Wow! The draft just kind of snuck up on me this year. It is right around the corner and I haven't even thought about who is available and who we should think about drafting. There have been no trading up or down discussions. This time last year, we had already been discussing the draft for months. It sure is nice. Since I haven't really been following the workouts etc, I don't really have an opinion as to who Danny should or will draft so I just have some general draft thoughts as they relate to the Celtics.
First, Danny has been one of the best at finding gems in the late first round and in the second round so there is no reason to think that Danny won't find a good player who can make the roster and help this team defend its championship next year. The Celtics pick at #30 and #60. Perk was picked at #27 by Memphis and then traded to the Celtics on draft day with Marcus Banks for Dahntay Jones and Troy Bell. Banks was considered the centerpiece of that trade, but it turned out that Perk was the real deal in that draft. Danny Leon Powe slipped to #49 and even though Danny didn't have a pick, he worked a deal with Denver to get him in Boston.
Ryan Gomes was selected #50 and was one of the key players in the deal that brought KG to Boston. I really wouldn't mind seeing Ryan come back to Boston. Other late first round and second round picks include Delonte West at 24, Tony Allen at 25, Gabe Pruitt at 32, and Big Baby at 35. His biggest steal of the draft may have been getting Rondo at #21. As with Powe, the Celtics didn't have a pick but Danny traded a future draft pick for the rights to get Rondo. The bottom line is that we can expect Danny to find another gem in this season's draft. It sure has been nice to have other things to occupy our minds into June and not have to obsess over the draft, though.
Danny also picked Big Al Jefferson with the 15th pick and he has turned out to be one of the best young power forwards in the league today. He will be an all star for many years to come. Gerald Green was picked 18th and although he hasn't succeeded so far, I still believe that he will mature into a solid NBA player. The kid has such incredible athleticism and when he matures a bit more, he will be able to use it for a lot more than just dunking.
It seems as though none of the mock drafts know who Danny will take either as out of 7 mock drafts I looked at, there were 6 different players listed. Draft Express JJ Hickson 6'9" PF NC State CBS Devon Hardin 6'11" C California College Hoops Mario Chalmers PG 6'1" Kansas NBA Draft.net Nathan Jawai PF/C 6'10" Hoopshype JJ Hickson 6'9" PF NC State MSNBC Courthey Lee 6'5" SG Western Kentucky Scout.com Javale McGee 6'11" C Nevada
It seems as though most mocks have the Celtics taking a big man. I am sure Danny has worked out some guys already but with all the news surrounding the World Champion Celtics (that sounds soooooo good), there hasn't been much said about it.
The World Champion Boston Celtics have a total of 3 lottery picks on it. KG and Ray were both picked #5 and Paul Pierce was a steal at #10. Other than those 3, the other players on the team were picked 18th or lower. James Posey was the 18th pick. Scot Pollard was picked 19th. Rajon Rondo was the 21st pick. Sam Cassell was the 24th pick. Tony Allen was the 25th pick. And, Perk was the 27th pick.
There were also 6 players on the team who were picked in the second round: Eddie House (38), PJ Brown (32), Leon Powe (49), Big Baby Davis (35), Gabe Pruitt (32) and Brian Scalabrine (36). This all goes to prove that you don't need to have the #1 pick to build around and to win a championship.
The Celtics have never had a #1 pick in the draft. They had the best chance of getting the first pick back in 1995 and instead ended up picking 3rd. They had the second best chance last season and defying all odds, the Celtics ended up with the 5th pick. I still think David Stern fixes the lottery so that the Celtics never win it. Losing the lottery in 1995 really hurt the Celtics. But, we are all pretty happy that they didn't win it last year as this time it worked out pretty good.
KG was the 5th pick in the draft. The players picked before him were Joe Smith, Antonio McDyess, Jerry Stackhouse, and Rasheed Wallace. KG had the pleasure of out playing and three of the four in these playoffs and sending each one fishing. Hindsight is 20-20, and I think all 4 of those teams would rethink their pick if they had it to do over again.
Ray Allen was also taken with the 5th pick. Ahead of him, Allen Iverson, Marcus Camby, Shareef Abdur Rahim, and Stephon Marbury were chosen with the 1-4 picks. I have to think that at least 2 of those would rethink their picks if they could do it over again.
Paul Pierce slipped all the way to #10. That year, one of the biggest busts in draft history was taken with the first pick, former Celtic, Michael Olowokandi. Mike Bibby went 2nd. Raef LaFrentz went 3rd. Antawn Jamison was 4th. Vince Carter went 5th. Robert (Tractor) Traylor was picked 6th. Jason Williams was picked 7th. Larry Hughes was picked 8th. and Dirk Nowitski was picked 9th. There are some solid players picked above Pierce, but several of these teams would also love to be able to go back and do this one over again.
The draft will be so much more fun to watch now that the Celtics aren't depending on a lottery pick to save the team.