BOSTON – Decisions, decisions, decisions.
Boston Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren can navigate complicated, convoluted contract negotiations with the best of them, get creative when it comes to creating some much-needed salary cap space.
But the issue of the moment?
What good luck attire will he wear during the NBA’s draft lottery tonight?
“It’s just so ridiculous that this is a topic of discussion,” said a chuckling Zarren.
But when it comes to the NBA lottery, lady luck seems to have been with the Celtics who have been on quite a roll regardless of where they have picked lately.
Last June, they traded the No. 1 overall pick and traded down to No. 3 and landed Jayson Tatum who has had one of the greatest rookie seasons ever by a Celtic.
The year before that, Boston used the No. 3 pick on Jaylen Brown who went to be named to the NBA’s all-rookie second team, and has emerged this season as one of the more improved players in the NBA.
So what’s in store for them in this draft lottery?
Well, it may very well wind up being a dress rehearsal for next year depending on how the lottery ping-pong balls shake down.
As part of the trade Boston made with Philadelphia last year involving the No. 1 overall pick, the Celtics acquired a protected first-round pick from the Lakers that will be conveyed to Boston if the Lakers, with the 10th-best chance at landing the top overall pick, wind up with the second or third selection.
If that doesn’t happen, Boston will then receive the more favorable pick between Sacramento and Philadelphia next year, provided that pick isn’t the top overall selection. If it is the No. 1 pick, Boston will get the Sixers pick instead.
Here’s a look at how the draft lottery will shake down if there’s no movement among teams in the lottery.
1. Phoenix: DeAndre Ayton, C, Arizona -- Has tremendous size and length spread over an NBA-ready frame. If not the No. 1 overall pick, he’ll be the first center selected.
2. Memphis: Luka Doncic, SG, International -- The top international prospect, whoever has the top overall pick will think long and hard about taking Doncic who is easily the top international prospect.
3. Dallas: Mohamed Bamba, PF, Texas -- His 7-foot-9 wingspan with good defensive instincts will allow him to become an elite rim protector in no time.
4. Atlanta: Marvin Bagley III, PF, Duke -- Has skills at both ends of the floor that will serve him well at the next level. Needs to add strength.
5. Orlando: Trae Young, PG, Oklahoma -- Best scoring guard in the draft, the Stephen Curry comparisons can only help boost his draft stock.
6. Chicago: Michael Porter Jr., SF, Missouri -- If not for a back injury that sidelined him for most of his lone season at Missouri, Porter Jr. would have been in the conversation for being the top overall pick.
7. Sacramento: Jaren Jackson Jr., PF, Michigan State -- Has a nice touch scoring with either hand in the paint, good rebounder. Has the potential to be a solid stretch big man at the next level.
8. Cleveland: Collin Sexton, PG, Alabama -- Has 6-6 ½ wingspan, good court vision, the ability to get his own shot and the kind of upside that may factor in LeBron James’ decision to stay or leave Cleveland again.
9. New York: Miles Bridges, SF/PF, Michigan State -- Tremendous rebounder for his size, brings some much-needed toughness to the Knicks’ frontcourt.
10. Philadelphia (from Lakers): Kevin Knox, SF, Kentucky -- Strength and versatility will be his calling card at the next level. Provides the Sixers with some added depth at the wing position.
11. Charlotte: Mikal Bridges, SF/PF, Villanova -- Showed tremendous growth as a shooter this past season. Will come to the league with a strong foundation defensively.
12. Los Angeles Clippers (from Detroit): Wendell Carter, PF, Duke -- Often overlooked while at Duke because of Marvin Bagley III, Carter has the potential to step in and contribute from Day One.
13. Los Angeles Clippers: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kentucky -- Has great length, solid defender with the potential to fill up the stat sheet.
14. Denver: Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M -- Only 6-9 with a 7-6 wingspan, Williams has shown tremendous promise but it is his inconsistent play that has him on the outside of the top-10 looking in.