If you guessed Sacramento Kings, then you are correct! The Kings? Yes, the Kings! Really? Yes, really!
Now for some of you, this is not news, but in case you have been living under a rock since the 2017 NBA Draft, let me get you up to speed.
Remember when the Celtics won the draft lottery in 2017 and everyone assumed that they were going to draft Markelle Fultz? Well, Danny Ainge worked his magic and traded the 2017 1st overall pick (who turned out to be Markelle Fultz) for the 76ers 3rd pick in the 2017 draft (who turned out to be Jayson Tatum). As if stealing the better player wasn’t enough, Ainge also managed to get the Sixers to send over a future first-round pick!
That man is a genius!
Now, this is where it gets a little complicated. The 76ers owned the rights of the 2018 Los Angeles Lakers pick and the 2019 Sacramento Kings pick. Ainge had the opportunity to get either of those picks. If the Lakers had between the 2nd and 5th pick in the 2018 draft, the pick would go to Boston. That didn’t happen as the Lakers ended up with the 10th overall pick, so Philly kept the pick.
As every Celtics fan knows, we will be rewarded by simply being patient. Look at where being patient has gotten us so far. The Celtics are the favorite to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals. Ainge did not jump the gun and trade the house for Jimmy Butler or Paul George. He did not try to re-sign Isaiah Thomas and build around a player coming off a “Linsanity” type of run. Instead, he kept the picks, drafted his guys (Smart, Rozier, Brown, and Tatum), and added the key pieces when necessary and available (Irving, Horford, and Hayward).
Because of the Celtics failing to get last year’s Lakers’ pick, they are gifted the Sacramento Kings’ first-round pick in the 2019 draft. Here’s the catch though, if the Kings win the lottery and end up with the 1st overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, then Philly keeps the pick and Boston is left with nothing. Celtics fans should want the Kings to do horrible this year, but not 1st overall pick horrible. Aim to be the second-worst team in the league and get that 2nd overall pick.
As I mentioned earlier, Celtics fans are rewarded for their patience. The Kings stink out loud. They are terrible. The Celtics very well could have a top 3 pick this year. Maybe they don’t want to use the pick? That’s fine, just trade it for maybe, I don’t know, Anthony Davis?! That is a story for another day. Anyways, anytime you look at the NBA box scores, paying attention to the bottom line while watching Sports Center, or even watching a Kings’ game, keep your fingers crossed for a Kings’ loss.
P.S. The Celtics also have the Clippers’ pick this year (top 14 protected) and the Grizzlies’ pick (top 8 protected). Trader Danny at it again!
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