Feeling a draft: Where Boston's picks stand

With Wednesday's loss to the Washington Wizards, the Brooklyn Nets, who will deliver their unprotected first-round pick to the Boston Celtics during June's draft, guaranteed that they will finish with no worse than the fourth-worst record in basketball this season.

With four games remaining in the regular season, the only lingering question is whether the Nets (21-57) will remain in front of the Phoenix Suns (20-58).

Neither the Nets -- remaining schedule: at Charlotte, at Indiana, vs. Washington, vs. Toronto -- nor the Suns -- remaining schedule: at Houston, at New Orleans, vs. Sacramento, vs. Los Angeles Clippers -- is favored to win a game the rest of the way, according to ESPN's Basketball Power Index, though injuries and strategic rest by playoff-bound teams might ultimately dictate whether either team gets in the win column again.

Here's what each scenario means for the Celtics:


If Brooklyn maintains the fourth-worst record, it will own 119 of the 1,000 pingpong ball combinations for an 11.9 percent chance at the No. 1 pick. What's more, the Nets would have a 37.8 percent chance at a top 3 selection and an 82.8 percent chance at being in the top 5. Worst-case scenario: No. 7


If Brooklyn and Phoenix finish tied for the third-worst record in the league, the teams will split the 275 available pingpong combinations (137 apiece) with a coin-flip to determine who (1) gets the extra combination and (2) picks first in the event that neither team vaults higher. That gives each team about a 13.7 percent chance at the No. 1 pick, a 42.3 percent chance at a top-3 pick, and an 89.4 percent chance at a top-5 selection. Worst-case scenario: No. 7.


This is an unlikely scenario but remains a possibility. If the Net finished with the third-worst record, Brooklyn's pick would have a 15.6 percent chance at the No. 1 spot. What's more, the Nets' pick would have a 46.9 percent chance at being a top-3 selection and a 96 percent chance at being top 5. Worst-case scenario: No. 6.

The Celtics are hoping to receive a second lottery pick from the Dallas Mavericks (top 7 protected), but Dallas has won five straight while shuffling to the seventh seed in the Western Conference. The Mavericks own a one-game lead on eighth-seeded Utah and a two-game edge on outside-looking-in Houston.

The Celtics will have eight total picks in June's draft -- that's 13.3 percent of the entire draft -- including five second-round selections. If the season ended today and assuming no movement in the lottery, the Celtics would own picks:

• No. 4 (via Nets)

• No. 16 (via Mavericks)

• No. 23 (or 24, pending coin flip with Hawks)

• No. 31 (via 76ers)

• No. 35 (via Timberwolves)

• No. 46 (via Mavericks)

• No. 52 (via Heat)

• No. 58 (via Cavaliers)