The Boston Celtics have the best chance to win the 2017 NBA Draft Lottery thanks to a 2013 trade with the Brooklyn Nets.
The Celtics have not held the top pick since 1980, when they traded it to the Golden State Warriors for the No. 3 pick (Hall of Fame forward Kevin McHale) and Hall of Fame center Robert Parish.
While C’s president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is smart enough to make a trade like that — he’s in this position right now because of his trading ability — the 2017 draft class is so loaded at the top that dealing away the No. 1 pick only would make sense in a very small number of scenarios.
Aside from the Celtics, the team with the most to gain in the draft lottery might be the Philadelphia 76ers. They have two chances to win the lottery, either with their own pick or by swapping picks with the Sacramento Kings as part of a previous trade. Philly also will receive the Los Angeles Lakers’ first-rounder if it lands outside the top 3, due to a previous trade. In short: There are multiple scenarios in which the 76ers end up with two top-five selections.
Here’s our 11th 2017 NBA mock draft of the season (draft order based on the final regular-season standings).
1. Boston Celtics (from Brooklyn Nets): Markelle Fultz, PG, Washington
2. Phoenix Suns: Josh Jackson, SF, Kansas
3. Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball, PG, UCLA
4. Philadelphia 76ers: De’Aaron Fox, PG, Kentucky
5. Orlando Magic: Jayson Tatum, SF, Duke
6. Minnesota Timberwolves: Jonathan Isaac, PF, Florida State
7. New York Knicks: Malik Monk, SG, Kentucky
8. Sacramento Kings: Dennis Smith Jr., PG, NC State
9. Dallas Mavericks: John Collins, PF, Wake Forest
10. Sacramento Kings (from New Orleans Pelicans): Frank Ntilikina, PG, France
11. Charlotte Hornets: Lauri Markkanen, C, Arizona
12. Detroit Pistons: TJ Leaf, PF, UCLA
13. Denver Nuggets: Justin Patton, C, Creighton
14. Miami Heat: Justin Jackson, SF, North Carolina
15. Chicago Bulls: Zach Collins, C, Gonzaga
16. Portland Trail Blazers: Ivan Rabb, PF, California
17. Indiana Pacers: Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State
18. Milwaukee Bucks: Jarrett Allen, C, Texas
19. Portland Trail Blazers (from Memphis Grizzlies): Dwayne Bacon, SG/SF, Florida State
20. Atlanta Hawks: Harry Giles III, PF, Duke
21. Oklahoma City Thunder: Terrance Ferguson, SF, Australian League
22. Brooklyn Nets (from Washington Wizards): OG Anunoby, SF, Indiana
23. Orlando Magic (from Toronto via Los Angeles Clippers): Isaiah Hartenstein, PF, Germany
24. Toronto Raptors: Tyler Lydon, PF, Syracuse
25. Utah Jazz: Luke Kennard, SG, Duke
26. Portland Trail Blazers (from Cleveland Cavaliers): Caleb Swanigan, PF, Purdue
27. Brooklyn Nets (from Boston Celtics): Ike Anigbogu, C, UCLA
28. Los Angeles Lakers (from Houston Rockets): Johnathan Motley, PF, Baylor
29. San Antonio Spurs: Marques Bolden, C, Duke
30. Utah Jazz (from Golden State Warriors): Donovan Mitchell, SG, Louisville
Thumbnail photo via Nelson Chenault/USA TODAY Sports Images