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Chart: Boston Celtics Draft Lottery Odds


Currently, the Celtics have the fourth worst record in the NBA, trailing (leading?) the Lakers and Jazz by one game and the Knicks by 1.5, while leading (trailing?) Orlando by two games and Philadelphia by five.

The Celtics simply aren’t going to catch Philly at this point, in part because Boston’s April schedule is pretty favorable and in part because, frankly, the 76ers very well might not win another game for the rest of the season, let alone five. So even if Milwaukee went on a tear (HAHAHA) and the Magic won a few games accidentally and allowed Boston to nose its way past them (pretty unlikely), the Celtics aren’t going to finish with the worst record in the league.

That being said, it’s useful to note what the other teams’ chances are going to be in the lottery as well. Here’s a handy chart for your use as you await the results of the ping-pong balls on May 20.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 10.27.17 AM

For those of you who like pretty pictures better, here’s a chart. The bottom line in each scenario represents the chances that each team ends up with a top-3 pick.

As Chad Ford’s mock draft showed yesterday, a top-4 pick still likely guarantees the Celtics a pretty fair amount of value — even after Wiggins, Embiid and Parker are snatched up, Dante Exum is certainly going to draw a lot of interest, and the Celtics could choose to either keep him or package him for something pretty big.

Out of the top-4, however, the Celtics may have a problem. Julius Randle, although clearly skilled, may not be a game-changing force, and Boston already has a surplus in the talented-but-undersized post department. Marcus Smart has fallen slightly out of favor with draft experts (lowering his trade stock if the Celtics looked to move him), and unless he can play the two (and he’s not much of a shooter) he’s an even worse fit than Randle.

If the Celtics move up in the standings (and down in the tankings), they lose any chance of a top-4 pick if they lose the lottery. In fact, as you can see from the chart, a team drafting outside the lottery has a better chance of getting a pick one slot lower than getting their exact position. In other words, if the Celtics are the fifth worst team in the NBA, they have a better chance of getting the sixth pick than the fifth, and no chance whatsoever of getting the fourth.

We’ve reached the point in the season where every front office is watching the standings and every front office wants to be lower (with the possible exception of Milwaukee, who may not understand the amazing gift of a bad record they’ve been given). No one is going to be giving up much ground.

Jeff Green said the Celtics don’t want to “keep embarrassing themselves” after losing 108-88 to the Golden State Warriors. Green scored a paltry four points and, frankly, never looked good after the first quarter. It was tough to watch, and Boston may be especially tough to watch over the next two months. But I’m really not sure they can afford to be any better.

Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.

  • hax

    If we miss out on Parker(and no epic trades come our way), Ainge will regret staying pat at the trade deadline and allowing superstars like JG8 run us out of the true lottery, the top 3.

    • CelticsBIG3

      You’ve got to relax on Green. He’s not going to win us an astronomical amount of games, plus there is no way your going to catch Philly anyway. Plus, just because they have the worst record doesn’t guarantee the number one pick.

  • cos

    “superstars like JG8″

    enough already! the dude is not a superstar. talented, yes, athletic, yes, superstar, absolutely not.

    superstars are consistent. JG8 is definitely not consistent.

    • CelticsBIG3

      Right??? When will this end. Green is not a superstar. He’s a roleplayer at best.

  • check12check

    yeah…..very far away from a superstar. I don’t think there is any way a team could win it all with JG being the first or second option for a team. at least with where he is as a player right now. time is running short, but he could still possibly tap more of that tantalizing potential (not going to happen though).

  • hax

    I was exaggerating for stronger effect. :)
    Green is a star though. Not an all-star yet(Rondo), not a superstar(CP3). Every contender has a superstar except the Spurs arguably. He can drop 30+ point games every 2 weeks. That’s something bad players rarely do in their whole careers, even on bad teams where they can spam shots. Green can help win us 10 or so games and ruin our Parkermania.

    • millionaire

      he is not a star, he cannot win 10 games. we didn’t trade him because no one wanted him.

  • hax

    JG8 has more ppg than anybody on the Nets this year.

    • millionaire

      yes but he’s 185th in the league in PER. tied with Pablo Prigioni.

      on the right team, as a 3rd or 4th scoring option he would probably be more efficient, but he is not a star in the NBA.

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