Let’s just say that Danny Ainge is rolling around like a pig in mud with all of these draft picks. Snorting all the way to the bank.
After the flurry of trades over the past month that stock pile has now reached a unfathomable level. So the question is –what is Danny going to do with all of these picks?
Over the next two years he will more than likely have 14 picks–enough for an entire roster. He won’t be able to keep all the picks, so I will examine what will happen, more specifically with the 2015 draft.
Taking the most likely scenarios into consideration, the Celtics will have five draft picks in the 2015 Draft. In the first round they will have their own pick and the Clippers pick. In the second round they will collect the Sixers pick to go with their own. Their fifth pick of the draft is a conditional pick from Washington. The pick from the Wizards is protected from 31-49, so the Wizards will have to finish with a top ten record in order for the C’s to get the pick. Currently Washington is on pace for a top ten finish, so it’s looking like Boston will receive a fifth pick in this draft.
With the current roster (which is on pace to change about 87 more times before the end of the season) the Celtics have ten players under contract for next season (eleven if Boston picks up Pressey’s team option). So there’s no way Boston will keep all five picks. But for fun, here’s what I think Danny might do.
Let’s start backwards and talk about the Wizards’ 2nd round pick. Now we are going to say that this pick will fall at 53, and this will be the easiest pick to decide what to do with. Danny will take a page out of San Antonio’s book. Consider this an extra pick that he cannot trade or make room for on his roster–hence it becomes a draft and stash.
There’s a very good chance Boston will have their own Eurocup team by the year 2020. With the 53rd pick Boston will select a foreigner and stash him somewhere. There is never a lack of intriguing international prospects at the end of the draft, maybe Danny will get lucky and land a Ginobili late in the draft.
The Celtics own 2nd round pick will land around 36 or so. With this pick the Celts will get one of the steals of the draft. With so many picks they can afford to be a little riskier than other teams, and reach for a player or two. Alex Poythress of Kentucky will be the pick here at 36. Assuming he enters the draft (which I think he will) he will be available here for the C’s to pick.
No other team will reach for a second round pick who more than likely will not play next season. The Celtics can afford for him not to play, they can just draft him, and rehab him. Maybe even send him down to the Red Claws for a little while. I can see Poythress being an important part to the future of this team. He reminds me a little of Rodman, in the ways he’s a valuable garbage player. He’s athletic, an aggressive defender, not nearly the rebounder Rodman is, but serviceable. He can be a good glue guy for the future of this team, by starting out playing a minor role, and eventually working his way to 20 minutes per game.
Next comes the 2nd round pick the Celtics are owed from Philly. This will be a pick that Boston looks to package with their first round pick from the Clippers to move up 3 or 4 spots in the draft. Maybe they could throw in Evan Turner (assuming he’s still on the team come draft time) to sweeten the pot for a playoff team. I’m not seeing this draft as very deep, so the difference between the 17th pick and the 21st pick may be huge. Boston needs to target a guy in the mid first round and hope he falls to them with the Clips pick or use some of their assets to trade up to get him.
Now we get to the good stuff, the first rounders. This here is the Clips pick, most likely to be around 21-24. Like I said Boston needs to package Philly’s second rounder, and this pick, plus a sweetener like Evan Turner, or maybe even a second rounder next year. So for the sake of the argument we will say they trade up with Milwaukee, and land the seventeenth pick. With the lack of talent in this draft, Ainge will have to draft based on best available without regards to position.
The player Ainge needs to target is Utah combo-guard Delon Wright. Wright is moving up draft boards quickly, so he may not be available at seventeen, so Ainge is going to have to make a deal to ensure he can land Wright. Wright would be an excellent complement to Smart and Bradley as a three guard rotation of Coach Stevens. Wright reminds me a little of Rondo, but don’t get your hopes up, he will probably be no more than a valuable backup. Getting a valuable backup, possible sixth man at this point in the draft is a win.
I can already hear deputy commissioner Mark Tatum, “The fifth pick in the 2015 NBA draft goes to the Boston Celtics.” I’m not even going to get my hopes up this year about getting the number one pick. That’s the one area where the C’s seem to NEVER have any luck. So let’s go ahead and say that they do land the fifth pick, who will they take?
Well they will have plenty of options. The man I would draft would be Willie Cauley-Stein out of Kentucky. This may be a little high for Cauley-Stein, so maybe Danny could trade down 3 or 4 spots, and pick up an additional second rounder. I see Cauley-Stein as Tyson Chandler, and Chandler went second overall to Chicago. Boston needs a rim protector, and Cauley-Stein is the best one in the draft. Outside of Okafor, and possibly Mudiay, I don’t see a franchise player in the draft, so Boston may as well draft someone who is great at one thing in specific. Cauley-Stein reminds me of Chandler, but he can play the role of Russell in Boston. He can block all kinds of shots with his length, and athleticism. He can even guard out on the perimeter like a small forward can. He won’t be a great rebounder, but he can be a damn good one. He’s the kind of player you will want, because you don’t have to run plays for him. he will get twelve points per game off of lobs, and offensive put backs.
Is it time for the draft yet? I’m getting anxious.
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- What’s Ainge Going To Do With All These Draft Picks? - January 15, 2015