But that doesn’t mean they won’t be keeping a close eye on the ping pong balls, with a focus on one team in particular: the Minnesota Timberwolves.
As part of a trade that sent forward Brandan Wright to the Phoenix Suns, the Celtics received a protected 2016 first-round pick from Minnesota. If the Timberwolves fall past No. 12 in the 2016 draft, Boston gets their pick. If Minnesota has another poor season and gets a pick inside the top 12, the Celtics instead receive the Wolves’ 2016 second-round pick and 2017 second-round pick.
In short, as pointed out by Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe, the Celtics are rooting for Minnesota to succeed next season, and the ping pong balls appear set up to expedite that process. After finishing with the NBA’s worst record at 16-66 last season, the Wolves have the best chance to land the No. 1 overall pick in Tuesday’s lottery, at 25 percent.
With NBA Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins and other promising young players on the roster, the future looks bright for Minnesota. A big turnaround in 2015-16 still seems like a long shot, but the Celtics are hoping Kevin Garnett can do his former team a solid and accelerate the Timberwolves’ rebuild.
Thumbnail photo via Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports Images
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