The Brooklyn Nets are the gift that keeps on giving for the Boston Celtics.
Way back in 2013, the Celtics sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets for five players and Brooklyn’s 2014, 2016 and 2018 first-round draft picks. The Nets also gave the Celtics the option to swap first-round picks in the 2017 draft, which the C’s obviously will do as the No. 2 team in the Eastern Conference.
And on Friday night, the Nets — and the Phoenix Suns — helped the Celtics clinch the No. 1 spot in the 2017 NBA draft lottery.
The Suns beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 120-99 at home Friday, putting their record at 23-57. And because the 19-60 Nets have just three games left, they’re guaranteed to finish with the worst record in the league even if they win out. So when it’s time for the lottery, the Celtics will lead the pack with a 25 percent chance at the No. 1 pick.
Of course, 25 percent isn’t a huge number, so it happens more often than not that a team with fewer chances ends up with the No. 1 pick. In the lottery’s 32 years of existence, the No. 1 team has drawn the top pick just six times.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images