The Celtics took six players in Thursday's draft. Unlike in previous years, the team didn't give its rookies jerseys to hold up during their introductory photo op (45th pick Demetrius Jackson couldn't make it to Boston in time and isn't pictured above), likely because many of them won't be on the roster in 2016-17. During Friday's press conference, Danny Ainge said that "two or three" of them will likely make next year's squad.
The 58th selection, Abdel Nader (far right), is not an issue:
#58 pick Abdel Nader from Iowa State has agreed to be stashed in the D-League next year.— Jonathan Givony (@DraftExpress) June 24, 2016
Pick No. 16, Guerschon Yabusele (second from left), will almost certainly stay in Europe another season:
#Celtics Guerschon Yabusele reiterated he will be willing to play in France another year. Not strongest negotiating position, but helpful.— Scott Souza (@Scott_Souza) June 24, 2016
However, it appears Boston's choice at No. 23, Ante Zizic (second from right), may not be on board with the "draft and stash" plan:
Seems pretty clear talking to Ante Zizic the past two days that he would definitely rather stay in Boston than be stashed overseas.— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) June 24, 2016
Via Mass Live's Jay King, here's what Ainge had to say on the subject:
It's complicated. But yes, we have had initial discussions with their representatives. And we have not concluded anything yet. We're still in that discussion and we're not sure on some things.
We drafted them because they're good players. The fact that they have people that want them on their teams on the international top level competition just tells you how good of players they are. They can easily find jobs overseas at the top level. They're earned that reputation. They're both very, very productive. Guerschon was very productive in the Pro French A League this year and Ante was an incredible rebounder and scorer in the Adriatic League. So those guys are wanted players and that's why we drafted them. Now we're trying to figure out the best way that they can best help us and for their development. We're working with their representatives on figuring out that plan.
And Zizic, also via King:
I don't know (what will happen), I think I'm ready right now so we'll see.
First I will seriously talk with the team and then see what they want. And we're going to make a deal.
Obviously Jaylen Brown (far left) will be on the team next season. If Jackson and 51st pick Ben Bentil (middle) both make the squad as well, that's three rookies right there. Along with Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, Kelly Olynyk, Terry Rozier, RJ Hunter, Jordan Mickey and James Young, that'd be 12 guys under contract--and that doesn't include the non-guaranteed deals of Amir Johnson and Jonas Jerebko (which become guaranteed July 3), restricted free agents Jared Sullinger and Tyler Zeller, unrestricted FA Evan Turner, or any other free agents Boston might like to sign.
Botton line: Ainge and company are going to work really hard to convince Zizic that waiting another year is the right plan.
Follow Mark Van Deusen on Twitter @LucidSportsFan Mark Van Deusen 6/26/2016 03:54:00 PM Tweet Edit