Danny Ainge has been a busy man in the hours leading up to the NBA Draft. Our Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely has some details on the kinds of possibilities being explored by Boston:
CelticsTalk: The Celtics exploring a ton of options leading up to tonight's NBA draft, including another run at Grizzlies SG O.J. Mayo. A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) June 28, 2012
And then there's this. Could the Celtics be interested in bringing aboard Rajon Rondo's old high school teammate?
CelticsTalk: NBA source says any deal involving Hawks Josh Smith would most likely include sign-and-trade wBrandon Bass. A. Sherrod Blakely (@SherrodbCSN) June 28, 2012
Danny Ainge and Larry Bird were both hired as NBA general managers in 2003. Ainge was back with the Celtics, where he spent the prime seasons of his playing career. And Bird went back to the Pacers, where he coached for three seasons.
There's no question that Bird was the better player. But who has been the better GM?
Trenni Kusnierek has a very interesting argument for why Ainge gets the edge. Watch the video above for her reasoning.
Pacers head coach Frank Vogel, a good friend of Brad Stevens, is out in Indiana.
Pacers president Larry Bird made the official announcement on Thursday.
Vogel’s contract was up in Indiana and Bird elected to not renew it. That, according to Bird, was hard for Vogel to hear.
Both Bird and Vogel spoke shortly before Bird’s press conference with members of the media, and that’s when Bird gave him the news.
There is speculation now as to who will take over as head coach. With Kevin McHale removing himself from consideration for the Sacramento Kings job, there was some thought that he could become the head coach of the Pacers under good friend and former teammate Bird.
That isn’t going to happen either.
BOSTON – When it comes to the NBA Draft, nobody has the flexibility to address a need the way the Celtics can this year.
If you are a draft-eligible player expected to be among the 60 names called next month, you are within the Celtics’ reach of being drafted.
That’s what having eight draft picks (three in the first round and five in the second) can do for you.
And while the Celtics have lots of needs, here’s a look at five specifically that they can address through the draft, and the best players to fill those voids.
5. Undervalued talent: Marquese Chriss
Getting players whose talent exceeds where they are drafted is certainly something the Celtics would love to do in a year when they have so many picks. Marquese Chriss of Washington could be that player. He’s a 6-9 forward who in this small-ball era in the NBA, can play both forward positions and have a matchup advantage at both spots. He’s targeted to be selected in the middle of the first round which makes him a prime target of the Celtics who could tab him with their second, first-round selection which will be the 16th overall pick.
4. Rim Protection
You have to give the Celtics props for having a defense that ranked 4th in the NBA despite no legit rim protector other than 6-9 Amir Johnson. As good as Johnson was, the Celtics need to add at least another player or two with rim protection as their strength. Enter Michigan State’s Deyonta Davis. He’s limited offensively in terms of what he can do, but his knack for blocking/altering shots, lateral quickness, vertical leap and overall strength makes him a force in the middle. He too is a player Boston has to give some thought to selecting if he’s still on the board (he’s considered a possible late-lottery pick) when it’s time for the Celtics to choose at No. 16.
3. Defensive versatility
One of the reasons Boston’s defense was so good this season was because of its ability to make defensive switches and it not create huge mismatches. Having players with the talent and skill to defend multiple positions will remain something the Celtics will also value on draft night. That’s why Jaylen Brown of Cal could be in the mix depending on where the pick Boston gets from Brooklyn, eventually falls. If it’s outside of the top-4, Brown becomes a viable possibility. He gets props for his strength and ability to use it as a means of scoring. But NBA teams are just as excited about his potential as a defender, already possessing an NBA-ready body with the tools to potentially defend all three perimeter positions.
2. Wing scoring
The Celtics ranked 11th in 3-pointers taken per game (26.1) but only 28th in 3-point percentage (.335) which shows that they were getting plenty of long-range shots but unable to make them with any consistency. Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield could change all that. He was hands-down the best shooter in college basketball this past season. And with him being a senior, he’s more likely to come in and make an immediate impact than many of his younger draft brethren who are judged more on potential than proven work. If the Celtics wind up with a top-3 pick, Hield would be a bit of a stretch. But if Boston is on the clock with the No. 4, 5 or 6th pick, he should be on their short list of possible targets.
1. Superstar potential
The best shot Boston has of landing that superstar they’ve longed for, is to land the top overall pick. And with that pick, there’s a growing consensus that Duke’s Brandon Ingram should be that guy rather than LSU’s Ben Simmons. Ingram has a game that in many ways is reminiscent to a young Kevin Durant. But at this stage, Ingram is a better 3-point shooter (he shot 41 percent on 3s in his lone season at Duke) which is one of the many areas Boston could use a boost through the draft.