In an AP article reported in the Herald, Danny discussed his thoughts on this year's draft. Some of the highlights: ** The Celtics have worked out about 50 potential draftees, similar to last year’s number, and that list has been reduced to 23 possible players for the 30th pick. ** There’s not much room for the players the Celtics draft with the 30th and 60th picks to contribute next season. ** It’s a real longshot that he would trade to get a better pick ** Ainge thinks Gabe Pruitt can contribute next season. He thinks Pruitt would have been a first-round draft pick this season if he had he stayed in school for a fourth year. ** There's a few players that they wouldn't draft if they wouldn't consider playing overseas for a few years to develop their games. ** Signing Posey is a priority for the team.
The Pacers and Raptors have almost completed a trade that would send Jermaine O'Neal to the Raptors for TJ Ford and the 17th pick. It makes sense for both teams and I believe it makes both teams better. The Bulls will also be better with the addition of the #1 pick. The Pistons are going to make moves. They have been trying to get Carmelo Anthony and Baron Davis. Teams are going to be very different for many teams next season. The Celtics need to keep up with all these Eastern conference teams that are improving. They will all be gunning for the Celtics and so they need to be ready.
There has already been a big trade involving the 17th pick. I expect some big trades and maybe big names moved at the draft. There have been rumors of Wade moving and maybe Marion. Even though the Celtics don't pick until #30, I expect it to be an interesting draft to watch because of what the other teams do as they scramble to keep up with the Celtics.
Draft Express reports that of all #30 picks, 0% become stars, 4% become solid starters, 33% end up solid bench players and 63% end up out of the NBA or just barely hanging on.
The last 10 #30 picks were: 2007 Petteri Koponen 2006 Joel Freeland 2005 David Lee 2004 David Harrison 2003 Maciej Lampe 2002 Steve Logan 2001 Trenton Hassell 2000 Marko Jaric 1999 John Celestand 1998 Ansu Sesay
But, there have been some very solid picks in the second round. Danny has found some gems in Leon Powe (49), Ryan Gomes (50), Big Baby Davis (35) and Gabe Pruitt (32). Other 2nd round steals include: Gilbert Arenas (31) Cuttino Mobley (41) Francisco Elson (41) Manu Ginobili (57) Eddie House (37) Eduardo Najera (38) Michael Redd (43) Mehmet Okur (38) Carlos Boozer (35) Matt Barnes (46) Jason Kapono (31) Kyle Korver (51) Trevor Ariza (43) Monta Ellis (40) Daniel Gibson (42)
Danny has proved that he is good at finding late round gems. Here's a look at his draft history as GM of the Celtics. 2003 Marcus Banks #11 Kendrick Perkins #27 Brandon Hunter #56 2004 Al Jefferson #15 Delonte West #24 Tony Allen #25 Justin Reed #40 2005 Gerald Green #18 Ryan Gomes #50 Orien Green #53 2006 Trade #7, Raef LaFrenz and Dan Dickau for Telfair, Ratliff and '08 2nd rounder Rajon Rondo #21 Leon Powe #49 2007 Trade #5, Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West for Ray Allen and #35 Big Baby Davis #35 Gabe Pruitt #32 There are a few misses in that list (Brandon Hunter, Orien Greene) and a few that may still pan out like Gerald Green and Justin Reed. But there are a lot more hits. Danny made a good point that if Powe and Gomes had come in on this team, they wouldn't have developed near as quickly because of the talent ahead of them. Whoever he picks with #30, even if he can become a rotation player will have more trouble getting the playing time to develop. Just like the good old dayw when rookies had to pay their dues before cracking the rotation. Although Perk sure had to pay his dues. 30 minutes is entire first season and only 9 mpg over 60 games his second season. It paid off, through.
Amazing that a year ago we were debating over who to take with the 5th pick and still stinging from the lottery snub. What a difference a year makes. It may not be as much fun debating over the 30th pick as it was the 5th or 7th picks but, I'll take it. Last year we had 2 months to consider our pick. This year, just about a week. I have faith that if anyone can find a steal with the 30th pick, Danny can. After the draft, the emphasis will turn to free agents. Posey will get offers from several teams. His agent has said that he really likes it in Boston and wants to return. Hopefully Danny can get him re-signed. Then he has to decide on what to do with Tony, Eddie, PJ, and Sam.