Here are comments Ainge made on Monday to an audience of season ticket holders (transcription courtesy Celtics Blog):
“I’ve been saying all along that the experts on ESPN and so forth are blowing this draft out of proportion. First of all, we don’t even know who’s in the draft yet. There are a lot of underclassmen that are projected, so we’re prepared for those underclassmen that are projected draft picks but we don’t know who’s going to be in the draft. There aren’t any game changers in the draft. There are a lot of nice players and players that we’ll be excited to work into the development, but they’re not going to come in and turn our team around in one year or two years. But hopefully we’ll be able to get a couple of players this year that will be rotation players in the NBA for years to come.”
No game-changers? We’re tanking for rotation players?!?
Ainge continued the theme in an interview with Baxter Holmes:
“I think that’s it’s realistically hyped now, because I thought — and I said — before the season even started that it was completely overhyped,” Ainge said. “It’s like, mock drafts are never accurate until about a week before the draft. They incrementally get a little bit more accurate. But really, until June, the history would say that you really don’t want to pay too much attention to it.”
Yet is this draft class realistically better, or is it just better than the 2013 class, which was one of the worst draft classes in a decade or so?
“I think it’s maybe a little bit better by comparison, but it’s not even close to one of the best draft classes in the last 10 years,” Ainge said.
Ainge called the 2014 draft class overhyped back in November, but these comments take the discussion to a new level.
If Danny truly believes the draft class is average, wouldn’t he try to trade out? If so, these comments are only hurting his negotiations.
Maybe Ainge is lying (a wild assumption for a GM) and purposefully fueling the overhyped conversation. Maybe he’s trying to get other teams to trade out so he can move higher?
Please submit your conspiracy theories.