The Dallas Mavericks did not get lucky Tuesday night in the NBA draft lottery.
With only a slim chance of moving up from their ninth position, the Mavericks remained stuck at No. 9 where they will make their selection — barring a trade — June 22 in the NBA Draft.
The Boston Celtics, however, who open the Eastern Conference Finals against Cleveland on Wednesday, enjoyed plenty of luck as they cashed in on their 25 percent chance of winning to move up to No. 1.
Brooklyn finished with the worst record in the NBA but the Celtics had the right to swap picks with them from the 2013 draft-night trade that sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets.
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The Mavericks, who have had limited success in the draft over the years, had a 1.7 percent chance of receiving the No. 1 pick and 2 percent chance of moving up to the second slot.
Instead, their 81 percent chance of remaining at No. 9 became reality.
The Los Angeles Lakers moved up one spot to second to hold onto their pick. They would have had to trade it to Philadelphia if it fell outside the top three.
The 76ers will pick third, while Phoenix fell two spots and is fourth.
The Celtics were going to be in prime position no matter how the Ping-Pong balls bounced in a hotel ballroom Tuesday. They were guaranteed no worse than the No. 4 pick to add to a team that had the best record in the East this season. And they still get one more first-round pick next season from the Nets, who likely will miss the playoffs again.
Boston acquired the Nets’ 2014, 2016 and 2018 first-round picks in the deal.
Their victory made it three straight years the team with the best odds has won the lottery, after going the previous decade without a victory. Minnesota snapped that streak by getting eventual Rookie of the Year Karl-Anthony Towns in 2015 and Philadelphia emerged with Ben Simmons last season.
The draft is considered a strong one, loaded with point guards such as Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball and De’Aaron Fox.
And the Lakers will get a chance to take one of them after beating the odds to move up in their first year with Hall of Famer Magic Johnson as their team president. They had about a 53 percent chance of falling out of the top three, which would have triggered a trade of the pick as remaining payment of their acquisition of Steve Nash in 2012.
Not only that, but they would have had to trade their 2019 first-round pick to Orlando if that happened, so Johnson was all smiles even after finishing behind the rival Celtics.
2017 NBA Draft order
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