Teams Selling First Rounders, Ainge Buying?
Posted by r1zzo23 on May 21, 2009
A number of teams are already reportedly sending out feelers indicating that they would like to acquire a pick in the late first round—including the San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors. A few teams that are rumored to be looking to trade or sell their picks are the Oklahoma City Thunder (#25), Minnesota Timberwolves (#28) and New Orleans Hornets (#21).
As we have seen in previous drafts, Danny Ainge likes to buy draft picks, usually in the 2nd round, to bring in players that can contribute. The two noteable 2nd rounders that Ainge has acquired through purchase are Leon Powe and Bill Walker. People are pretty down on this draft because there really isn’t much star power, but I truly think there is some value in the late first round for some good role players.
The Celtics could possibly lose both Leon Powe and Glen Davis this offseason, so a big, young body would be a need for this team. If we were to buy a pick into the late first round, names like BJ Mullens, Dejuan Blair, Tyler Hansbrough, Taj Gibson, Gani Lawal, among a couple others, would be possibilities. Of those few names, Gibson sticks out to me as someone who could contribute right away. I’m sure Blair could as well, but I’m not as excited about his transition to the NBA as many others are.
Another area of concern for the Celtics is backup point guard. As of right now, we have Rajon Rondo starting with Eddie House, Stephon Marbury and Gabe Pruitt behind him. I’ve always been a supporter of Gabe Pruitt, but he hasn’t earned playing time up to now and may not be coming back next season. Marbury is exploring his options as there very well could be a team out there willing to let him start. Eddie House is just an undersized shooting guard and is one of the worst dribblers in the league.
Surprisingly, this draft has a few intriguing point guard prospects that could be had down the bottom of the first round. Ty Lawson, Eric Maynor, Patrick Mills, Jeff Teague and Darren Collison are all possibilities. Out of that group, I think Teague would be the one that I would not want the Celtics to draft. The other four are all proven point guards that can lead their teams to big wins and can actually distribute the ball.
With all this talk of buying and selling picks, Danny would never make a move like this until draft night when he sees who is actually on the board. We’ll have to wait and see who the Celtics bring in for private workouts to get a better understanding of what Danny’s thought process is going into this year’s draft.