Basketball

Celtics get top draft pick, Lakers second

Thursday, May 18, 2017

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NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — The Boston Celtics received a timely boost on the eve of their Eastern Conference showdown with Cleveland on Tuesday after discovering they will command the first pick in this year's NBA draft.The Celtics earned the top spot in the draft lottery four years after their decision to trade Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets in a blockbuster deal that enabled multiple first-round picks to go to Boston.

That bold move paid off on Tuesday as the Celtics earned the top spot in the draft, giving them their first first pick since the introduction of the lottery in 1985.

It is also only the second time the Celtics will pick first. The only other occasion occurred in 1950.

“I'm glad we didn't trade it; you can write it down,” Boston managing partner Wyc Grousbeck said.

The Celtics traded Garnett and Pierce after six seasons together, which included an NBA title in 2008.

The Celtics faced a long rebuilding process, but steadily improved to win top seeding in the Eastern Conference this year.

The Nets, meanwhile, have declined, getting progressively worse results since the deal.

The Celtics also get another first-round pick in 2018 from the Nets.

Markelle Fultz is tipped to be the top overall pick.

The Los Angeles Lakers, meantime, discovered they will get second pick. The Philadelphia 76ers will select third.

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