Celtics

Celtics 2019 draft pick watch: Where do assets stand at All-Star break?

Celtics 2019 draft pick watch: Where do assets stand at All-Star break?

The Boston Celtics are in the thick of a tight Eastern Conference playoff race. But they have three good reasons to do some Western Conference scoreboard-watching after the All-Star break.

The Celtics own the rights to three selections in the 2019 NBA Draft that aren't their own:

1. Sacramento Kings' first-round pick (top-1 protected) or Philadelphia 76ers' first-round pick; whichever is higher

2. Los Angeles Clippers' first-round pick (top-14 protected)

3. Memphis Grizzlies' first-round pick (top-8 protected)

The C's essentially are guaranteed to land the Kings pick, so the worse Sacramento is this season, the better Boston's selection.

But the Grizzlies and Clippers picks are a bit more complicated.

If L.A. doesn't make the playoffs this season, the Celtics wouldn't get its pick this season, instead receiving its 2020 first-rounder, protected for the top 14. If the Clippers miss the playoffs again next season, that pick falls to a second-rounder in 2022.

If Memphis' pick lands in the top eight, it becomes the Grizzlies' 2020 first-round pick, protected for the top six picks. If that pick doesn't convey and lands in the top six next season, Boston would get its unprotected first-rounder in 2020.

Got all that? Good.

With the All-Star break upon us and roughly 25 games left in the regular season, here's every pick the Celtics would have in the 2019 NBA Draft if the season ended today, based solely on the current NBA standings.

FIRST ROUND
No. 14 overall (via Kings)
No. 18 overall (via Clippers)
No. 23 overall (own)

SECOND ROUND
No. 53 overall (own)

You'll notice the Grizzlies pick isn't on that list. Memphis currently owns the sixth-worst record in the NBA, so unless the lottery balls bounce in Boston's favor and give the Grizzlies a No. 9 pick or lower, the C's wouldn't get that pick. 

Here's who's "ahead" of Memphis for picks seven through nine:

6. Grizzlies, 23-36
7. Wizards, 24-34, 1.5 games ahead
8. Pelicans, 26-33, 3 games ahead
9. Mavericks, 26-31, 4 games ahead

The Grizzlies would need to pass three teams and make up four games for Boston to have an odds-on shot of acquiring its pick, which seems like a tall task after they traded All-Star Marc Gasol at the deadline.

That means the C's may have to wait for the pick -- which wouldn't be a bad thing, considering Memphis shows no signs of improvement.

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Warriors become second team in NBA history to make five consecutive Finals since Bill Russell's Celtics

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USA Today Sports Images

Warriors become second team in NBA history to make five consecutive Finals since Bill Russell's Celtics

After sweeping the Blazers Monday night to advance to their fifth straight NBA Finals, they joined Bill Russell's Celtics as the only teams to make five in a row. 

The Warriors will look to win their fourth championship in five years and join an elite club of teams to complete a three-peat. 

From 1957-66, the Celtics won nine NBA titles, including a run of eight consecutive championships from 1959-66. The Warriors will have a tough time accomplishing that feat, but they are arguably the greatest dynasty since the Russell era. 

Along with their series win, the Warriors also passed the Bulls on the all-time list for Finals appearances for a single franchise with seven. The Lakers (31) and Celtics (21) are the only teams ahead of them. 

Golden State will await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals series between the Bucks and Raptors. Milwaukee currently holds a 2-1 series lead ahead of Game 4 in Toronto. 

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Dwyane Wade breaks silence on Paul Pierce debate, takes high road

Dwyane Wade breaks silence on Paul Pierce debate, takes high road

Everyone seemed to have a take on the Paul Pierce vs Dwyane Wade debate, except Wade himself. 

On Sunday night, the Miami guard finally broke his silence in response to a fan on Twitter. 

The debate started when Pierce claimed he had a better career than Wade towards the end of his final season in the NBA. Intense internet debate followed, while most fans did their best to tear down the accomplishments of either player. 

Pierce said the debate didn't bother him, but former teammate of both players, Ray Allen, was disappointed with how it manifested because it allowed people to take away from what Piere accomplished in his career. 

Wade seemed to take the high road with his response, so hopefully, that puts an end to all of the madness. Both players will be first-ballot Hall of Famers, and their rivalry proved to shape the landscape of what the NBA is today. 

Unfortunately for some, one of them has to be overrated for the other's status to be solidified. 

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