Looking back at the C's history in NBA Lottery

Looking back at the C's history in NBA Lottery
May 20, 2014, 12:00 am
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BOSTON — The Boston Celtics find themselves back in the NBA lottery, a place they (thankfully) aren't too familiar with since the current lottery system was adopted in 1985.

It's their first time in the lottery since 2007, when they had the No. 5 pick and used it to select Georgetown's Jeff Green, who was immediately traded to Seattle (now Oklahoma City) for Ray Allen and a future second-round pick that was turned into Glen Davis.

The rest is Banner 17 history.

It was one of the few trips into the lottery that had a happy ending for the Celtics.

You can still find a few fans bothered by the team not landing the No. 1 overall pick in the 1997 draft (Tim Duncan) despite having the league's worst record. Instead, the Celtics wound up with the No. 3 pick, Chauncey Billups out of Colorado, who would go on to be an All-Star and NBA Finals MVP -- in Detroit, not here.

Back then, Boston was hoping to land a franchise-caliber player with its lottery pick. And while that would certainly be nice to do next month, this current Celtics front office is more realistic about the lottery.

Teams have a couple different directions they can go with the pick. They can either use it to strengthen their roster, package it to acquire a more proven player, or use it to improve their draft position.

It remains to be seen how the Celtics will handle their lottery pick in next month's draft, but here's a look back at their previous lottery picks since the league went to a lottery system in 1985:

Year: Player, draft position

2007: Jeff Green, No. 5 overall*
Stats with Celtics (three seasons): 14.1 ppg; 4.1 rpg; 1.5 apg

2006: Randy Foye, No. 7 overall**
Stats with Celtics: N/A

2001: Joe Johnson, No. 10 overall
Stats with Celtics (one season): 6.3 ppg; 2.9 rpg; 1.5 apg

2001: Kedrick Brown, No. 11 overall
Stats with Celtics (three seasons): 3.1 ppg; 2.6 rpg; 0.6 apg

2000: Jerome Moiso, No. 11 overall
Stats with Celtics (one season): 1.5 ppg; 1.8 rpg; 0.2 bpg

1998: Paul Pierce, No. 10 overall
Stats with Celtics (15 seasons): 21.8 ppg; 6 rpg; 3.9 apg

1997: Chauncey Billups, No. 3 overall
Stats with Celtics (one season): 11.1 ppg; 4.3 apg; 2.6 rpg

1997: Ron Mercer, No. 6 overall
Stats with Celtics (two seasons): 15.9 ppg; 3.6 rpg; 2.3 apg

1994: Eric Montross, No. 9 overall
Stats with Celtics (two seasons): 8.8 ppg; 6.6 rpg; 0.6 bpg

1989: Michael Smith, No. 13 overall
Stats with Celtics (two seasons): 4.9 ppg; 1.4 rpg; 1.1 apg

1986: Len Bias, No. 2 overall
Stats with Celtics: N/A

*-- Traded to Seattle on draft night; acquired via trade from Oklahoma City in 2011.

** -- Traded to Portland, then Minnesota.