What Celtics fans should watch for during 2021 NBA Draft Lottery


The 2021 NBA Draft Lottery takes place Tuesday night before Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers.

Even though the Boston Celtics aren't directly involved in this year's draft lottery, there are still a few storylines for C's fans to follow.

Here's what Celtics fans should know about this year's draft lottery.


Here's a look at the lottery odds for the 14 teams involved:

Trades Playing Huge Role

Previous trades could have a huge impact on the final draft order after the lottery, depending on how the ping-pong balls shake out Tuesday night.

The Houston Rockets have the best chance to win the No. 1 pick after finishing with a league-worst 17-55 record. However, if the Rockets' pick lands outside the top four -- and there's a 47.9 percent chance of that happening -- it goes to the Oklahoma City Thunder as a result of the Russell Westbrook trade last year.

If the Thunder get the Rockets' 2021 first-rounder, OKC will have four (!) selections in Round 1.

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Another interesting trade dynamic involves the Golden State Warriors and Minnesota Timberwolves. The Warriors, as part of the Andrew Wiggins trade last year, will get the Timberwolves' 2021 first-round pick if it lands outside the top three. As you can see in the odds chart above, there's a decent chance of that selection conveying to Golden State this year. 

If the Chicago Bulls do not move up into the top four, their 2021 first-rounder will go to the Orlando Magic as part of the Nikola Vucevic trade earlier this season. Chicago has a 20.2 percent chance to land in the top four.

Celtics Opponents in the Mix

Three teams in the lottery that could be right back in the Eastern Conference playoff mix next season are the Toronto Raptors, Charlotte Hornets and Indiana Pacers.

The Raptors saw their seven-year playoff appearance streak end this season. It was a difficult year for the Raptors amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Injuries, not being able to play in Toronto because of travel restrictions, and other factors contributed to their disappointing campaign.

Getting a top-four pick would help the Raptors surround Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby and Fred VanVleet with another talented young player and have a strong chance at being a legit contender in the East next season. Toronto odds of vaulting into the top four stand at 31.9 percent.

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The Pacers barely missed the playoffs when they lost to the Washington Wizards in the play-in tournament. Indiana has a lot of talent, and jumping into the top four could make the Pacers a much tougher team to beat in the East next year. They need a miracle, though. The Pacers have just a one percent chance to win the lottery and a 4.7 percent chance of jumping into the top four.

The Charlotte Hornets are another talented team that lost in the play-in tournament. They have a 8.5 percent chance of landing a top-four pick. Doing so would give Charlotte a potential franchise cornerstone alongside Gordon Hayward, LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier and Devonte Graham, among others. 

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