Jae Crowder, left, and Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics celebrate during a recent NBA win.

NBA Draft: Boston Celtics Lead Lottery Thanks To The Brooklyn Nets

Thanks to a past trade made with the Brooklyn Nets three years ago when the Nets rebranded and wanted veterans, the Boston Celtics now have a 25-percent chance to gain the top overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft. By the way, the Celtics are already the second-best team in the Eastern Conference, entering the weekend with 50 wins in the standings.

The Celtics only trail the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference standings, and for the Celtics, they’ve hit the so-called NBA Draft Lottery…well, they are in the best position to do so, thanks to a Nets team that made a trade that never worked out for them, but has helped the Celtics franchise.

Three years ago, the Celtics and Nets were involved in a trade where the newly rebranded Brooklyn Nets (they were formerly New Jersey) traded future first-round NBA Draft picks for veterans Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. That duo didn’t repeat their Celtics NBA championship success with the Nets, and now with the Nets needing to pay up on the picks, the Celtics will most likely receive a Top 3 NBA Draft pick this June.

The Nets have wrapped up the worst record in the NBA, giving their spot in the NBA Draft Lottery a 25-percent chance of being selected for the No. 1 overall pick for the Celtics, a team that is already one of the top teams in the NBA, though it’s not a given they can advance to the NBA Finals and get past the Cavs in the Eastern Conference.

Matt Moore of CBSSports.com wrote this about how the Celtics are gaining the top advantage in the NBA Draft Lottery, due to the Nets being the worst team in the NBA:

“Speaking of trades, the possibility is there for the Celtics to try and cash in the No. 1 pick for a superstar, on the level of Paul George or Jimmy Butler, after pursuing both at the deadline.”

This is a good way to look at the Celtics’ current position in the NBA Draft Lottery, because as Moore went on to discuss in the article, the Celtics already have a lot of talent at guard and forward, leaving the Celtics in a position to trade the No. 1 overall pick for an already established NBA veteran.

Do the Celtics want UCLA guard Lonzo Ball on their roster, as they already have an NBA star in the making in Isaiah Thomas leading the way for their franchise? With how the Celtics are playing and where they are at in the NBA standings this season, and most likely next year, maybe a player like Paul George or Jimmy Butler would be better for them right now.

Passing on a player like Ball would be tough for any NBA franchise, but at least for the Celtics, they are now in a position with the Nets’ NBA Draft first-round draft choice to make a decision that will affect their franchise for years to come, kind of like the Nets did three years ago. The Celtics are in a position to add an excellent player from the collegiate level in Ball, Josh Jackson (Kansas), or Markelle Fultz (Washington) to their already talented roster. Or as stated earlier, a trade for a player with the already proven ability in the NBA like George or Butler would really make a shakeup in the East.

Once it is all said and done for the Celtics in the NBA Draft Lottery, they will most likely have the first or second overall NBA Draft pick and will turn that into a player who will put them at the next level in the NBA landscape. Whether that will be in the NBA Draft or via trade with another franchise is what awaits.

[Featured Image by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images]

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