|05.17.16 at 10:12 pm ET|
WALTHAM – Danny Ainge wanted to be perfectly clear Tuesday after being awarded the No. 3 overall pick in the NBA draft lottery in New York City. The Celtics president of basketball operations was disappointed at missing out on the top two picks, yes, but not devastated to tears.
So before taking any questions, he decided to get out ahead of the questions that were coming about his red eyes.
“And by the way, I have allergies. I haven’t been crying up in my office. My eyes are puffy,” Ainge said. “Anybody have any questions?”
Then the questions began. With Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram apparently just out of their reach, what are the plans for the third overall pick?
“We don’t know that yet. We’ll obviously explore that,” Ainge said. “We’re in the middle of that process right now of figuring out who’s in the draft and who’s the best fit for us. We’ll also probably get some calls for that pick I’m guessing, so there’ll be discussion of that too. But right now we’re really in the mode of preparing for the draft.”
The level of disappointment?
“Hey, listen, there’s a lot more things to be disappointed about in this life,” Ainge said. “It could have been worse and it could have been better. It is what it is and we’ll move on and do the best we can to build a great team.”
Still, behind closed doors in the Celtics training facility in Waltham, there was disappointment. But there was no cursing Isaiah Thomas for being in the lottery room in New York and not bringing home the big prize.
“There were some groans. I think the buildup, once we weren’t sixth and we weren’t five and we weren’t four, there was a lot of hope that we could get a good pick,” Ainge said. “But we’ll take it. We’ll give Isaiah a passing grade. We’ll keep him.”
The second level after Ingram and Simmons starts with names like Dragan Bender of Croatia, Jamaal Murray, Kris Dunn and Buddy Hield.
“Last year at this time I think everybody saw that and it sort of changed between what everybody thought at this time and what happened in the draft,” Ainge said. “So it’s still too early. There’s still a lot of evaluation. When you’re looking and evaluating in some cases 18 and 19-year-old kids there’s a lot that changes between the end of their college careers and the draft, so I wouldn’t say anything is in stone in how the draft order is gonna go. We’ll just evaluate them all and see how it falls.”
|05.17.16 at 8:27 pm ET|
WALTHAM — The Celtics can start finalizing their long-awaited plans for the draft.
The Celtics will choose third in the annual NBA selection process on June 23. The 76ers will pick first, while the Lakers will pick second. It’s the first time they have chosen third in the draft since 1997 when they took Chauncey Billups out of Colorado. That was followed up by Ron Mercer three picks later in the same draft that Tim Duncan went first.
This is also the highest the Celtics have drafted since that same draft. The Sixers won the draft and will pick first overall, followed by the Lakers and then Boston. The draft lottery went exactly according to order, first through 14, per the odds going in.
Ben Simmons of LSU and Brandon Ingram of Duke are the consensus top two picks in the draft. Then, as the Celtics make their selection, it becomes more cloudy. There’s 19-year-old Croatian big Dragan Bender, Kentucky’s Jamaal Murray, Providence guard Kris Dunn, Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Cal’s Jaylen Brown.
What will the Celtics do with the pick?
“The picture is more clear for sure,” Ainge said Tuesday night after the lottery. “But still the draft is uncertain just by its nature, when you’re often times, like I said, drafting kids that are so young. So there’s a lot of uncertainty about the future, everybody’s future in the NBA. Players that we draft, there are no guarantees.
“But we like this draft. We’re excited about this No. 3 pick. We believe that a good player will come out of this draft and I can’t wait to continue the process. Yeah, we were holding out for a short hope there to get the No. 1 or 2 pick, but the No. 3 pick is a very good player. And we have our eyes set on a handful of guys. It’s the best player available unless you can convince me otherwise.”
|05.17.16 at 5:41 pm ET|
Kelly Olynyk finally had his bothersome right shoulder fixed on Monday.
The Celtics announced Tuesday that the 7-foot forward underwent a successful right shoulder arthroscopy for recurrent subluxations.
The team also indicated that he will begin an immediate rehabilitation program and the time frame for his return to basketball activities has not yet been determined.
Olynyk initially injured the shoulder on Feb. 10 against the Clippers. He missed 14 games before returning for the rest of the season. He re-injured the shoulder in Game 1 against the Hawks and missed Games 2 and 3. He was severely limited in his return to action in Games 4,5 and 6.
Olynyk, who completed his third year with the team, averaged 10.0 points, including shooting 40.5 percent from beyond the arc, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20.2 minutes per game during the 2015-16 regular season. At the time of the injury, Olynyk was leading the team in 3-point shooting and his ability to stretch the floor and spread the offense was noticeable when he was not on the court.
Olynyk recorded a season-high 28 points on 11-21 (.524) shooting from the field, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block on Dec. 11 against the Golden State Warriors.
|05.16.16 at 12:37 pm ET|
Get ready for an ice-cream headache.
Courtesy the brains in the Celtics’ front office, all 156 lottery combinations have been revealed on Celtics.com.
Assistant general manager and team counsel Mike Zarren, with the help of director of basketball analytics David Sparks have released all possible combinations that, if they come up on Tuesday night in New York City, will give the Celtics the top overall pick.
To keep it as simple as possible, there are 14 teams in the lottery. There are 14 ping pong balls. The process is as follows: Each team is assigned to a particular numbered ball. That process is repeated two more times. Then after the third draw of balls, the order of the lottery is determined by the 11 remaining teams in reverse order of overall record finish this past season.
The four steps in this process is called a “four-ball” lottery method. In four-ball lottery, there are 1,001 possible combinations. The NBA has eliminated one of the combos by assigning no team to it, thereby drawing it down to an even 1,000. The Celtics have been assigned 156 possible combinations, giving them a 15.6 percent chance of “winning the lottery” and getting the No. 1 overall pick.
This is the third-best chance, as the Nets finished with the third-worst record in the NBA. The Sixers, who finished with the worst record (10-72) have been assigned 250 combinations and own the best chance at 25 percent. The Lakers own 199 combinations or a 19.9 percent chance. That covers the first three picks.
Thanks to Sparks, who did the math, the Celtics can count on a 15.7 percent chance to capture the second pick and a 15.6 percent chance of winning the third pick. Put them together and the Celtics have a 46.9 percent chance of landing in the top three spots. But the bigger number might be 31.3 percent.
Those are the odds that the Celtics wind up with one of the top two picks, ensuring them the chance to draft either Ben Simmons or Brandon Ingram. They are considered the elite two picks of the draft, even ahead of the likes of Dragan Bender, Jamaal Murray, Jaylen Brown or Buddy Hield.
The Celtics also own their own pick (No. 23) and Dallas’ picks (No. 16) in the first round. The results of the lottery are announced on ESPN at the New York Midtown Hilton in Manhattan at 8 p.m., just before Game 1 of the Eastern Finals between the Cavaliers and Raptors, also on ESPN.
|05.13.16 at 4:07 pm ET|
Now we know where the Celtics will have to travel to see at least one of the blue chip prospects in the upcoming draft.
The Boston Herald’s Mark Murphy reported Friday afternoon that the team will head to Los Angeles to watch Duke sharpshooter and Kinston, N.C. native Brandon Ingram. Murphy reports that if the Celtics nab either the No. 1 or 2 spots in the draft in Tuesday’s lottery, that could change.
If they don’t, it’s likely that Ingram’s handlers would prefer the Celtics make the trip out west to watch him work out. Ingram and LSU’s Ben Simmons are considered the consensus top two picks in the upcoming draft. Ingram, who played only one season, chose to come out early this spring. He has been compared to Kevin Durant, a tall, athletic forward who can shoot.
Several leading prospects for the June 23 draft are in Chicago this week for the NBA draft combine to work out for various teams. In a surprise to absolutely no one, neither Ingram nor Simmons chose to work out as their stock is already high.
The Celtics interviewed Ingram Thursday morning at the combine after doing the same with Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Kentucky’s Jamaal Murray on Wednesday.
The Celtics are represented there by president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and head coach Brad Stevens.
Ainge had indicated last week that he wasn’t sure whether the team would have to travel to see some of the top prospects or whether they would come to them. He hinted that could depend on where the Celtics land in the lottery.
According to Murphy, the Celtics will also be back in Waltham next Wednesday to workout two prospects with local ties, including Maryland guard Jake Layman from Wrentham and North Carolina State forward Malik Abu from Boston.
Celtics have tentative workout set in Los Angeles with Brandon Ingram, though it depends on where they are after the lottery.
— Mark Murphy (@Murf56) May 13, 2016
|05.10.16 at 11:44 am ET|
The Celtics are joining the Bruins’ move to Boston Landing.
The C’s, in conjunction with New Balance, announced Tuesday their plans to move their practice and training facility from Waltham to the Allston-Brighton neighborhood of Boston, with a state-of-the-art complex opening in the spring of 2018.
The Celtics and Bruins practice facilities will be in walking distance from WEEI and New Balance headquarters.
“We are proud to team with New Balance Development in the creation of a best-in-class athletic training and practice facility that will provide Celtics players, coaches, and training staff with the resources, technology, and programming to compete at the highest level in an increasingly competitive NBA landscape,” Celtics president Rich Gotham said in a statement. “The Boston Landing location will bring us closer to our game day home at the TD Garden while providing high impact brand visibility.”
The Celtics practice facility will be the latest dramatic element at Boston Landing — at 55 feet in the air cantilevered out to the edge of the Mass Pike. The Celtics’ new practice home, including the team’s 17 NBA championship banners, will be highly visible from the Massachusetts Turnpike with a 40-foot glass wall enclosing the practice courts that face the approximately 130,000 daily commuters. The practice facility will encompass approximately 70,000 square feet.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Boston Celtics to Boston Landing,” said Jim Halliday, Managing Director for NB Development Group LLC. “Adding another iconic brand like the Boston Celtics to Boston Landing at Allston-Brighton along the Mass Pike further advances the concept of Boston Landing serving as the gateway into the City of Boston from the west, while at the same time adding to the culture of health, wellness, and movement with this district.”
|05.09.16 at 4:22 pm ET|
Celtics coach Brad Stevens joined Dale & Holley on Monday to discuss the current NBA landscape and the future of the team. To hear the interview, visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page.
This is considered a pivotal offseason for the Celtics, who are coming off a first-round elimination at the hands of the Hawks but have the third-best shot at the first overall pick because they have the Nets’ first-round selection. Whether with picks, a trade of roster players or in free agency, the team hopes to add at least one star player to the roster.
Stevens, who is coming off his third season in Boston, says he will play whatever role he can in trying to recruit players, but noted he considers the Celtics’ history to be the biggest draw.
“I’ll play an active role,” he said. “I’ll do anything that I can as far as meeting with guys, calling guys, whatever I can after the July 1 time frame when we’re given the go-ahead to meet with those guys. I think the best selling point, I would say that I’m probably not near that. I think that the tradition, the history, the way that the city embraces the Celtics, the way that our players feel about being Celtics, the amount of pride that they’ve taken in that, and this group in particular, how thankful they’ve been to get a chance to play in front of these fans and in this place where those banners hang above you — to me, that’s the top of the list.
“I’m a basketball guy; I love the game and I love the tradition and the history and the tradition of the game. Maybe that just means to me, but I think it means a lot to a lot of people. Certainly there are other factors involved, when ultimately free agents have to choose a place to play, but for me, those were a lot of the things that obviously flattered me about being asked to be the coach here.”
The Celtics had an All-Star in Isaiah Thomas this season, but the feeling around the team is that it needs to have a true superstar in order to contend with teams like Cleveland in the East. Stevens acknowledged as much, but noted it’s how a team shapes its roster around stars that allows the team to thrive.
“A lot of the NBA is really focused on whoever your one, two or three guys that draw the most attention are, but then who can space the floor for those guys and how effective is that all working together,” he said.
Added Stevens: “Let’s say that you end up drafting a person that is a great rim-protector but may have limited offensively ability, for example. You’ve got to come up with a plan to manage and maximize that. I think that generally speaking, I think that versatility — and when I say versatility, I’m talking about guys that can guard really 2 through 4 — because at times those guys can switch everything and make it as difficult as possible on a number of different positions while at the same time shooting are two of the big things that we just have to continue to focus on.”
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