to land the top-3 pick?
A: Yes. You’ll be able to find out fairly quickly based on the projected draft order for the lottery. Since the Kings finished with the 14th worst record (via a tiebreaker), that’s the spot that the Celtics should come up in when their envelope is revealed. If there is another team in that spot, it could be very good news for the Celtics, since that means they would have jump into the top-four. Boston would have a 75 percent chance of landing No. 2-4 at that point, with a 25 percent chance that the Sixers get No. 1 overall (due to pick protections), leading to a disaster scenario where the C's are stuck with No. 24 (via the Sixers). Bottom line? It's highly likely (95.3 percent) that the Celtics end up with No. 14.
The status of the Grizzlies pick should become clear early in the lottery reveal as well. If any team below Memphis (there are five) jump into the top-four that will push Memphis down in the draft order. Essentially, if one of the teams jumps out of order below, the odds are that the Celtics will get the Grizzlies pick in 2019 instead of having it roll over in 2020. The one exception to that scenario would be the Grizzlies jumping up into the top-four themselves with some ping pong luck.
Here is the projected draft order
14. Boston (via Sacramento)
11. LA Lakers
9. Atlanta (via Dallas, top-5 protected)
8. Memphis (top-8 protected, otherwise goes to Boston)
7. New Orleans
1. New York
You can check out full draft odds for each slot here via Tankathon.com
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Q: What's the best-case scenario for the Celtics?