Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Q: Are you at all worried this team is going to fall deep into a rebuilding phase?
GROUSBECK: Wow, that sounds appealing (laughs).
PAGLIUCA: We’ve rebuilt before, and we have a lot of good players on this roster. It’s too early to make that call. Danny is looking at all of the options, and I’m confident he’s going to pull it off again.
Q: Now that you have your eyes on the draft, what’s your impression of the field?
PAGLIUCA: People at the beginning were saying this isn’t a strong draft because there’s no LeBron (James) in it, which is true. But the interesting thing is that our staff is great in a draft where the players are kind of even. Mock drafts are all over the place. That’s the kind of draft that Danny thrives in. There’s a lot of really good players.
Q: Is that what’s being said — not a lot of stars or franchise-type players, but a lot of quality supporting-type players?
GROUSBECK: That’s it, and when you look at how we won in 2008, it was through Danny’s drafting and Doc’s coaching of those players, and us being patient. Danny didn’t draft superstars at the time. He was drafting in spot 15, spot 21, spot 27, spot 32, and he eventually built the team that way because he was eventually able to trade guys who became quality players. I’m glad he’s our GM in this situation, with middle-ranked players. It’s a huge competitive advantage for us.
Herald: Celtics have all the answers
I’ve seen Danny Ainge get a little bit of shit for his drafting. The one pick that keeps coming up is Giddens in 2008 when DeAndre Jordan was on the board, along with Nikola Peckovic, Mario Chalmers, and Omer Asik. That conveniently overlooks the fact that all those guys were second round picks, and that everyone else passed on those guys too. It also involves a LOT of overrating of Jordan.
While it’s true that some draft picks haven’t panned out (Giddens, Gerald Green, JaJuan Johnson), a bunch of his picks (and draft day trades) turned out alright (Rajon Rondo, Al Jefferson, Kendrick Perkins, Tony Allen, Delonte West, Jared Sullinger).
There are good, not great players in this draft. But good, not great players also help you win titles. As much as you need great ones to do the big-time stuff, you need the good ones to fill in the gaps. And the Celtics have a lot of gaps that they’ll need to fill over the next few years.
So whether Ainge builds his next contending team through the draft, or if he uses the draft to acquire the assets he needs to build it through a trade, there’s no doubt the owners are putting a lot of emphasis on this year’s draft. And they’re putting a lot of their confidence in Danny Ainge and his front-office team to make the right moves.
The one thing they brought up in that interview was the core of the Celtics moving forward. While it’s true that even if Paul Pierce returns, the Celtics team is changing, it’s not necessarily going to be a full-scale rebuild.
GROUSBECK: I think there’s a core in this team with a number of players under 30 who can play good basketball. So, I wouldn’t say we’re going into an entirely new era. Maybe there will be some changes in the roster, but those will have to wait until the end of June or early July.
PAGLIUCA: (Rajon) Rondo, (Jared) Sullinger, Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, that’s who we’re talking about.
It will be interesting to see how the team is constructed around those guys. It’s important to note, though, that being mentioned as the new “core” by the owners doesn’t cement your spot on this roster for the rest of your career. As much as I like all four of those guys, no one is safe on the Celtics right now. Draft day could come along and sweep one or more of those guys out of Boston. It might not. As someone once said… anything is possible.
The rest of the links
Herald: Surgery for Jason Terry | Northeastern’s Lee gets second look from Celtics | Globe: Northeastern’s Jonathan Lee on C’s radar | ESPN Boston: Win justifies Allen’s decision? | Add Plumlee to first-round watch list | Ford’s mock 4.0: Muhammad is the pick | Celtics.com: Celtics hit several milestones this season