The Celtics have the 30th pick in the NBA Draft. Is there any reason to hope that they'll get a decent player that far down? I'll give you a few reasons:
- Kendrick Perkins - #27 in 2003
- Al Jefferson - #15 in 2004
- Delonte West - #24 in 2004
- Tony Allen - #25 in 2004
- Ryan Gomes - # 50 in 2005
- Rajon Rondo - #21 in 2006
- Leon Powe - #49 in 2006
- Gabe Pruitt - #32 in 2007
- Glen "Big Baby" Davis - #35 in 2007
The only notable "misses" that I can think of are Gerald Green (who dropped in our laps after being talked about as a top 3 pick), Marcus Banks (who had all the talent and just couldn't learn to play), and a few 2nd round gambles that didn't pan out (Orien Greene, Justin Reed, Brandon Hunter).
The jury is still out on Gabe Pruitt, but he showed enough promise to be in the conversation at backup point guard next year.
I mean, look at that list! Every player on that list (except maybe Gabe) helped us win the title this year. Some by playing better basketball than their draft position would indicate. Some by developing enough in the past years to become major trade chips that landed us Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
I've never heard of most of the guys that will be available in our range, but I'm sure Danny knows them as well as anyone in the league. Clearly we won't find a Kevin Garnett or a Ray Allen that far down in the draft. But who knows? We might find another future trade chip that (packaged with some other pieces) leads to another All Star aquisition. Or maybe we'll just find another hard-working role player that fits perfectly into another title run.
Regardless, I have full faith in Danny Ainge, especially when it comes to the draft.