On Monday evening, the Boston Celtics held a live stream on their website to discuss the future of the franchise. Danny Ainge, Brad Stevens, and Rich Gotham were all on hand and talked about the importance of having patience during the rebuild, but also their high hopes for this summer. Instead of splicing the interview into an article format, the important quotes are transcribed below.
To watch the full interview, click here.
Danny Ainge on the depth of the draft:
"I've been saying all along that the experts on ESPN and so forth are blowing this draft out of proportion. First of all, we don't even know who's in the draft yet. There are a lot of underclassmen that are projected, so we're prepared for those underclassmen that are projected draft picks but we don't know who's going to be in the draft. There aren't any game changers in the draft. There are a lot of nice players and players that we'll be excited to work into the development, but they're not going to come in and turn our team around in one year or two years. But hopefully we'll be able to get a couple of players this year that will be rotation players in the NBA for years to come."
Ainge on team needs this summer:
"I think rim protection has been a weakness of ours this year. Then just quality, consistent play, the best players."
Ainge on getting through the rebuild:
"It's not as difficult for me as it is for Brad. Managing him through this is probably one of the most challenging things. I see this young coach who is so driven, that's so hard working, and puts so much into what he does, and he hasn't been through this before. We're trying to keep Brad patient and that's a challenge and that's really hard. He hasn't done this and doesn't understand what's been through."
Rich Gotham on potential trades:
"It's important to have the cap space as well, whether you use it on free agents or acquisitions. I think an important part of our calculus has been looking at whether it's the 13-14 summer or the 14-15 summer; we do have flexibility to react to opportunities that might present themselves. I think that's a big part of what we've tried to accomplish, whether that goes to a free agent or a trade. It's terribly important."
Ainge on cap space:
"We do, not just by signing free agents into cap space this summer, but through sign and trades. We have a lot of flexibility for sign and trade potential. Next summer we will have cap space, unless we use it on a bigger deal this summer."
Ainge on Rajon Rondo as a leader:
"Rondo has incrementally grown from the time he's been here in his leadership. I still think he has a ways to go to becoming the leader that we want him to be or that I think he will be when he's in his 30.s But he's taking that seriously and he' trying to grow as a leader."
Brad Stevens on Rondo as a leader:
"Well, he interacts. He's very much a part of the group and he's a guy that guys look up to because of what he's accomplished both individually and more so collectively, as part of that 2008 championship team. He's very active with everybody on our team whether it's the youngest guy or the oldest guy."
Ainge on Kelly Olynyk's development:
"Well, Kelly had a great summer for us and got off to a good start. I think he struggled early in the season then he had an injury and was out for five weeks. That set him back quite a bit in his development. But I think that the coaching staff has done a great job with Kelly. The last five or six weeks we've really seen that improvement. He's a terrific passer. He's shooting the ball better. He's extending his offensive game that has probably hurt us some, but it's part of the development for him to become the player he can be, we need him to make three-point shots. As he's developing this year, he's gonna become the player we think he can be, which is a there-point shooter, a terrific passer, and I think he's even learning defensively, he's getting better and better."
Ainge on Olynyk and Sullinger combination:
"Well, I think that neither one of them are good at protecting the rim, so they have to be really smart. They have to really rebound and they have to be better at taking charges and taking charges to protect the rim because they're not going to be shot blockers, so they have to be smarter. They're both very young. A year from now they'll both be much better defensively and they'll be a good combination on the court. But right now, we sometimes lose our leads when they come in because defensively they're just a half step slow."
Stevens on Green's consistency:
"We can't expect him to consistently get 39 a night, so we have to temper those expectations. I think that here's a guy that has the capability of going off on a given night, as do a lot of people, but nobody in the league averages 39 a night. I think that, what we want him to do, is to continue to grow and get better, and then hopefully find that consistency from more of an efficiency standpoint, than a volume or the "big night" standpoint. Just continue to grow as a shooter, a catch and shoot guy, his ability to take advantage of situations in the half court when the defense is set, which he's gotten better but still has a ways to go, and become more of a lockdown type of mentality defensively. We've seen bits and pieces of that, we've challenged him, Paul George had a great game against him on March 1st. Ten days later, we challenged Jeff and he did a great job on Paul George. The more we can evaluate his performance based on his defensive mentality and his efficiency on offense, the more we're fairly evaluating, and the more we can expect him to play."
Ainge on international players:
"Sure. There are International players that we are very fond of and very aware of. We haven't had a lot of International players but every year there has been a guy or two that we've really liked that have been gobbled up by somebody ahead of us, or we just liked someone else better at the time we picked. Yeah, there are some International possibilities this year."
Ainge on if a player's stock drafts after a poor tournament:
"No, I don't think so, not if it's one bad game. I've seen too many guys that have played poorly. I remember the most blatant one was Mark Price back when I was playing. He was an All-American and he had a bad NCAA tournament against Georgetown and everybody assumed he couldn't play in the NBA against athletes. Then he became a Hall of Fame player, he was special. It's not one game, it's the whole package and what they've done throughout their careers, what they've done in International competition, and what they did most of this last season. But it's also what they do from here on out, when we evaluate in the combine camps and draft workouts and so forth."