The most important day for National Basketball Association teams that did not make the playoffs is here. The NBA Draft Lottery; in which the fourteen non-playoff squads will hope that one of their four number ping pong ball combinations is chosen with one big asterisk. Teams are allowed to trade draft picks and this has the potential to send this year’s draft into chaos. This past season’s worst team Brooklyn Nets traded rights to swap this year’s pick with Conference finalist Boston Celtics which means Boston could go from good to great with the right rookie. Another team that could be dramatically altered is the Los Angeles Lakers who if their lottery pick falls outside of the top 3, lose it to the Philadelphia 76ers, which if that happens means their 2019 first rounder goes to the Orlando Magic as well. Philadelphia also has the option to swap with Sacramento who coincidentally controls New Orleans’ pick if it falls out of the top three due to the DeMarcus Cousins trade. Another consequence to this would be that LaVar Ball’s long stated dream for his son Lonzo to play for the Lakers may go up in smoke for the time.
The Lottery is for the top three picks, and the teams are awarded the fourth to fourteenth picks with the worst non-lottery winning teams getting higher picks. This year’s winner specifically will get their choice of Ball, Markelle Fultz, and Josh Jackson (the consensus top three players). The third pick was won by the Philadelphia 76ers, the Lakers got the second pick, and the Boston Celtics won the lottery for the first time in the Draft Lottery era completing Danny Ainge’s coup which started in a 2013 trade in which he swapped Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry for Brooklyn’s end of bench players a 2014 1st rounder, a 2016 1st rounder, the right to swap this year, and a 2018 pick as the cherry on top. In addition to setting back a divisional rival for at least a decade, Ainge has made sure that if not this season in the conference final, the Celtics will be assaulting Cleveland’s throne next year. The other big winner was the Sacramento Kings, who get the fifth and tenth overall picks.