What the Draft Lottery Means To the Boston Celtics
The ping pong balls fell, and Tuesday night's NBA Draft Lottery gives the first three picks to Eastern Conference teams, two of which are in the Atlantic Division.
With young, talented players coming into Boston's immediate sight, how will this affect the next few seasons for them?
The Celtics pick nineteenth in the upcoming draft. What can they do to improve their chances in a bolstered Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference?
The Washington Wizards had a 10.3 percent chance of winning the Draft Lottery, and even their representative Irene Pollin, wife of the late franchise owner Abe Pollin, couldn't help but hold her mouth open in surprise when the call for first pick went to the Wizards.
Choosing second and third in the draft will be the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn) Nets, respectively.
The draft will presumably bring John Wall, Evan Turner, and Derrick Favors to these three teams and create an environment of young, exciting superstars in the Eastern Conference. For the aging Celtics, this may be a cause for concern two or three years down the road when Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett are on their last legs.
Tough Atlantic Division
Adding Evan Turner to the duo of Andre Iguodala and Jrue Holiday will give Philadelphia a young, athletic, and super-talented backcourt with tons of potential.
New Jersey will most likely go with Georgia Tech freshman phenom and ACC Rookie of the Year Derrick Favors. When combined with the budding seven-footer Brook Lopez, this potentially monstrous Nets frontcourt will look to dominate and exploit any physical weaknesses in the post all around the NBA.
The Atlantic division is immediately and significantly strengthened by the addition of Turner and Favors. It may not happen right away, but the 76ers' dangerous backcourt and the Nets' pairing of Favors with Lopez, solid point guard Devin Harris, and the upside of the franchise moving to Brooklyn will make clinching the Atlantic division a tougher assignment than it has been the last few seasons.
D.C. is Ready
The nation's capital has been disappointed by its professional sports teams the last decade. The Wizards have gone from a playoff contender to one of the worst teams in the league in three seasons. Combined with the mess Gilbert Arenas has made, the franchise needed a miracle.
They got it at the draft lottery.
New majority owner Ted Leonsis has a history of success and will look to make the Wiz a contender in the Eastern Conference right away.
First things first: find a way to lose Gilbert. Sign a prominent free agent this summer or next and put him on the floor with Wall, Josh Howard, Nick Young, and developing role players Andray Blatche and Javale Mcgee, and Washington will once again have an Eastern Conference contender and a reason to cheer.
How the Draft Will Impact Boston
The Celtics are playing their best basketball of the season in these playoffs, but the aging bodies of Garnett, Pierce, and Allen will be on their last legs over the next two to three seasons. The addition of Turner to the 76ers and Favors to the Nets will no doubt create a more competitive Atlantic division in the near future.
Boston has the nineteenth pick in the draft on June 24th and will have an assortment of big men to choose from. With this being a weak draft, Boston should look to draft a big man they can develop over the next two to three seasons and have ready to insert in the lineup with Rondo, Tony Allen, and Kendrick Perkins once Garnett and Rasheed Wallace retire.
UNC PF Ed Davis and Marshall C Hassan Whiteside are projected lottery picks but will get serious looks from Boston if they happen to slip through the cracks to nineteen.
Kentucky PF/C Daniel Orton, who opted for the draft after a freshman season in which he made a name for himself on the defensive end, may also be available. The upside (7'7 wingspan) and raw talent potential of VCU PF/C Larry Sanders should also get a look from the Celtics. Nevada SF/PF Luke Babbitt is noted as one of the more talented draft prospects, and should he be available at nineteen, he may be the guy for Boston.