San Antonio Spurs News

Draft Pick Roulette: Which Teams Should Spurs Be Rooting For and Against?

Fran VanVleet Marcus Smart
Fran VanVleet Marcus Smart / Cole Burston/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
Derrick White, Ime Udoka / Maddie Malhotra/GettyImages

2. Root Against: The Boston Celtics (Sort of)

Where Spurs fans should land with the Boston Celtics is a bit tricky. Obviously, on a personal note, many will be rooting for Derrick White to succeed after being surprised by his trade at the deadline. Beyond that, San Antonio stands to benefit if the Celtics play well enough to avoid the high end of the lottery but should hope they don't play too well.

The trade for White netted a top 4 protected 1st round draft pick in this year's draft from Boston, meaning they would have to freefall enough to luck into getting one of the first four picks in the lottery to avoid transferring it to San Antonio.

The only way the Spurs would be absolutely guaranteed the pick from Boston is if the Celtics make the playoffs. Falling anywhere within the non-playoff teams gives them at least a small chance of nabbing a top 4 pick. Still, San Antonio should safely be able to root for Boston to fall in the standings a little bit for a high chance of a better pick.

The sweet spot for Boston to finish in the standings would probably be somewhere around 17-21st overall. On the high end, that only gives them a 13.9% chance of getting a top 4 pick while the low end gives them a 2.4% chance. Meanwhile, their expected pick would land somewhere between 10th and 14th instead of the current 20th.

Of course, the ideal scenario would have Boston landing the 5th pick in the draft, but finishing with the 5th-worst record also gives them a 42.1% of moving up into the protected zone. Fans should be rooting for Boston to play well enough to avoid bottoming out but poor enough to be in the second-to-last NBA tier.

The 2nd round will also have some implications for the Spurs depending on another team, which I'll dive into next.

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