The odds say that Celtics fans are going to be disappointed again on Tuesday night.
Every 10 years, the C’s are in position to draft a once-in-a-generation player, but the lottery balls (more specifically, the computers) don’t fall their way.
In 1997, the Celtics had the best odds (27.51 percent of being able to draft Tim Duncan). They wound up with the third overall pick. In 2007, the Celtics had the second best odds of nabbing the No. 1 overall pick (19.9 percent) and the second best odds of landing the second overall pick (18.8 percent) – which turned out to be Kevin Durant. They wound up with the fifth overall pick.
Thanks to the pillaging of the Brooklyn Nets four years ago – in a trade that shipped Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett out of Boston in exchange for a pu pu platter of draft picks – the Celtics own the best odds of any NBA team to get the top overall pick Tuesday (8:30 p.m., ESPN).
It’s important to remember that the C’s have the “best” odds and not “good” odds of “winning the lottery.” They have a 25 percent chance of nabbing the No. 1 pick, a 21.5 percent chance of landing the second overall pick, a 17.8 percent chance of landing the No. 3 pick and a 35.7 percent chance of getting the No. 4 pick. In other words, the odds are better of them getting the 4 pick than they are of them getting the top pick.
The Suns have the second best odds at the No. 1 pick (19.9 percent) and the Lakers have the third best odds at the No. 1 pick (15.6). All 14 teams in the lotto have a chance at the top pick (Miami has the worst odds at 0.5 percent). The Celtics can do no worse than pick No. 4.
For the hell of it, Metro played Tankathon.com’s NBA Draft Lottery simulator on Monday. On the first try, Philly jumped up to No. 1 and the Celtics fell to No. 4. On the second try, the Celtics “won” the lottery and stayed at No. 1. On the third try, the Celtics again fell to No. 4.
Oh ya, the players.
After all this computer mumbo jumbo shakes out, the Celtics will be turning their attention to the actual NBA Draft, which takes place on June 22 in Brooklyn (wow, that’s gotta sting, Nets fans).
In Metro’s latest NBA Mock Draft, we have the Celtics taking Washington point guard Markelle Fultz No. 1 overall. UCLA guard Lonzo Ball goes to the Lakers, Kansas swingman Josh Jackson goes to the Suns and NC State point guard Dennis Smith goes to the 76ers at No. 4. Duke small forward Jayson Tatum and Kentucky point guard De’Aaron Fox are also players who could crack the top four.