The NBA draft is 18 days away, and the Celtics have what amounts to a throw-away pick at #58 overall (Minnesota has our #1 pick via the Garnett trade)… but don't expect Danny Ainge to do absolutely nothing. As was noted in the Herald today, NBA Draft day is essentially Danny Ainge day. Take a look at the picks Danny has made in his time with Boston:
2nd round – Brandon Hunter
2004: 1st round – Al Jefferson, Delonte West, Tony Allen
2nd round – Justin Reed
2005: 1st round – Gerald Green
2nd round – Ryan Gomes
2006: 1st round: Rajon Rondo (via trade w/Phoenix)
2nd round: Leon Powe (via trade w/Denver)
2007: 1st round: Jeff Green (sent to SEA in Ray Allen trade)
2nd round: Gabe Pruitt, Glen Davis (via SEA in Ray Allen trade)
2008: 1st round: JR Giddens
2nd round: Bill Walker (via trade w/WAS), Semih Erden
16 selections… 13 if you toss out last year's class because it's too early to tell what they will become. 2 guys (Reed and Hunter) haven't done a thing. 1 (Gabe Pruitt) is on the fence.
Of the remaining 10, Perk, Rondo, Powe and Davis have all been major contributors to the C's. The Jeff Green pick became Ray Allen. Al Jefferson is an All Star and Delonte West and Ryan Gomes are major contributors on their teams. Tony Allen was showing a ton of potential before his dumb ACL injury… and Gerald Green is still bouncing around.
Get the point? Danny tears it up on draft day. He's picked up key pieces either by making the pick or trading for a player he's targeted. That says something. He's not just an evaluator of talent… he's pretty good at getting the player he wants even if that player isn't around.
So when pick #58 comes rolling along, don't expect Danny to just pick someone and waive him because he needs the roster spot like he's been saying. Expect Danny to come up with a different plan.
I expect Danny to go overseas and draft someone he can tuck away for a couple of years until a spot opens up on the C's. Some guy with promise that can come in and play a reserve roll in 2011. Or maybe he tries to package that pick into some kind of trade for a role player (not that I can imagine someone trading FOR the 3rd from last pick in the draft).
The bottom line is, if anyone can find a way to make the #58 pick productive, it's Danny Ainge. This one will be a bit more challenging than most… so it will be interesting to see if he can do it. But I wouldn't be surprised if he does.