BostonCouchGM wrote: themoneyteam2 wrote:
Just went and looked back at the draft thread from last year lol. Holy hell people lost their mind after every Celtics pick! It was "Fire Ainge" and "He's trying to get canned" and "What is he doing" after picking Langford, Williams, Edwards, and Waters. People wanted Sekou, Nassir, and the funniest was wanting Bol Bol at 14.
Apparently Langford and Williams could've been picked in the 2nd round and were major reaches, despite every mock draft having Langford comfortably in the top 20 and Williams projected anywhere from 18-30
But same thing happened in 2016 when people flipped about not taking Bender or Dunn. And in 2017 when Ainge traded the Fultz pick.
I'm convinced that if they took Zion or Ja at #14 there would still somehow be complaints about the drat.
People like me, who wanted Sekou, Bazley, Little, Bol, Clark, etc over the stiffs Danny chose are being proven correct. And the same thing will happen in the 2020 draft. There will be better player(s) still on the board after every single Ainge pick because he's a terrible drafter and he will deserve scorn. I seriously doubt people would have complained about Sekou being taken. Why? Because unlike Danny's picks, Sekou has a well above average combination of size/athleticism/skill with high upside. Fans love these types of players. The problem is Danny seems allergic to drafting these types of players. Hitting on top 3 picks does not determine whether a G.M. is good at drafting btw.
I think the truth is in the middle, as it usually is.
are all NBA starters he's drafted outside the lottery. Getting NBA starters outside the lottery is good drafting. And then guys like Delonte West, Jared Sullinger, Gerald Green have all had kind of abbreviated or on/off again careers but were good picks where they were drafted for being rotation players as long as they were.
In the second round he's drafted guys like Ryan Gomes, Big Baby, ETwaun Moore, Abdel Nader, Semi Ojeleye, Leon Powe, Those are all good picks in the second round as each has cracked NBA rotations.
In the top 5, he's made 3 great picks in Tatum/Brown/Smart. None of those were "no brainer picks" and he nailed all of them.
He's been a GM for 17 years now. Anyone that's a GM for 17 years is going to have their share of James Young, Fab Melo, Juwan James, Marcus Banks picks. I give him somewhat of a pass on the Yabu/Zizic picks since he was purposely just taking draft-n-stash guys to save cap space (to me, those picks represent poor roster management to be "stuck" with those picks vs. actually criticizing the draft aspect of it).
I think to say Ainge sucks at drafting is a huge overraction. But at the same time, you do make a good point about the lack of "high upside guys". I think most of Ainge's picks have ended up being good value for what you expect out of players picked at that spot, but he hasn't had a lot those type of HOME RUN picks. In general, it seems he drafts on the "safe" side. Less focus on upside and more on getting guys he can project. And I think he's generally executed that strategy well.
The key is that he balances this by getting his all star caliber players elsewhere. He's traded for Ray, KG and Kyrie. He's landed Horford, Hayward and Kemba in free agency. And then when he has had those high picks, he's nailed them with Tatum/Brown and then in the case of Smart not an all star but probably the best player on the board (I'm admittedly a Zach LaVine hater).
So it's got to be a multi-faceted discussion. You have to look at the draft as part of his overall team building context. His strategy is to go get those top of the roster guys through trades/FA. The draft he's used to supplement the roster with guys he likes the projection on. That's key because if you look historically we don't usually go for lots of vets with minimum/exception signings. We usually round out the roster with youth which requires those guys to be able to play so Ainge has shied away from the boom/bust thing.
It's very easy to go through and list all of the boom guys he should have taken, but that philosophy would have inevitably resulted in more busts which would have hurt in situations where was relying on those picks to take roles to supplement the star players he got through other means.