Evans Clinchy of NESN News wrote:
Say, has anyone checked out the Celtics' Twitter page lately?
It's usually a ghost town during the summertime, but the team has just recently begun to actively pepper the team feed with quotes from Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge about this upcoming offseason. The C's have put up about a dozen updates over the last 48 hours.
Many of them happen to pertain to the upcoming draft, which is now less than two weeks away on June 23.
Consider the following three quotes, all of which come straight from the horse's digital mouth:
"It's not a strong draft. There's not a lot of players who could change a franchise."
"Historically, the odds of a #25 draft pick breaking into a rotation is like 6%."
"The last thing I wanna do...because we're trying to win...is put inexperienced players under Doc. It's a delicate balance."
All of the above came from Ainge on Thursday.
Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
It's looking very likely that the Celtics trade their way out of this upcoming draft.
They currently hold two picks, the No. 25 and the No. 55, in a draft that some are calling the worst of the century to date. Ainge already said last month that Avery Bradley, his No. 19 pick last June, would be a top-five selection if he came out this year. And that's Bradley, who played a grand total of 162 minutes for the Celtics this past season. Translation: There's zero chance of a rookie making an impact in Boston next year.
So why not trade out? The C's are in "win now" mode. All their focus is on making one last push for a championship in 2012. Anyone that can't help them toward that goal is, at least for now, useless.
There are guys in this class who can make an impact, down the road. Some long-term projects, some guys with shot-in-the-dark potential, some perfectly respectable career backups. But for the Celtics, a big-market team with the sway to attract solid veteran free agents year in and year out, there's no one really truly worthwhile.
There have been plenty of prospects working out with the Celtics in recent weeks. Among them are several seasoned college big men -- USC's Nikola Vucevic, Florida's Vernon Macklin, UConn's Charles Okwandu. Plus boatloads more. But as Ainge said -- why burden Doc now with inexperienced players? Why stick him with the responsibility of shepherding lost young kids, when his real goal is to guide a veteran team to a championship?
That's not necessarily to say deal both picks. The No. 55 can be used to pluck a serviceable D-Leaguer. But the No. 25 has value to a younger, cheaper team. Deal it now, and you might get something worthwhile -- a little cash, future picks (because down the road, the C's will get younger), maybe even an adequate bench player.
Danny Ainge is the master of finding that diamond in the rough, the late-first round draft pick that no one expected to pan out. His greatest hits include Rajon Rondo, Delonte West, Tony Allen and Kendrick Perkins. But players like that in the 2011 class are few and far between. Maybe the C's will just accept it and cut bait now.