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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Friday / June 23.
  • Celtics to Pick First in NBA Draft, Lakers Second, Sixers Third

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    Twenty-four hours after advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals with a Game 7 win over the Washington Wizards, the Boston Celtics won the NBA Draft Lottery and will pick first in the Draft on June 22 at Barclays Center.

    The Lakers will pick at No. 2, followed by the 76ers at No. 3. The Knicks fell from the seventh slot and will pick at No. 8.

    “It’s a good time to be a Celtics fan,” Celtics co-owner Wyk Grousbek said on ESPN. “I wish the Draft were today, we could get a little help for [Wednesday] night.” Boston hosts LeBron James and the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 1 on Wednesday.

    Magic Johnson, the Lakers President of Basketball Operations, was asked about the Celtics getting the top pick over the Lakers.

    “I still hate them,” he told reporters.

    Boston entered with a 25 percent chance at the No. 1 pick and was guaranteed a top-4 pick.

    Washington guard Markelle Fultz is widely projected as the No. 1 pick and DraftExpress.com previously had the Celtics taking the 6-foot-4 Fultz with the top pick.

    “Personally I just think I fill up the stat sheet in any way, rebounding, assists, chase down blocks,” Fultz told ESPN. “I think I’m a good teammate, too.”

    The Lakers could be in position to take former UCLA star Lonzo Ball at No. 2, something his father has repeatedly said he wants.

    “At the end of the day I’ll play for any team,” the 6-foot-6 Ball said in March. “The NBA is the NBA, but it would be a blessing to be able to play for the Lakers. It’s in L.A., I’m from here, my whole family’s here.”

    DraftExpress.com now has the Sixers taking Kentucky freshman shooting guard Malik Monk at No. 3, followed by Kansas freshman Josh Jackson at No. 4 (Phoenix), Kentucky freshman De’Aaron Fox at No. 5 (Sacramento), Duke freshman Jayson Tatum at No. 6 (Orlando), Florida State freshman Jonathan Isaac at No. 7 (Florida State), N.C. State freshman Dennis Smith Jr. at No. 8 (Knicks), Arizona freshman Lauri Markkanen at No. 9 (Dallas), Gonzaga freshman Zach Collins at No. 10 (Sacramento), French point guard Frank Ntilikina at No. 11 (Charlotte), Louisville sophomore Donovan Mitchell at No. 12 (Detroit), Indiana sophomore OG Anunoby at No. 13 (Denver) and UNC junior Justin Jackson at No. 14 (Portland).

    The top 10 projected picks are all freshmen.

    Knicks President Phil Jackson said last week at the NBA Draft Combine that the Knicks were focused on guards and wings. Picking at No. 8, they will likely miss out on elite point guards Fultz, Ball and Fox, along with wings Jackson, Tatum and Isaac, but could get Smith Jr. or Ntilikina.

    Asked how important it was to draft a point guard, Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier told Basketball Insiders, “It’s crucial.”

    For more on Smith Jr., read this.

    For more on Ntilikina, read this.

     

    NBA DRAFT ORDER

    1. Boston (from Brooklyn)
    2. Los Angeles Lakers
    3. Philadelphia (from Sacramento)
    4. Phoenix
    5. Sacramento (from Philadelphia)
    6. Orlando
    7. Minnesota
    8. New York
    9. Dallas
    10. Sacramento (from New Orleans)
    11. Charlotte
    12. Detroit
    13. Denver
    14. Miami
    The following is the order for the remainder of the NBA Draft 2017 presented by State Farm:

    1. Portland
    2. Chicago
    3. Milwaukee
    4. Indiana
    5. Atlanta
    6. Portland (from Memphis via Denver and Cleveland)
    7. Oklahoma City
    8. Brooklyn (from Washington)
    9. Toronto (from LA Clippers via Milwaukee)
    10. Utah
    11. Orlando (from Toronto)
    12. Portland (from Cleveland)
    13. Brooklyn (from Boston)
    14. Los Angeles Lakers (from Houston)
    15. San Antonio
    16. Utah (from Golden State)
    1. Atlanta (from Brooklyn)
    2. Phoenix
    3. Orlando (from Los Angeles Lakers)
    4. Sacramento (from Philadelphia via New Orleans)
    5. Orlando
    6. Philadelphia (from New York via Utah and Toronto)
    7. Boston (from Minnesota via Phoenix)
    8. Chicago (from Sacramento via Cleveland)
    9. Philadelphia (from Dallas)
    10. New Orleans
    11. Charlotte
    12. Utah (from Detroit)
    13. Houston (from Denver)
    14. New York (from Chicago)
    15. Houston (from Portland)
    16. Philadelphia (from Miami via Atlanta)
    17. Indiana
    18. Milwaukee
    19. Denver (from Memphis via Oklahoma City)
    20. Philadelphia (from Atlanta)
    21. Denver (from Oklahoma City)
    22. Washington
    23. Boston (from Cleveland)
    24. Phoenix (from Toronto)
    25. Utah
    26. Boston (from LA Clippers)
    27. Brooklyn (from Boston)
    28. New York (from Houston)
    29. San Antonio
    30. Atlanta (from Golden State via Philadelphia and Utah)
     

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    Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.