Ainge: Starting-caliber players at No. 6 this year

Ainge: Starting-caliber players at No. 6 this year
May 20, 2014, 10:00 pm
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Well, forget about your Andrew Wiggins Celtics jerseys.

The Celtics did not hit the lottery Tuesday night, and instead will pick sixth in the 2014 NBA Draft.

Celtics GM Danny Ainge called in to CSNNE's "C The Future: Lottery Night" immediately after the news hit of the C's pick to discuss where the team goes from here.

"We were hoping for a top 3 selection but we didn't get it," Ainge said. "This is what the odds said we would probably get, 5 or 6 or 7, so we've been anticipating that this is the most likely scenario and we'll make the best of what selection we have."

Some people have put Wiggins, Joel Embiid, and Jabari Parker far ahead of the rest of the field, but Ainge thinks that there are no LeBron James' or Kevin Durants in this year's draft, but it is deep.

"Like I said from the beginning of the year, I think that the draft, there's not a franchise player in the draft, but I do think that there's starters," Ainge said. "I do think that there are a couple guys that can become all-stars down the road. No one is going to come in and just change the franchise overnight. A lot of risk in this draft, a lot of potential in this draft, but I do think from a depth standpoint it's pretty good, meaning that I think we could still find a player that is a starting-caliber player with the No. 6 pick."

Currently, Kentucky's Julius Randle, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart, Indiana's Noah Vonleh, and Arizona's Aaron Gordon are just some of the players projected to go around sixth. With such a young class, it makes the evaluating process a bit harder.

"We do look at everything," Ainge said, "but obviously the quality of play on the court. Although this group of guys is fairly young all the way through the first part of the draft, so you do have to project. And so size and athleticism, you can't base it strictly on what they did as freshmen in college, you have to project them going forward and that's what's difficult about this draft."

At No. 6, the C's won't reach for a player to address a position of need. The highest one up on their draft board at the time will get his name called.

"We would take the best player," Ainge said. "You have to when you're drafting at n No. 6. Unless you're on the verge of wining a championship you may have a specific need. And maybe need comes into play when there's a tie, but I think ultimately our goal would be to take the best player available."