The 2016-17 regular season has concluded, but the Boston Celtics didn't have to wait until Wednesday to find themselves with the best odds to nab the No. 1 pick in the 2017 NBA draft on June 22 via the Brooklyn Nets.
The pingpong balls will have the final say May 16, when the draft lottery is slated to unfold.
Until then, here's a rundown of the projected lottery order based on season-ending standings and the odds associated with them, courtesy of Tankathon.com:
|2017 NBA Draft Lottery Odds|
|Pick||Team||Record||No. 1 Pick Odds||Top 3 Pick Odds|
|1||Boston Celtics (via Brooklyn Nets)||20-62||25.0%||64.3%|
|3||Los Angeles Lakers||26-56||15.6%||46.9%|
|7||New York Knicks*||31-51||5.3%||18.3%|
|10||New Orleans Pelicans||34-48||1.1%||4.0%|
|Source: Tankathon.com; * denotes tiebreaker determined by coin flip|
When it comes to the 2017 lottery, the focus should be on picks that will or could convey.
For starters, the Nets' unprotected first-round selection will move to the Celtics—who are still reaping the benefits from the blockbuster trade that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn in 2013.
The New Orleans Pelicans also likely find themselves without a first-round pick this year—it's protected for selections 1-3—after they shipped it to the Sacramento Kings in the DeMarcus Cousins trade shortly before the Feb. 23 trade deadline.
It's good the Kings bolstered their pick stockpile because they could be in trouble on draft night if the balls bounce a certain way.
Although they seemingly recouped a first-round selection from the Pelicans and would then be picking in the lottery twice, they aren't in control of their destiny. The Philadelphia 76ers own swap rights on the Kings' own 2017 first-round pick if it falls any higher than No. 11.
Speaking of the Sixers, the league's preeminent process-trusters could wind up being lottery night's biggest winners if the pingpong balls bounce the right way.
Not only do they likely own insurance should their pick slide behind the Kings', but they could wind up with two top-five selections thanks to the foresight of former general manager Sam Hinkie.
Philadelphia owns the Los Angeles Lakers' top-three protected pick—which becomes unprotected in 2018 if it doesn't convey this year—by virtue of the February 2015 deal that sent Michael Carter-Williams to the Milwaukee Bucks and Brandon Knight to the Phoenix Suns.
That pick has a 53.1 percent chance to convey after the Purple and Gold rattled off a slew of wins to close out their season, as ESPN.com's Baxter Holmes noted:
With so many variables at play, lottery night certainly won't lack for drama as the NBA preps for a potential landscape shakeup.
Draft pick information retrieved from RealGM.com unless noted otherwise.
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