Danny Ainge wasn’t in New York for the NBA Draft Lottery festivities on Tuesday night, but he felt the letdown from afar in Los Angeles after seeing the Celtics land the sixth overall pick.
“It was a little disappointing,” Ainge admitted in a conference call with reporters. “We were hopeful for something better, but the odds said that number six was the most likely, so we’ve been prepared for number six.”
Despite the drop in the Celtics expected draft position, Ainge remained very open to exploring the team’s options with the sixth overall pick, including trading the selection in a potential package deal.
“I do think that’s a possibility, moving up [with the 6th and 17th picks],” Ainge said. “Moving down is also a possibility and moving out or using those picks are all options. We will explore all of those things.”
Ainge was also unsure of whether the sixth overall pick could be the centerpiece of a trade, like the fifth overall pick was for the team in 2007 when it acquired Ray Allen.
“The sixth pick has serious value. How serious? I don’t know yet,” Ainge explained. “We haven’t had a chance to talk about it or explore that even. We will look into exploring that now that we have some clarity where we are [in the draft].
You can check out other highlights of Ainge’s conference call with reporters below:
On depth of 2014 NBA Draft: “I think having the number one pick is not an easy task. I’d like to have that task, but it’s not an easy choice. The first handful of picks, including our pick it won’t be easy. There will be choices there that have a lot of potential. I don’t think anyone is going to come in and change the face of our franchise out of the gate, but I do think there is some good quality in this draft.”
On whether dropping to sixth overall pick will affect team’s decision making going forward: “We would have tried to do something with the pick [no matter where it landed], including keep the pick. We are still in the same boat now, we just have less value now. There is less value in the sixth pick compared to a one or two pick, but we will try to make the best choice. We will have to see what value that pick has around the league and at the same time, we will be evaluating all the players. Usually, people don’t trade those picks, but we will look at all of those options.”
What kind of player can you get at 6th pick? Someone who could be a starter next year? “Probably not. This group of guys is very young in this draft. Some are more ready to play than others. That won’t have much of an effect on who we draft, based on their immediate ability to impact our team, but there are some [players] that will be more ready to play than others. I don’t know who will be available at the sixth pick. Time will tell.”
On shaping the franchise’s future during the next month: “It is exciting. It is fun. This is an exciting time of the year and it’s an exciting time for our franchise. We could do anything from taking the two draft picks and continuing to add to our young talent or we could make some bigger deals than speed up our [rebuilding] process, and everywhere between so I think that everything is possible and it’s going to be a really interesting next month.”