Somewhere..Bill Russell Is Doing His Happy Dance

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And the winner of the 250 Million Dollar Lottery is……….The Boston Celtics?! Yes, you heard that right. The team set to take on former lottery prize Lebron James in the Eastern Conference Finals was awarded the #1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. And there’s no cash by the way, only the rights to Markelle Fultz out of the University of Washington. Hey Danny Ainge, how’s the view from up there?? Ainge, the President of Basketball Operations for the Celtics, orchestrated a masterful trade with the Brooklyn Nets back in 2013. The Nets received Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett (both were WAY past their prime) for a pile of players and future draft picks. Enter last night’s lottery win by the Celtics. Paul Pierce didn’t wait long to say you’re welcome.

As with any lottery, there must be winners and losers. First, let’s take a look at the lottery results:

1. Celtics (via Nets)

2. Lakers

3. Sixers (via Kings)

4. Suns

5. Kings (via Sixers)

6. Magic

7. Timberwolves

8. Knicks

9. Mavericks

10. Kings (via Pelicans)

11. Hornets

12. Pistons

13. Nuggets

14. Heat

Thanks to this ridiculous system, the winners and losers are self-explanatory. Land above your projected draft spot..you’re a winner, fall below your projected draft spot..you’re a loser. Of course, none of this guarantees you a superstar player. The Knicks can attest to that (I wonder what Frederic Weis is doing right now?).

Sooooooo, why does the NBA select the draft order this way rather than award the best pick to the team with the worst record? The answer is simple; MONEY. Amidst a so far underwhelming NBA playoffs, the NBA machine has people talking about the draft, and the draft lottery, and the draft combine, and that kid with the expensive shoes (no I will not say his name here). Ratings, the all-mighty money grab, ratings, and more ratings. That’s what it’s all about. And once the buzz around the draft lottery ends, the Cavaliers/Warriors saga will commence. And once the NBA Finals is over, the actual draft will happen. And once the draft is over, free agents will be on the move. Hmmmmm..sound familiar? Seems like the NBA is doing their best NFL impersonation. Good for you Adam Silver, good for you.

The biggest winners of the night included the Boston Celtics (obviously) and the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers received the #2 overall pick. If the Lakers had fallen outside of the top 3, they would have lost their pick to the (Orlando) Magic, so it’s a good thing Magic (Johnson) is on their side. And now for my favorite part of the program..THE LOSERS!! The biggest loser Tuesday night was the Phoenix Suns, as they dropped 2 spots (from #2 to #4). So much for Tank Mode.  

And last but certainly not le…Oh okay, maybe they are least. Enter my New York Knicks. They can’t win right. They can’t draft right. They can’t tank right. And they certainly can’t get lucky right. The Knicks fell 1 spot from #7 to #8. I know it’s only 1 spot, but it’s just another bump in a long line of bumps in Knicks history. Let’s see how Phil Jackson screws this up. Hey Phil, Danny Ainge is running a General Managers Camp. I heard it’s a great way to improve your people skills. Want me to sign you up?? As for players we can land come draft day, the Knicks should have their choice between French guard Frank Ntilikina and NC State guard Dennis Smith Jr. As long as we don’t draft another big man, I won’t lose my mind.

Did you watch Tuesday night’s NBA Draft Lottery? Who do you want the Knicks to draft? Tell me in the comment section below.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. You can also follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

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