Memphis Grizzlies

Celtics to find out fate of Grizzlies pick on Friday

Celtics to find out fate of Grizzlies pick on Friday

The Celtics will have to wait until Friday to find out whether they get the Grizzlies' pick in this year's NBA draft.

Boston owns the rights to Memphis' 2019 first-round pick, protected for selections 1 to 8. It would become a top-six protected pick in 2020, then an unprotected first-rounder in 2021 if it doesn't convey this year.

With the Grizzlies, Pelicans, and Mavericks all tied up in the 7-9 worst spots, the three teams will have a drawing Friday after Board of Governors meeting to determine where they'll land.

The C's don't want the Grizzlies' pick this year as it's likely Memphis will be at the bottom of the league standings for the next couple seasons, meaning a higher future draft pick for Boston. They'll have their fingers crossed as the ping pong balls determine their fate, though their draft position won't be revealed until the lottery in May.

The Celtics also own the Sacramento Kings' first-round pick in June (unless it's the No. 1 pick) and the Kings' blowing a 28-point lead and losing to the Portland Trail Blazers 136-131 in their season-finale increased the Celtics' chances of getting a pick in the 2-4 range from Sacramento from 1.9 to 3.7 percent. 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

How can Celtics avoid Grizzlies draft pick? Fate may rest in final games

How can Celtics avoid Grizzlies draft pick? Fate may rest in final games

The Boston Celtics' seeding in the 2019 NBA playoffs is secured. Their first-round draft picks by way of the Sacramento Kings and Los Angeles Clippers are mostly set, give or take a spot or two.

... But about that Memphis Grizzlies pick.

The Celtics own the rights to Memphis' 2019 first-round pick, protected for selections 1 to 8. If the pick doesn't convey this year, it becomes a top-six protected pick in 2020, then an unprotected first-rounder in 2021.

Considering the Grizzlies should be very bad for at least the next two seasons, the C's probably don't want their pick this year, a sentiment The Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach confirmed late Sunday night.

But it appears Boston's fortunes will be tied to the ping pong balls.

With two games left in their seasoson, the Grizzlies are tied with the Dallas Mavericks for the NBA's seventh-worst record and just a half game behind the New Orleans Pelicans.

Here's a look at the standings entering Monday:

9th-worst record: New Orleans Pelicans, 33-48
T-7th-worst: Memphis Grizzlies, 32-48 (0.5 games back)
T-7th-worst: Dallas Mavericks, 32-48 (0.5 GB)
6th-worst: Washington Wizards, 32-49 (1 GB)

The Grizzlies have two games remaining -- at the Detroit Pistons and home vs. the Golden State Warriors -- while the Pelicans host the Warriors on Tuesday in their season finale. The Mavericks close out against the Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs, while the Wizards finish up with the Celtics on Tuesday.

If Boston doesn't want Memphis' pick, here's the ideal scenario: The Grizzlies lose both games, Dallas wins at least one of its last two, and Washington beats the C's. (Yes, it might behoove Boston to lose its season finale.) That would give Memphis the sixth position in the NBA Draft Lottery and a 96.1 percent chance of securing a top-8 pick.

If the Grizzlies finish with the seventh-worst record, there's an 84.8 chance their pick won't convey to the Celtics. If they land in the eighth-worst position, that number drops to 61.9 percent. And if they manage to pull off a win or two and pass New Orleans for the ninth-worst spot, there's just a 20.3 chance Boston will avoid the pick.

Got all that?

In all of these scenarios, we won't know the fate of the Grizzlies pick for sure until the lottery in May. But Memphis can help Boston's cause by dropping its last two games -- and getting a little help from its friends.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

How a Grizzlies rebuild could deliver Boston's next star

How a Grizzlies rebuild could deliver Boston's next star

As the Memphis Grizzlies reportedly entertain the possibility of a rebuild, the Celtics might have found the centerpiece of their next big deal, one that might only bolster their long-term ability to contend for a title.

ESPN reported Tuesday that the Grizzlies, for the first time, will begin entertaining trade offers for stars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley. The Celtics are owed a future first-round pick from the Grizzlies and the protections loosen in coming seasons.

After Memphis won 12 of its first 17 games to open the season, it appeared the pick, which is top-8 protected for 2019, might convey this season. But the Grizzlies are a mere 7-23 since Nov. 21 and have lost 12 of their past 13. 

With the second-worst record in the Western Conference but only the sixth-worst record in the NBA, the Grizzlies seem to be coming to grips with the fact that it might be better to move their aging stars and embrace a rebuild in hopes of a quick turnaround that might take the sting out of the pick they will eventually deliver. In trading their stars, the Grizzlies almost assuredly will collect a top 8 pick this season.

Further out it gets murkier for Memphis. Quick rebuilds do not typically happen. And the Celtics would reap the benefits if the Grizzlies struggle to contend in the aftermath of an overhaul, even if that pick ultimately doesn’t convey for two more years. The Grizzlies’ pick is top-6 protected in 2020 before becoming completely unprotected in 2021. 

Memphis’ willingness to overhaul their roster is no small development for the Celtics, whose assets have been diminishing in value as some NBA rivals outkick expectations. The Celtics are set to collect the Sacramento Kings 2019 first-round pick, if it’s not No. 1 overall, but the Kings are still battling for a playoff spot in the West, sitting 24-23 entering Tuesday’s action.

With a horde of East teams clogging up the bottom of the NBA standings, that means the Kings pick — once dreamed to be a top-five selection — is currently projected to land closer to No. 10 overall. 

The Celtics were staring at the less-than-optimal possibility of collecting all three of their owed first-round picks this season (the Clippers could potentially deliver a non-lottery first-rounder). But the Grizzlies pick pushing into future years gives the Celtics a lot more flexibility in using it a deal.

Not only does the value rise as the protections loosen but the Celtics can dangle that pick as part of a package for a big star — say, Anthony Davis, or his ilk — and it’s more attractive than if the Celtics were forced to make that selection in June.

The Celtics, of course, don’t have to move the pick in a deal but it just seems like the most likely scenario. Boston could also keep the prime selection and try to build young depth to an already talent-filled roster, especially if there’s not a big fish available on the trade market that they desire to chase.

Entering Tuesday, the Celtics projected to collect picks No. 13 (Sacramento), 19 (Clippers), and 24 (their own) based on current standings. 
 

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.