Celtics wind up with No. 6 at draft lottery

NEW YORK -- The Boston Celtics secured the No. 6 pick as part of 2014 NBA draft lottery Tuesday evening in Times Square.

The Celtics entered with a 10.3 percent chance at the No. 1 pick and a 33.4 percent opportunity for a top-three position, but wound up slipping one notch. The sixth pick was the team's highest statistical probability (34.2 percent) entering the lottery.

The Cleveland Cavaliers were the only team to vault, landing the No. 1 pick despite only 1.7 percent chance at the spot. The ordered maintained from there with Milwaukee at No. 2 and Philadelphia rounding out the top three.

Boston also owns the No. 17 pick in June’s draft, the first of three picks delivered as part of last summer’s blockbuster trade with the Brooklyn Nets. Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, who represented the team on stage, believes a deep draft could aid Boston at both positions and has faith that Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will maximize the picks one way or another.

"Danny will look at every option," Pagliuca said. "He’s got the whole program there in his office, where the players stand, what kind of trades he can make. He’ll look at the whole landscape now and it’s nice to have the certainty -- we know we’re sixth and 17th, there’s certainty to make those decisions.

Added Pagliuca: "If you look at this draft, this board is a lot better than any draft that I’ve seen. We’ve had the experts look at it, and people are really excited about the kind of players you can get at 17. ... And you never know what’s going to happen. Last year, there was a surprise first pick. Nobody expected [Anthony] Bennett to go first. So we don’t know who will be there at six. Our guys are about as excited about the draft as they’ve been about any draft since we’ve been here."

Boston’s failure to vault to a top-three position continues a trend of draft lottery misfortune. The team entered the 1997 draft with a league-best 27.5 percent chance at the top pick, but landed third in the Tim Duncan sweepstakes. A decade later, with a 19.9 percent chance in the 2007 lottery headlined by Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, the Celtics endured the worst-case scenario by winding up with the fifth selection.

Ainge said before the draft lottery that the team was not at the mercy of the pingpong balls, noting, “We're prepared for whatever happens."

He reaffirmed that during a conference call with reporters after the drawing.

"Well, it's a little disappointing, we were hopeful for something better," Ainge said. "But the odds say the No. 6 was probably the most likely, so we've certainly been prepared for No. 6."

Asked about how the team might approach the draft with the pick, Ainge said the position doesn't change much with the team's strategy.

"We would have tried to do something with all the picks, including keep the pick. We're still in the same boat, but we just have less value [than a top spot]," Ainge said. "Not that much different than '07. There's less value in the sixth pick versus the 1 or 2 or 3 pick, but we're still going to try to make the best choice and we'll have to see what value that has around the league. And at the same time, we'll be evaluating all the players because usually people don't trade those picks, but we'll look at all those options."