The most exciting night in sports took place Tuesday. The NBA Draft lottery, where ping pong balls decide the fate of the teams that sucked this year (or, in the Celtics’ case, teams that own the picks of teams that sucked this year).
Historically the Celtics haven’t had the best luck with the lottery so I can’t say I’m disappointed with them getting the third pick. They made the playoffs this year unlike the Sixers and Lakers so there’s really nothing to complain about.
Of course Philly got the first pick, which we all knew would happen as soon as Dikembe Mutombo sent out this tweet three and a half hours before the lottery even took place:
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) May 17, 2016
He quickly deleted the tweet and followed it up with this one:
— Dikembe Mutombo (@officialmutombo) May 17, 2016
It’s okay Dikembe, there’s no need to explain yourself. We get it, the NBA is rigged. If anything I’m happy that you exposed this corrupt league.
The Lakers got the second pick and the Celtics got the third. Unfortunately this is being referred to by some as a two-man draft with LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram at the top.
After that it’s a bit of a crapshoot, but that doesn’t mean the C’s couldn’t potentially get their hands on an impactful player.
A lot of mock drafts have Boston taking Dragan Bender, which I’m not particularly thrilled about. Bender is an 18 year-old seven footer from Croatia who will need to put on a few pounds if he wants to be anything in the NBA. He’s someone who is likely going to take years to develop if he does at all, and I think I speak for all Celtics fans when I say that we don’t have the patience. The C’s are a couple big pieces away from being a title contender, and who knows if that will still be the case by the time Bender is ready to play a role.
There’s also the fact that he plays in the Israeli Basketball Premier League, which we don’t really know much about. There are only 12 teams and the only NBA players they’ve produced are Omri Casspi, Doron Sheffer, Yotam Halperin, and Lior Eliyahu. Not exactly a dream team.
I know there are exceptions like Kristaps Porzingis, who nobody thought would be half the player he’s become, but I’m always skeptical about players who haven’t competed in the States. The fact that Andrea Bargnani was a number one overall pick is an embarrassment to anyone who was involved in that decision.
I’d much prefer the Celtics to grab someone like Buddy Hield from Oklahoma or Kris Dunn from Providence, who are both 22 years old and much further along in the development process.
If they do decide to go young, 19 year-old Jamal Murray from Kentucky has tons of potential and has a good chance to be a solid NBA guard.
There’s also the option of moving the pick in a package deal for an established star, which would probably be the best option if Danny Ainge can find a team that’s willing to work something out.
Speaking of which, Isaiah Thomas did his best to do some recruiting Tuesday night when he was chosen to represent the Celtics at the lottery. Here he is conversing with Jimmy Butler:
Meanwhile at the Draft Lottery… ? pic.twitter.com/YNeRk2yYz5
— Celtics Direct™ (@CelticsDirect) May 18, 2016
When asked what they talked about, he said everything he needed to say to assure us that he was doing what he could to sell Butler on coming to Boston:
— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) May 18, 2016
Keep up the good work IT.
Follow Jack Bardsley on Twitter @BostonsBigFour
Photo Credit: Boston Globe via espnnhradio.com