Grading Danny Ainge's first round picks

USA TODAY Sports

Just because Fab was a flop doesn't mean Danny is a bad drafter.

Kevin Dillon of WEEI did a nice breakdown of the Celtics first round picks under Danny Ainge's tenure.  He just summarized them but I'm going to go an extra mile and grade them.  Because I can, that's why.

2003

Marcus Banks (13th overall) - F

Wasn't a contributor and never fulfilled his lottery pick status.

Kendrick Perkins (27th overall) - A

Was never a star, but was a solid starter on a Championship team picked at the end of the first round.  That's a home run.

2004

Al Jefferson (15th overall) - A

One of the best low post scorers and rebounders in the game and was the centerpiece of the deal that got us KG.  Not bad for a 15th pick.

Delonte West (24th overall) - B-

Solid player when he could play but injuries and off court issues derailed a promising career.

Tony Allen (25th overall) - A-

Top defensive talent picked very late in the draft.  Has had some of his best years away from the Celtics, but was a great find and developed in Boston.

2005

Gerald Green (18th overall) - D+

Obviously a bust based on the hype around him but there wasn't a ton of talent left on the board and I think Ainge picked him based on his potential value.  He was included in the package that got us KG so there's that.

2006

The Celtics traded their first round pick

[Edit: They did, however, buy a pick from the Suns which they turned into Rajon Rondo.  I'd say that's is an A+ don't you think?]

2007

The Celtics traded their first round pick

2008

J.R. Giddens (30th overall) - F

I never understood this pick and even though it was the last pick in the first round, I felt like if you were going to take a chance on someone, roll the dice on a big man (or at least a point guard).

2009

The Celtics traded their first round pick

2010

Avery Bradley (19th overall) - A-

Again, one of the top defenders in the league (if he can stay healthy).

2011

JaJuan Johnson (27th overall) - D-

Bust.

2012

Jared Sullinger (21th overall) - A-

Fell into our laps but a lot of other teams passed and Danny didn't, so credit where it is due.

Fab Melo (22th overall) - D-

Wasn't much else on the board when he was picked but the team has already cut bait on him after just one year.

Conclusion: Danny Ainge is all about talent and isn't afraid to take a risk on a guy with upside and some question marks.  Sometimes that means finding a bargain (Sullinger, Jefferson, Bradley) and sometimes that means a swing and a miss (Melo, JJJ, Banks).  Personally I like that strategy because I'd rather have 3 or 4 home runs to go with 4 or 5 strikeouts than a series of singles and ground outs.

The second round is a whole other discussion but I think he grades out pretty well there too - considering some of the solid finds he's picked up there.

Overall First Round Grade: B+

What grade would you give Danny?

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