2013 NBA Draft: An opportunity missed

Why, Danny? Why?

After some wheeling and dealing with the Dallas Mavericks, the Celtics moved up to 13th overall in the first round of last night's draft. As part of the trade, the Celtics gave Dallas their 16th pick and two future second-rounders. Who did they just have to move up to draft? Who could have possibly not been there at 16?

Gonzaga 7-footer Kelly Olynyk.


Dallas was begging to get rid of that pick and didn't seem to have many takers until Danny Ainge decided to gobble it up and throw in a couple future picks to boot that, while not overly valuable, could be used to fill out Boston's bench in years to come.

Even if the Celtics really wanted the Canadian version of Nenad Krstic, they were only negotiating against themselves as the picks in between where the Celtics did pick and where they were supposed to pick were two small forwards, not big men. Olynyk would have been there at 16.

As for the pick itself, it screams of being a “safe” selection. Yes, the Celtics need size, even after the blockbuster trade with the Nets. But what the Celtics really need is a guy who can crash the boards with Jared Sullinger and from all accounts that is not Olynyk's strong suit.

They also need a backup ball handler as they now have a glut of shooting guards, small forwards and power forwards and no true point guards after Rajon Rondo. So who was still available at 16, or 13 for that matter, who could have filled that role and also had the potential to be a superstar down the road with Trey Burke and Michael Carter-Williams already off the board?

The German Rajon Rondo himself, Dennis Schroeder. In an ironic twist, Atlanta picked up the 16th pick from Dallas to go with the 17th selection and used their second first round pick on Schroeder. He would have been there at 16 and it wouldn't have cost Boston any second round picks.

It's baffling that the Celtics took a guy who, while kind of filling a need, projects to be nothing more than a role player when there was a guy sitting right there that has the potential to be one of the best point guards in the league. Schroeder has all the instincts and talents of Rondo and he's only 19 years old. Oh and by the way, he can shoot threes.

This pick would have helped the Celtics immensely. It would give them the reserve ball handler they need and it would also give them some wiggle room of having someone waiting in the wings should they decide to trade Rondo later on as phase three of the rebuild.

There was some talk that the Olynyk pick was a sign that Boston is committed to Rondo. Even if that were true, something tells me he's a little more focused on the fact that Ainge just sent his two best friends on the team, guys he's gone to war with and spent the vast majority of his career with, to the Nets.

It seems a tad unlikely that he's going to look at Olynyk and say, “Hey, they didn't draft my replacement. Forget about the constant trade talk surrounding me, the friends I've lost in trades and the fact that this team could tank for draft picks for the next couple of years while I'm in my prime. All is forgiven.”

Who knows. Schroeder could end up a career backup who will be quickly forgotten and Olynyk could be a very nice scoring threat going forward. Somehow, I doubt it.

With the team in major flux, why not take a shot on Schroeder? What is there to lose? Danny “The Gambler” Ainge played it safe on this one and now Atlanta will reap the benefits. Oh, Schroeder. What could have been.

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