Ray Allen Talks About New England & Draft Night 1996
Found this video by BRad posted on Red's Army today. Ray Allen talks about how Red Auerbach called him on draft day and told him if he's there at 6 the Celtics will select him. That was easy for Red to do as that draft was totally a 6 player draft, so whoever fell to the C's would be their pick. It ended up being Antoine Walker. Personally I was also hoping for Ray to be the guy, but was excited that M.L's Eric Montross trade had moved us into the top 6, so was content settling for Walker.
A few other things I remember from that draft is that after M.L. made the Montross trade to Dallas for the Mavs pick in 1997 (very valuable because it was Duncan's senior year) and got to move up and swap picks with Dallas there still wasn't a guarantee we were going to get a star. Shareef Abdur Rahim hadn't yet declared and if he stayed at Cal, we would have had to settle for someone like Samaki Walker or Eric Dampier.
When Abdur Rahim entered I also remember talks of the Celtics considering trading their pick and another 1st rounder to move into the top 2 and take Marcus Camby, who was very popular in Massachusetts at the time. Finally I also remember M.L. trying out a high school guard who was the first guard to try and make that jump. He was VERY impressed, but the consensus was that that was too high to pick him. Of course that high school guard ended up being Kobe Bryant.