Danny Ainge Explains Why Celtics Passed On Giannis Antetokounmpo In 2013 Draft


April 25, 2019

Danny Ainge really doesn’t miss the mark on much, but he did swing and miss in a pretty big way on one player.

As you might remember, in the 2013 NBA Draft the Boston Celtics traded up to the 13th overall pick so they could take Kelly Olynyk. Though Olynyk turned out to be a fine player in his Celtics tenure, he’ll never reach the level of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was taken two picks later by the Milwaukee Bucks.

Now, of course, Antetokounmpo is an absolute star for the Bucks and likely will win the MVP this season.

And with the Celtics set to take on the Bucks beginning Sunday in the second round of the NBA Playoffs, Ainge was asked by The Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett why the Celtics said no thanks on the Greek Freak.

?We all liked him,? the C’s president of basketball operations said said. ?All of us had seen him. I think I saw him in maybe January, but by the time that he was drafted that same year, he was I think two or three inches taller and maybe 10 or 15 pounds heavier. And he was even bigger the year after Milwaukee drafted him. But he was just a really skinny kid that had no outside game, and he looked like a kid that just needed a long time to develop.

?I think the amazing thing with him was how quickly he developed, and part of that was his height and strength and how much bigger he got so fast. I think that enabled him to be good right away in the NBA. In his rookie year and his second year, you could see, wow, this kid is going to be really, really good.?

Drafting is a pretty unscientific process, so you hardly can blame Ainge for not taking Antetokounmpo.

Thumbnail photo via Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen
Previous Article

NFL Rumors: Latest On Josh Rosen’s Cardinals Future After Kyler Murray Selection

Boston Celtics former player John Havlicek
Next Article

Boston Celtics Legend John Havlicek Dies At Age 79

Picked For You