clock menu more-arrow no yes

Ainge Steve Bulpett had some more quotes from Ainge this morning (with my comments added):

Ainge repeated his claim that others could be more helpful to the Celtics in quicker fashion. When he said that in this space the last week of the season, it was taken by many fans as Ainge trying to lower expectations and keep followers of the team from reaching for sharp objects if the club doesn’t net one of the top two picks in the lottery.

“I know people think I’m just saying it, but there are people in this draft beyond the first two who are going to be very good players in this league,” Ainge said. “Oden and Durant are very good, but we really think there are other guys who can be All-Stars.

“It’s almost like the 1997 draft. When people talk about it, it’s almost like they’re saying Tim Duncan was the only guy in that draft. There were other players who you could build a team with. Tracy McGrady went ninth in that draft, and Chauncey Billups has turned out to be a key player on a championship team.

I actually keep thinking of the LeBron/Melo draft that also produced Bosh and Wade, but maybe that's too optimistic. Maybe both examples are too optimistic. This is supposed to be a deep draft and it probably is. However, the consensous is that the talent drop off from 2 to 3 is significant.

As for whether he’d take Oden or Durant with No. 1, Ainge insists it’s not a foregone conclusion. It might be impossible for the Celts to pass on Oden, a 7-footer who would solidify the club’s interior defense, but the club is still going over Durant’s many attributes.

This debate has been going on since December and will only perk up in ernest once the lottery balls decide who gets to make that call.

With the Celts already possessing a strong scoring base with Paul Pierce and Al Jefferson, Ainge noted that defense will be a very important component to the club’s offseason maneuvering.

Tha's a bit of new information. I wonder what kinds of defensive players they are targeting around the league.