Lottery produces mixed bag for Celtics after Pelicans claim No. 1 pick

(David Butler/USA Today Sports)

The Celtics will enter trade season next month with three first-round picks at their disposal in the 2019 NBA Draft after a mixed bag of results at the lottery on Tuesday night. Boston will pick at No. 14 (via Sacramento), No. 20 (via LA Clippers) and No. 22 in the first round.

Boston came up with the expected results after the ping pong balls fell for their own picks, first holding steady at No. 14 with the Kings pick (95 percent chance). The bigger story was the Grizzlies pick rolling over to 2020 for the Celtics after Memphis jumped up to No. 2 overall from their original No. 8 spot. The Celtics will now move forward this offseason with that first round pick remaining in their asset arsenal, although the Grizzlies will be improved with a top-tier prospect like Ja Morant or Cam Reddish on the roster. The Grizzlies' pick is top-6 protected for the 2020 NBA Draft and unprotected in 2021.

The biggest story of the night though was the Pelicans jumping up from the No. 7 spot to No. 1 overall, putting them in pole position to take Zion Williamson in June. The Lakers also jumped up from No. 11 to the No. 4 spot overall, giving them a big boost to their draft pick arsenal this June. The Knicks ended up in the No. 3 spot despite finishing with the worst record. Here’s a complete look at the results

14. Celtics (via Kings)
13. Heat
12. Hornets
11. Wolves
10. Hawks (via Mavs)
9. Wizards
8. Hawks
7. Bulls
6. Suns
5. Cavs
4. Lakers
3. Knicks
2. Grizzlies
1. Pelicans


After an unfavorable season on the asset front, having the Memphis pick roll over to 2020 is a highly encouraging development for the Celtics on Tuesday night for a multitude of reasons. Bringing another rookie into the fold with three first round picks already in hand would have been a tight squeeze on a roster that already has Guerschon Yabusele and Robert Williams under contract. There’s no guarantee both of those guys are not going to be traded this summer, but adding more inexperienced bodies to the mix for a team that hopes to contend is a tough sell and would have forced the front office into additional deals.

The bigger help in waiting at least another year on the Grizzlies pick is the Celtics keeping