Bill Simmons mocks Danny Ainge in Celebrating the Celtics' last good move with a party at the Hilltop Steakhouse celebrating the anniversary of the P.J. Brown signing in 2008. There's a lot going on in that column but this point stood out to me. Here's his mythical speech by DeAndre Jordan:
Jordan: "I was supposed to be a lottery pick and fell 20 spots. If anyone was going to take a flier on me, it should have been Boston. I could have learned from KG and become another Perkins. When Danny passed me up for a selfish 24-year-old gunner who had just spent six years in college and wouldn't have a relevant NBA moment, it was something of a wake-up call. Four years later, I'm starting on a contender, I'm third in the league in blocks, and I'm making $10 million a year. Danny, thanks for passing on me even though it was the easiest sleeper pick in the world!"
[Cut to Danny nodding grimly as the crowd applauds. Jordan exits the stage, but not before chest-bumping Giddens, who's waiting tables tonight.]
In fairness to Danny, when I look back to the college basketball season before this draft in 2008, I remember DeAndre Jordan having a disappointing year where his draft status went from top 10 to a late 1st round pick by the time of the draft.
With that said, DeAndre was the logical pick and would have fit this team perfectly. On the offensive side of the ball, he'd bring an explosive center that Kendrick Perkins has never been while providing similar overall defensive appeal with his incredible shot blocking ability. Although Jordan was raw, this is a pick Ainge missed on and missed badly.
Where I believe Danny has made the majority of his mistakes with this team has a lot to do with this Jordan miss. He has made several decisions to go with shooters or skilled players over the more athletic raw player that is needed to balance out the aging big three.
For instance, after losing in the 2010 finals, Danny decided that letting Tony Allen walk was not a big deal because he had Marquis Daniels already on his roster. Daniels fits in as a skill player while Allen fits the athlete that is needed for this team and the type of player Rondo loved to run with. Not to mention that Allen already was the best perimeter defender in the NBA and has made himself into a solid offensive player who knows his limitations. This wasn't even mentioned by Simmons (a known "Trick or Treat" Tony basher), but Tony's loss could rival the Perkins trade.
If Danny had focused on talent rather than skill, we might be better off today. What do you guys think?