During an appearance yesterday on WEEI, Danny Ainge said he does not expect the Celtics to select a transcendent player:
“[The draft is] not that deep, no,” Ainge said Wednesday afternoon. “It won’t have as many transcendent players as [the 2003] draft had. But I think when people say it’s deep, I think that you might get a player that can break into your rotation at 30 or 40 in the draft. That’s unusual, but this draft, it might be that you get some good players. I think that we’re going to get two good players, but not transcendent players — players that might be starters someday, players that might come off the bench and contribute, but probably not stars.”
While there’s been chatter that Ainge would be interested in packaging his picks in order to move higher up in the draft, he said it’s unlikely the Celtics’ two first-round selections would be enough to vault them into the lottery.
“It’s not likely,” Ainge said of being able to trade his two picks to garner a spot in the top 10. “That’s too high of a move. Typically, maybe in the middle, 16, 17, 15, that’s really all you get. … But that’s not even certain. I mean, that usually happens on draft day if there’s a team that all of a sudden, they lose out on a player they really liked. So those are the draft day contingencies that you have to be prepared for.”
Analysis: Nicholson is another draft sleeper who may really rise with workouts. He’s a big stretch 4 who has drawn some comparisons to David West. He would be another welcome addition to the Celtics’ summer makeover.
Analysis: The Celtics get a pretty safe pick with Nicholson at No. 21 and then roll the dice a bit with Harkless at No. 22. He’s long and athletic and can put the ball on the floor and get to the basket. If the team is going to start rebuilding, it’ll need to nail a few of these late picks like it did with Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley.
Nicholson: The Celtics are desperate for big-man help and I’m told they’re one of the many teams interested in Nicholson, who could wind up going higher. He can be a force both inside and outside, all of which would come in handy for a team set to have nine unrestricted free agents, include frontcourt starters Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass. Nicholson averaged 18.5 points (while adding a three-point shot), 8.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in leading St. Bonaventure to the Atlantic 10 championship and its first NCAA tournament appearance in 12 years.
Melo: Speaking of that Celtics desperation for help inside: Melo is a huge defensive presence who could find a significant reserve role in Boston.
I’m not going to pretend to know anything about these players. Except Melo. I know he’s not a scholar.
(Photo – Jim Connor/AP)