The last time the Heat emerged from the lottery with one of the random-but-weighted top-three selections was in 2008, when they exited with the No. 2 pick that would be used on Kansas State forward Michael Beasley.
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. A No. 1 overall pick can change the entire path of a bad franchise, but Boston is now preparing to play in the Eastern Conference finals. If they had fallen out of the top three, they would have lost their 2019 first-round pick to Orlando in addition to seeing their pick in this year's draft disappear.
The Lakers will select second, hanging onto their top-three protected pick. They can use it as trade bait to get a solid player in return to try to speed up some of the team's rebuild or bolster the roster in the future depending on the team's direction in the near future. The Celtics, who begin the Eastern Conference finals against the Cavaliers on Wednesday, earned the No. 1 spot during the National Basketball Association draft lottery in New York City.
Besides getting the first overall pick a night before they open the Eastern Conference finals at home against the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Celtics also get another first-rounder in 2018 from the Nets.
Brooklyn had the NBA's worst record (20-62) in 2016-17. The Sixers had the fourth-best odds in the draft, but, like the Lakers, were able to move ahead of Phoenix.
LAKERS: Nash and Dwight Howard were on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2012 after the Lakers acquired the two stars in separate trades, but Nash made it through just 65 games over two seasons because of back problems.
Broken down, the Nuggets have an 0.60 percent chance of landing the No. 1 pick, an 0.71 percent chance of getting the No. 2 pick and an 0.87 percent chance of getting the No. 3 pick.
The fifth pick is the Kings' own while the 10th pick comes from New Orleans as part of February's trade of DeMarcus Cousins. If it landed in the top three, as it ultimately did, the Lakers kept it.
The NBA Draft is set for June 22. He averaged 23.2 points per game (26 per 40) on 50.2 percent shooting inside the arc and 41.7 percent outside of it, all while being the focal point of every defense. Though there was plenty of head scratching the night he was selected, given he was a virtual unknown in America, it didn't take long for Jackson and the Knicks to hear praise for the 7-foot-3 Latvian. A top five pick is a significant opportunity for Sacramento to secure a point guard or a two-way wing player.