Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lottery dreams shattered

In 1996-1997, the Boston Celtics were awful. They went into the NBA's draft lottery with their own first round pick and Dallas', with the best odds of getting the number one pick, which everyone knew would be Tim Duncan. The worst case for Boston in that lottery was picking 3rd and 6th.

They picked 3rd and 6th.

In 2006-2007, the Celtics were awful. A young team, their best player, Paul Pierce, missed 35 games, and the Celtics finished with the 2nd-worst record in the NBA, with 2 potential franchise players in the draft. The worst case for Boston would be the 5th pick.

They'll be picking 5th.

Whatever luck this team had left when Len Bias died, and it hasn't been back.

That said, there may be time for discussion about the NBA draft lottery procedure. There may be a legitimate complaint that the current system fails to accomplish the actual purpose of a draft, which is that the worst teams get the first crack at the best players, for purposes of competitive balance. But this morning isn't the time for that discussion, which was taking place during my brief listen to WEEI. There will come a time for that discussion, but this morning, it's just whining, and extremely unappealing. The Celtics will be picking 5th. There will be a very good NBA player, possibly a great NBA player, who will be picked 5th or lower. The Celtics job is to find that player.

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