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.
Ainge already had one heart attack. His hair has gone gray. He needs more stress in his life like he needs a double shot of espresso. Embiid would mean a year of waiting, worrying, wondering if the Celtics had wasted their highest draft pick in 17 years.
I wouldn’t do it. I wouldn’t have the guts or the nerve or the patience.
Ainge has all of that, which is why he will select Joel Embiid with the sixth pick.
It’ll be a crazy, risky, potentially disastrous move, and Ainge is just the guy to do it. Cleveland isn’t going to take a chance with the No. 1 pick after Anthony Bennett flopped last year. Milwaukee co-owner Marc Lasry said his team isn’t taking Embiid. Philadelphia just spent a year waiting for 6-11 Nerlens Noel (the sixth pick in last year’s draft) to recover from an injury. Do they want to do that again this year? Orlando desperately needs a point guard, and Utah needs to start winning now.
Let’s face it: If the Celtics can’t swing a deal for Kevin Love, they ain’t winning next season anyway. It will be tank time again in Boston, and what better way to return to the lottery than to let your 7-foot stud heal up completely? Ainge would then be free to trade Rajon Rondo, who has one year left on his contract, and assure a shot at a top-three pick next June.
You got a better idea? The Celtics won 25 games last season. A guy like Gordon, even if he has a terrific rookie season, gets them into the dreaded 30s in the win column, nowhere land in the NBA. Embiid blew everyone away at a private workout in Los Angeles a month ago and was likely going to Cleveland at No. 1. Then the Celtics caught a break. Embiid broke his foot.
Boston Herald - Callahan: If Joel Embiid’s there, Celtics take him
If you were to make a case for the most open-minded, gambling, out-of-the-box, fearless GM in the NBA, Danny Ainge wouldn’t be a bad choice. He’s made interesting moves before, and he has traded fan favorite Antoine Walker (twice) and Celtics legend Paul Pierce (once). He traded for Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, then traded them both (well one of them officially anyway, right Memphis?). He’s traded his top-ten picks twice (hi Jeff Green, goodbye Randy Foye), and traded another fan favorite (hey Perk) for the highest pick he’s ever had (hey Green again), to get him back. We could go on and on all day about his moves through the draft, trades or free agency and it would be an incredible case study. That’s why, if Joel Embiid is still available at six, Ainge just may take him.
Callahan’s premise is a common ‘Plan B’ amongst many hardcore and casual C’s fans: if there ain’t no Love in the heart of the hub, then clearly the C’s need to bring out the C4 and really blow it up by trading Rondo and stockpiling young talent. It’s a logical approach, but with Ainge you never know. I do know that I wouldn’t be surprised if Chad Ford’s scenario played out on draft night, that is the C’s getting Embiid at six and then Ainge picking Dario Saric at 17 and stashing him overseas for at least a year.
Season ticket holders (along with tons of fans) likely won’t be thrilled watching another tank job next year, but the one redeeming thing about it would be that there is no funny transition season hanging in limbo. There likely wouldn’t be Rondo here for the haters to foolishly kill him for every little thing he does or doesn’t do. There wouldn’t be a Jeff Green to show up on random nights, hitting buzzer beaters against Miami or dropping 40 three weeks later against Milwaukee. What would be here are a lot of young players making a lot of mistakes because well, that’s how you prove you either belong or don’t in this league.
Personally, I still prefer ‘Plan A’ far more than B-Z. Could Embiid turn into a franchise altering superstar center? Maybe, and maybe the majority of you just drool at the story of the Celtics once again striking gold when they shouldn’t have. Ainge definitely has the stones to make this move. I’m just not sure Embiid will even be available at six.
Page 2: Blast the Past: Rick Pitino defends his 1997 draft picks
Last night CSNNE showed an entertaining one-hour look back program of the 1997 draft special that aired on Sports Channel. It was equally entertaining as it was hilarious and puke-worthy. To hear Pitino toss out some gems was exactly what I described. At one point he said that Antoine Walker was “untradeable” for any basketball player, then said if they were able to successfully trade for Scottie Pippen, he would have gone hard after Jordan and had Phil Jackson coach the team. Check out all the videos below if you want to laugh and be tortured at the same time.
The rest of the links:
Boston Globe - Teams intrigued by Noah Vonleh’s physical tools | Celtics know talent can be found at Nos. 6, 17 | Comparisons not fair to many prospects | If Joel Embiid falls to No. 6, should Celtics take him?
ProHoopsHistory - Boston Celtics All-Decade Team: 1946-47 through 1955-56