Most teams play their cards close to the chest in the days and weeks leading up to the NBA Draft, but with two days to go, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge was very forthcoming in his comments to the media on Tuesday morning. Ainge told reporters that he doesn't want to use all four of Boston's picks, and is actively trying to move up with at least one of their two first-rounders.
The C's currently hold the 16th and 28th selections in the first round and the 33rd and 45th in the second. They obtained number 28 from the Clippers as compensation for allowing Doc Rivers to go to L.A. and number 33 from Miami in a three-team deal with the Warriors last season.
"We're always looking for quality over quantity," said Ainge, according to The Boston Globe. "We have a lot of picks. We'd like to make fewer picks this year, next year and so forth."
Virtually every team with a top 10 pick has been mentioned in trade rumors, with the New York Knicks, owners of the fourth selection, at the center of the most intense speculation. Ainge acknowledged the uncertainty surrounding this year's draft as a result.
Ainge:"We don't know where we're drafting or what position we'll be in.We think there'll be a lot of activity on draft night so stay tuned."— Boston Celtics (@celtics) June 23, 2015
While much has been written about the Celtics' specific needs (rim protector, volume scorer), Ainge also said those are not high on his list of priorities.
Ainge on positional needs vs best talent available when the C's are selecting: "Best player, always best player. Rosters change a lot."— Boston Celtics (@celtics) June 23, 2015
As for what Ainge would be willing to give up in order to move up, the short answer is just about anything.
Ainge: "There's no such thing as untouchables" on roster. Said Celtics do love some guys on roster.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) June 23, 2015
In other words, you can throw your mock drafts away now, because as far as Ainge is concerned, all bets are off. Whatever the end result, Thursday should be an interesting day for Celtics fans.
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Image credit: Associated Press Nick García 6/23/2015 01:00:00 PM Tweet Edit