Celtics

What Celtics fans need to know heading into tonight's NBA draft lottery

What Celtics fans need to know heading into tonight's NBA draft lottery

BOSTON -- A couple years ago the Boston Celtics hit the lottery night jackpot in landing the top overall pick.

They sent it to Philadelphia and wound up getting Jayson Tatum two spots later, and a future first-round pick that they hope to cash in tonight for another potential lottery pick selection.

The Celtics have no shot at getting the top overall selection during tonight’s lottery draft selection, but there is a slim shot that they may wind up with a pair of lottery picks depending on how good a bounce they get from picks that belong to Sacramento and Memphis, both of whom could potentially convey their first-round picks this year to Boston. 

Here’s a look at other highlights of tonight’s ping-pong ball process that could potentially alter the trajectory of many franchises, Boston included. 

When: Tonight

Time: 8:30 p.m. ET

Where: The Hilton Chicago

TV: ESPN

Best odds for No. 1

New York, Cleveland and Phoenix each have a 14 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick, followed by Chicago (12.5 percent) and Atlanta (10.5 percent).  


Best-case scenario for Boston

* Sacramento moves up to No. 2; that pick is then conveyed to Boston

* Memphis pick stays within the top-8. That means Boston won't get the pick this year. It will instead be conveyed next year when it is only top-6 protected or in 2021 when it is unprotected. 

Celtics' odds for each pick

#2 pick — 1.1%
#3 pick — 1.2%
#4 pick — 1.4%
#9 pick — 34.1%
#10 pick — 8.0%
#11 pick — 0.5%
#12 pick — <0.1%
#14 pick — 95.2%

How the lottery works, explained by NBA.com

Drawings will be conducted to determine the first four picks in the NBA Draft. The remainder of the “lottery teams” will select in positions five through 14 in inverse order of their 2018-19 regular-season records. The actual lottery procedure will take place in a separate room just before the national broadcast. Select media members, NBA officials and representatives of the participating teams and the accounting firm of Ernst & Young will be in attendance for the drawings.

Fourteen ping-pong balls numbered 1 through 14 will be placed in a lottery machine. There are 1,001 possible combinations when four balls are drawn out of 14, without regard to their order of selection. Before the lottery, 1,000 of those 1,001 combinations will be assigned to the 14 participating lottery teams.

The drawing process occurs in the following manner: All 14 balls are placed in the lottery machine and they are mixed for 20 seconds, and then the first ball is removed. The remaining balls are mixed in the lottery machine for another 10 seconds, and then the second ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and then the third ball is drawn. There is a 10-second mix, and then the fourth ball is drawn. The team that has been assigned that combination will receive the No. 1 pick. The same process is repeated with the same ping-pong balls and lottery machine for the second through fourth picks.

If the same team comes up more than once, the result is discarded and another four-ball combination is selected. Also, if the one unassigned combination is drawn, the result is discarded and the balls are drawn again. The length of time the balls are mixed is monitored by a timekeeper who faces away from the machine and signals the machine operator after the appropriate amount of time has elapsed.

Darrington Hobson, a partner in the accounting firm of Ernst & Young, oversees the entire lottery process and stuffs and seals the envelopes before bringing them to the studio for the broadcast. The announcement of the lottery results will be made by NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum. A second representative from each participating team will be seated on stage. Neither the Deputy Commissioner nor the team representatives on stage will be informed of the lottery results before the envelopes are opened.

The team whose logo is in the last envelope opened will have the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, to be held on Thursday, June 20 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.

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Jayson Tatum gets rave reviews from Celtics teammates after practicing

Jayson Tatum gets rave reviews from Celtics teammates after practicing

For anyone still sweating whether Jayson Tatum will be able to pick up where he left off when the NBA season restarts later this month, Daniel Theis has an encouraging scouting report.

“[A lot of teammates] look great, especially JT,” said Theis. "He walked in the first day and couldn't miss a shot.”

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The Celtics started mandatory workouts Wednesday and Theis said that he’s crossed paths with most of his teammates as they shuttle through for individual work while ramping up activities in advance of relocating to Orlando next week.

"I know since the facility opened that I think everybody was around, working out,” said Theis. "I've seen the same faces every day because we have certain time slots. So I know Gordon [Hayward] is one of the first guys in the gym at 8 a.m., so I don't see him when I come in at 11. But I just know that everybody is really working and everybody looks good. Talking to players, coaches, everybody really used the time wisely to stay in shape, lifted as much as possible, and now just going back to basketball. I see guys like Kemba [Walker], JT, Enes [Kanter], I see those guys every day.”

Last month on The Enes Kanter Show podcast, Kanter pointed to Theis as the player that had most impressed him in individual drills. Theis stayed in the Boston area instead of relocating to his native Germany during the break and said the time off helped him get his body ready for what’s ahead.

"Overall, I think it was good for me, too, the break we had,” said Theis. “Just to get my body even more ready for the playoffs and for the rest of the season. Just my knees —  more lifting, more rehab because, in-season sometimes, it’s hard to get a lift in between games so I used the time really wisely. Just lifted a lot.”

Theis tore his meniscus during his first season in Boston and admitted he felt the lingering effects in recent seasons. He’s worked hard in the weight room to keep that knee strong and the shutdown could allow him to be particularly fresh entering the playoffs.

The Celtics will need a full-strength Theis, too. He’s Boston’s top option at the center position and could have to joust with the likes of Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokounmpo depending on Boston’s playoff path.

Theis said he’s eager to see what a healthy Boston team is capable of, especially on a neutral floor.

“From the basketball standpoint, I’m just excited,” said Theis. "I think it’s a great opportunity for us as a team and also every team has the same chance, because there’s no home-court advantage. It’s just about who is the better team on the court.”

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Footage of Kemba Walker's recent workout will get Celtics fans excited for NBA restart

Footage of Kemba Walker's recent workout will get Celtics fans excited for NBA restart

Boston Celtics fans don't have to wait too much longer to see their favorite team back on the court.

Training camps for the NBA's restart in Florida are expected to begin next week, with the eight seeding games scheduled to start July 30. Boston's first game back is against the Milwaukee Bucks on July 31.

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Many Celtics players have already made their way back to Boston to visit the Auerbach Center, where the team practices. Players have been going through workouts and getting up plenty of shots to fine tune their skills before traveling to Florida.

One of the players back in the gym is star point guard Kemba Walker. Check out footage from one of Walker's recent workouts in the video below:

It's good to see Walker's trademark smile hasn't gone anywhere.

Walker will be among the Celtics' most important players when the 2019-20 season resumes. He's the team's second-leading scorer and a player who head coach Brad Stevens can go to late in games when the team badly needs a bucket.

His last trip to the playoffs was with the Charlotte Hornets in 2016, when the Miami Heat eliminated them in an exciting seven-game series. Walker had most of the Hornets' scoring burden on his shoulders given the lack of talent around him. He doesn't have that problem in Boston. If Walker struggles, his teammates including Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Gordon Hayward will be ready to pick up the slack on offense.