Recent history of the No. 6 pick in NBA Draft

Recent history of the No. 6 pick in NBA Draft
May 20, 2014, 8:45 pm
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The NBA lottery has come and gone, and, unfortunately, the Celtics did not land in the Top 3. Instead, they got the No. 6 pick. Those freakin' Cavs once again won the No. 1 pick -- for the third time in the last fourth years.

But No. 6 has been kind to the Celtics. They've have had three No. 6 picks in franchise history, and they were pretty good (or sometimes better than that): Larry Bird (1978), Antoine Walker (1996), and Ron Mercer (1997). Bird, incidentally, fell to them at No. 6 because he was a futures pick, which the NBA still allowed at the time. (To explain: Because Bird's original class had graduated he was eligible for the draft, even though he still had -- and would use -- one more year of college eligibility.)

Boston hasn't been in lottery since 2007-08, so it's been drafting in the 20s over the last few years. So the question, naturally, is: Who was available at No. 6 recently?

We took a look at the pick, as well as the ones just before and after it:

No. 5 - Jeff Green - Boston Celtics (traded to Seattle)
No. 6 - Yi Jianlian - Milwaukee Bucks
No. 7 - - Corey Brewer - Minnesota Timberwolves

No. 5 - Kevin Love - Minnesota Timberwolves
No. 6 - Danilo Gallinari - New York Knicks
No. 7 - Eric Gordon - Los Angeles Clippers

No. 5 - Ricky Rubio - Minnesota Timberwolves
No. 6 - Jonny Flynn - Minnesota Timberwolves
No. 7 - Stephen Curry - Golden State Warriors

No. 5 - DeMarcus Cousins - Sacramento Kings
No. 6 - Ekpe Udoh - Golden State Warriors
No. 7 - Greg Monroe - Detroit Pistons

No. 5 - Jonas Valanciunas - Toronto Raptors
No. 6 - Jan Vesely - Washington Wizards
No. 7 - -Bismack Biyombo - Sacramento Kings (traded to Charlotte)

No. 5 - Thomas Robinson - Sacramento Kings
No. 6 - Damian Lillard - Portland Trailblazers
No. 7 - Harrison Barnes - Golden State Warriors

No. 5 - Alex Len - Phoenix Suns
No. 6 - Nerlens Noel - New Orleans Pelicans (traded to Philadelphia)
No. 7 - Ben McLemore (Sacramento Kings)

If you want to be optimistic, you can point to Lillard, who just averaged 22.9 points per game in the playoffs for the Blazers, or Noel, who sat out the year because of a knee injury but still has the promise of contributing to the Sixers.

If you want to be pessimistic, you can point to, well, everybody else.