Danny Ainge is expected to be a busy man this summer, when the first season of the Boston Celtics’ great rebuild will be in the books. But get ready to be patient, Celtics fans. This might only be the start.
The Celtics have two first-round draft picks in the upcoming 2014 NBA draft, including their own lottery selection and the lower of the picks owned by the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks. If they play things conservatively, the Celtics could lay the groundwork for a long, though potentially fruitful, rebuilding job.
In a radio interview Thursday, however, Ainge didn’t sound ready to commit to the long-haul draft approach quite yet.
“Listen, we want to do some things this summer,” Ainge said on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich.” “We have some objectives. We’d like to be a relevant team next year, but you can’t force it. So, no, I don’t feel that pressure. I try to avoid that kind of pressure just to do something. We want to do something good and right. Patience is crucial in this process right now.”
That sure sounds like Ainge and the Celtics aren’t putting all their eggs into the draft basket. Keep in mind, the Celtics have as many as 10 first-round picks over the next five years, which could pan out to at least four rotation-caliber players, depending on the location of the selections.
Or Ainge could flip some of those picks for an individual player or two he knows will have impact. Either path could succeed or fail just as easily. It appears Ainge, rightly, is keeping all his options open.