In addition to the Boston Celtics clinching a spot in the 2019 NBA Playoffs, the team got some added good news on Tuesday, as the LA Clippers clinched a spot in the playoffs as well. This means that LA’s first round pick in the 2019 NBA Draft will convey to Boston via the Memphis Grizzlies.
This draft pick has a somewhat complicated past. The choice was originally acquired at the 2016 trade deadline, along with Lance Stephenson, by the Grizzlies in exchange for Jeff Green. Interesting enough, Green had been previously acquired by Memphis in January of 2015 in exchange for the 2019 (or later) first round pick Boston has coming from the Grizzlies.
The Clippers pick was then traded by Memphis to Boston at the 2016 NBA Draft. The Celtics had made a whopping eight selections in that draft: Jaylen Brown, Guerschon Yabusele and Ante Zizic in the first round; Deyonta Davis, Rade Zagorac, Demetrius Jackson, Ben Bentil and Abdel Nader in the second round. Boston traded the draft rights to Davis and Zagorac to Memphis in exchange for this pick that is now headed to the Celtics as a 2019 first round pick.
This pick conveying gives the Celtics at least three first round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft:
- Boston’s own
- LA Clippers
- Either Sacramento Kings of Philadelphia 76ers - Boston gets the Kings pick as long as it isn’t 1st overall. If Sacramento wins the 2019 NBA Draft Lottery, Boston will will get Philadelphia’s pick instead.
The Celtics may still also get the Grizzlies 2019 first round pick as well. That selection is top-8 protected, meaning Boston will only receive the pick if Memphis finishes post-lottery with a pick in the 9-14 range. Currently, the Grizzlies are right on the tipping point of that pick conveying. Should the pick not go to the Celtics in 2019, it rolls over to 2020 with the protections reducing to top-6. If that pick doesn’t convey in 2020, it rolls over one more time to 2021 with no protections.
Even though this year’s NBA Draft Lottery lacks the excitement of past years, when the Celtics were waiting to see where the ping pong balls placed the Brooklyn Nets picks that Boston owned, it’s still must-watch television for Boston. Both the Kings and Grizzlies will be lottery teams and where their picks fall will have a huge impact on the 2019 NBA Draft, and potentially beyond, for the Celtics.