Whatever your lucky charm is, get it out and have it ready. First, there's this:
Tomorrow is an important day for the NBA draft order. BOS-Utah (4-5), BOS-PHX (17-18), CHI-TOR (19-20), CHA-HOU-MIA (24-26).— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixSI) April 17, 2014
We're talking percentage points, but with game 82 in the books and the Celtics out of the playoffs, it's time to start rooting for heads or tails. According to the folks over at Tankathon.com, the difference in ping pong balls between the 4th and 5th slot is 0.4% of landing in the Top-3 and 0.1% of winning the top pick. That's 31 combinations more at #4 than at #5 (out of a possible 1000 combinations in the lottery). The difference may be marginal, but the draft order isn't. In Mannix's own mock draft today, we're talking about Dante Exum vs. Julius Randle; Randle would create a logjam at power forward for the Celtics where as Exum could provide some needed ball-handling and penetration on the perimeter. If you're really interested in the minutiae and how the lottery works, Celtics.com sat down with Assistant General Manager Mike Zarren and broke down the numbers here.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. What does Danny think the summer holds for the future of the team? Here are his thoughts:
"I'm looking to make something happen. We will have some opportunities. The thing I have to guard against and be honest about is to make sure we do a good deal, just not a deal to blow off some fireworks, make a splash or win a PR press conference. I need to build a team to win and win for the long haul.
"We're certainly gonna try to set off some fireworks. You bet."
Read and listen to the rest of the interview. He mentioned everything from bringing back vets like Kris Humphries or trading the picks for short term help. He's going to consult Rondo on potential moves and personnel decisions and nobody is off limits, including Rajon.
Ainge on 2014 NBA draft: "I just don't think there's that one player that's going to turn a franchise from a lottery team into a top team."— Ben Rohrbach (@brohrbach) April 17, 2014
And on the heels of Danny's interview, Duke's Jabari Parker officially declared for the draft. Even though Danny doesn't think there's a franchise changer available this summer, you could do much worse than Parker. He's widely considered the most NBA-ready player in this year's class and could conceivably not even be the top pick. The aforementioned mock from Mannix has him at #3. It's been 17 years since Boston missed out on Tim Duncan in 1997 and this summer has that vibe to it. Parker just feels like a future Celtic, right?
Get out the rabbit's foot and cross all your toes and all your fingers, everybody.