The turnaround couldn’t have been much faster. After hearing their names called last night, Avery Bradley and Luke Harangody were in Waltham this morning getting their first taste of life as Celtics. They ran through the normal routine, posing with the jerseys, staring at banners, meeting the higher-ups and facing the media.
Celtics president Danny Ainge had nothing but praise for his two picks, but he reiterated that Bradley’s ankle would keep him out of summer league, saying the young guard would need surgery and likely wouldn’t be ready for another six weeks. Bradley sprained his ankle June 13 working out for Oklahoma, causing him to miss four workouts.
“Right now, I’m just looking to get back and get ready so I can start training camp,” Bradley said.
Ainge was particularly high on Harangody, a player possibly cut from the same cloth as Leon Powe, Ryan Gomes, and Glen Davis before him
“I think he was a great player in college,” Ainge said of the Notre Dame star who fell to the 52d overall pick. “He had dominant games, and Notre Dame and the Big East, one of the best conferences in the country. He was consistently productive and often dominant in a very tough conference. Like players we’ve drafted before and players who’ve had success, he is a guy that’s proven that he can succeed. We think that he can succeed at this level as well.”
Harangody admitted it was frustrating to fall after such an impressive college career.
“I’ve had to deal with that,” Harangody said. “I put my name in the draft last year, and I’ve heard ever since that I was going to be a second-rounder. That only just motivates me more. I feel like I paid my dues in college. I wasn’t good enough to get into the first round, but I feel like I just have to start all over again and just do the same thing as when I came to college because I wasn’t a big name then.”
Still, the reality of being in the league hit both of them once they walked through the the Celtics’ practice facility
“Last night, I was still really excited,” Bradley said. “I was just excited to get on the plane and land in Boston. Right when it landed, that’s when it hit me that my dream came true. I’m going to get a chance to play for one of the best teams in the NBA.”