Members Login
Post Info TOPIC: They don't call him Drafter Danny for...oh one calls him that


Status: Offline
Posts: 12
They don't call him Drafter Danny for...oh one calls him that


I think it is fair to be critical of Danny Ainge's overall drafting ability. I also think it is fair to be of the opinion that Danny Ainge is a good drafter. The answer as always probably lies somewhere in the middle. Most of the time when people point to Danny "missing" on a draft pick, they point to a mid to late first rounder, or a second round pick. Most rationale people understand it's not fair to cherry pick passing on Giannis for Olynyk, because he was one of about 15 teams that passed on him, and there was obviously a reason he lasted past the lottery. There are also some other famous Ainge misses. Lets take a look:


2003 draft: Who he came away with: Marcus Banks and Kendrick Perkins

Who he "missed" on: David West, Boris Diaw, Leandro Barbosa

Was this a good draft? It's hard to say it wasn't. Kendrick Perkins was an integral part of a championship here in Boston. However the counter argument is, the Celtics could have stood pat and picked up Perkins and one of those other three guys instead of trading up for Marcus Banks who was largely an NBA nothing.  Verdict - Yes


2004: Who he selected: Al Jefferson, Delonte West, Tony Allen, and Justin Reed

Who he "missed" on: Kevin Martin, Trever Ariza


Was this a good draft? Maybe Ainge's crown jewel draft, certainly one that helped shape the Celtics as contenders. Nobody can complain about the Al Jefferson pick that later played a huge part in getting KG. If you were to nitpick here, it would be that Kevin Martin was very obviously a better player than Delonte West, and he could have had a late round steal in Trever Ariza instead of fan favorite and flamout Justin Reed. Verdict - Yes


2005: Selections: Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Orien Green

Misses? Marcin Gortat, Amir Johnson

Was this a good draft? The only complain you can have about this draft is that Ainge passed on Gortat and Johnson twice with two late picks. Either one of those players would have made for a nice bench contributor instead of Orien Green in some playoff series (say maybe when we tried to play Mikki Moore).  Gerald Green is an odd outlier among Ainge's draftees. The rare potential pick, where Danny swung for the fences and took a player who's play never ended up rising to his skill set. Still he was part of the reason we got KG. Verdict - Yes


2006: Selections Rondo, Leon Powe.

Misses? Kyle Lowry

Good draft? Rondo is still the only draftee of Ainge's that has made an All Star game. Lowry's career got off to a slow start but has definitely eclipsed Rondo in terms of career production. Still, I don't think anyone would trade the early uncertainty of Lowry for what Rondo gave the Big 3 era Celtics. Powe's contributions to the championship celtics can't be overlooked either. Such a shame that his career had to that gruesome knee injury, that definitely played a part in the Celtics never having a strong enough bench to get another one with Pierce and KG. Millsap was taken two picks before Powe too, think about what might have been. Verdict – Yes


2007: Selections: Glen Davis, Gabe Pruitt (Ray Allen Trade)

Misses? Marc Gasol

Good Draft? The trade for Ray Allen obviously turned the fortunes of the franchise around. Looking back the one that hurts is passing on Marc Gasol twice in the second round. It’s not just that Gabe Pruitt never logged a meaningful minute. It’s not even that even though Big Baby was pretty good while he was here, Gasol is better at every facet of the game. It is really about this giving the Lakers the chance to trade for Pau. Inadvertently cost us multiple championships in more ways than one. Verdict – Still yes

2008: Selections: JR Giddens, Bill Walker, Semih Erden

Misses? DeAndre Jordan, Omer Asik, Goran Dragic

Good Draft? This was a tough one because there just weren’t that many good players at the slots Danny was picking at. However, passing up on Deandre Jordan for JR Giddens is a draft gaffe no matter where you pick. The Celtics handling of Erden could be described as no less than bizarre as well. They wait a couple of years for him to come over. Then when he finally does, he was playing relatively ok and giving them decent minutes. Then Danny decides to salary dump him and Harangody, after trading Perk, destroying team continuity further and relying way too heavily on Shaq to give decent minutes in the playoffs. Spoiler, he did not. This starts Danny’s precarious draft record through the Celtics championship window. Verdict – Poor


2009: Lester Hudson

Misses: Wesley Matthews

Good Draft? Danny famously wasn’t able to pull off buying into the early second round here. I forget if it ever came out exactly who he was targeting: DeJuan Blair, Jonas Jerebko, Danny Green, Patrick Mills, Chase Budinger, Patrick Beverly, and Marcus Thorton could all have been options. They all would have improved our bench. Lester Hudson did not. Although you can’t say he is a terrible pick given where he was taken and the fact that he actually had some NBA moments. Still, Danny missed on snagging a great 3 and D option in Matthews when he went undrafted, during a time where the next Posey is all anyone was looking for around here. Verdict – Meh

2010: Selected: Avery Bradley, Luke Harangody

Misses? N/A

Good Draft? The fact that the Celtics got Avery Bradley at 19 and no one would even consider taking anyone that went behind him, over him makes this a damn good draft. Verdict – Yes

2011: Selected: JuJuan Johnson, E’Twaun Moore

Misses: Jimmy Butler, Chandler Parsons, Isaiah Thomas

Good Draft? E’Twuan has actually turned himself into a useful NBA player. That is a pretty successful pick at 55. It would look much better however if it wasn’t for passing on a top 5 MVP candidate taken 5 picks later at the same position. Passing on Jimmy Butler for JaJuan Johnson is not good. #analysis. Danny did turn JJ and Moore into a much better player in Courtney Lee the next year. Good draft? No. shaking my head violently.

2012: Selected: Jared Sullinger, Fab Melo, Khris Joseph

Misses? Draymond Green, Jae Crowder, Will Barton, Khris Middleton, Festus Ezeli

Good draft? I loved the Sullinger pick then and I will still defend it now. Even with all of his issues he is still a quality basketball player. He had the talent to be a lot better than he became, but that is a risk that you have to take. Passing twice on Draymond is awful. Hindsight is 20/20 but there were plenty of mocks that had him going in the Celtics range, it wasn’t as if he came out of nowhere. The Fab Melo pick was a gamble like playing Russian roulette with a loaded chamber is a gamble. Good Draft? Cant say that it was

2013: Selected: Kelly Olynyk, Colten Iverson

Misses: Giannis, Rudy Gobert.

Good draft? It wouldn’t hurt so badly if Danny hadn’t of traded up to take Kelly Olynyk over Giannis. I don’t think Kelly makes it as a Celtic past this offseason. I’m not sure we could trade all the nets picks for Giannis. Verdict – not great bob.

2014: Selected: Marcus Smart, James Young

Misses? Rodney Hood

Good Draft: The Smart pick was the smart pick, no one drafted around him impacts a game in a positive way the way he does. James Young never got it. I don’t mind the risk, he’s another guy who has all the tools but never got it to click. It was definitely a chance worth taking. Verdict – yes

2015: Selected: Terry Rozier, RJ Hunter, Jordan Mickey, Marcus Thornton

Misses? Bobby Portis, Monrtesl Harrell Richaun Holmes, Norman Powell

Good Draft? It’s weird to see that Norman Powell a contributor on a playoff team was taken the pick after a guy the Celtics haven’t even thought about letting sniff the NBA roster. I’m not sure how big of misses those other guy really are, but Portis sure looked like he’s better than what we got up front in games 1 and 2. Between that and the positional fit – I don’t think anyone was looking for another point guard when we got Terry – its hard to say the Rozier pick was good even though I don’t think there is a huge discrepancy in talent level.

Conclusion? I don’t think it is fair to cherry pick any one of these examples (Big Baby over Gasol, Giddens over Jordan, Hudson over Matthews, JuJuan over Butler, Fab over Draymond, Kelly over Greek Freak, James Young over Rodney Hood, Rozier over Portis) to say that Ainge doesn’t know what he is doing when it comes to drafting. He has only picked in the top ten twice (Smart and Jaylon Brown).

I do think it is fair to look at that list as a whole though, and criticize him for not being able to pick out either a good player at a positional need or potential all star, over an accumulation of many chances. Especially when the future of the franchise greatly depends on him getting it right this next time.




Status: Offline
Posts: 12

One of the other things that jumps out at me. How many "plus" shooters has Danny drafted over the duration of his career as a GM. I would argue none, with Delonte being the best shooter he ever drafted

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard