Three ways to survive in the East: Imagining Celtics president Danny Ainge’s phone conversations on NBA draft day
|06.26.14 at 12:49 pm ET|
Well, it’s here. The day that will shape the Celtics‘ future, for better or worse. The 2014 NBA draft, where anything can happen happens.
With a wealth of picks, an All-Star point guard, tradeable contracts and expiring deals, Celtics president Danny Ainge is the annoying guy at a party, inserting himself into every conversation in the room.
With only hours left until Cleveland is on the clock, here are the three best possible phone conversations Ainge could have on Thursday.
1. MORTGAGE THE FARM FOR KEVIN LOVE
Danny Ainge: “Hi, Flip, it’s Danny again.”
Timberwolves president/coach Flip Saunders: “What do you want this time?”
Danny: “Are you sure you don’t want our two first-round picks this year, next year’s Clippers pick and Kelly Olynyk for Love?”
Flip: “I’m not sure how many times I can say no, but no.”
Danny: “But …”
Danny: “I’m not sure you’ve consider quite how awesome Kelly’s hair really is.”
Flip: “No means no.”
Wyc Grousbeck enters Danny’s office.
Wyc: “Fireworks, Danny, fireworks!”
Flip: “I’m sorry, did I just hear Wyc say fireworks?”
Danny: “Oh, yeah, we’ve got this Fourth of July party in a few days. It’s nothing. Didn’t you get the invite? Anywho, what if I throw Jared Sullinger into the deal?”
Flip: “Let me think about it for a second. Aaaaaaannnnnnndddddd no.”
Danny: “Ah, can you hold on for a second?”
Flip: “No …”
Danny puts the phone down. “I’d Do Anything for Love’ plays on hold.
Wyc: “We can’t afford another losing season, Danny. I met with Bob Kraft, John Henry and Jeremy Jacobs for our weekly tea and crumpets yesterday, and they were all making fun of me, telling me we’re the fifth wheel behind the Revolution. The Revs, Danny, the Revs! When Wyc promises fireworks, Wyc delivers fireworks.”
Danny picks up the phone.
Danny: “You still there, Flip?”
Danny: “How about one of Brooklyn’s picks, too?”
Flip: “Just so we’re straight: You’re offering four first-round picks, Sully and Kelly?”
Danny: “Well, when you put it that way …”
Flip: “You’ve got yourself a deal.”
2. MOVIN’ ON UP IN THE DRAFT
Danny: “Hey, Griff, how’s it hanging?”
Cavaliers GM David Griffin: “I’m sorry. Who’s this?”
Danny: “It’s Danny Ainge. I was on the Suns when you were an intern in Phoenix.”
David: “Oh, yeah. Floppy hair? Short shorts?”
Danny: “The same Danny Ainge.”
David: “Come to think of it, are you the last guy ever to play hoops in short shorts?”
Danny: “What do you mean? I’ve got them on right now.”
David: “Well, that’s weird. Is there anything I can help you with today? I’m kind of busy over here, what with the No. 1 pick and LeBron James opting out and all.”
Danny: “Now that you mention it. You know how you guys completely botched the first pick last year. I mean, Anthony Bennett? What were you thinking?”
David: “You do realize I’m still on the phone, don’t you?”
Danny: “Oh, right. As I was saying, you don’t really want to screw up the No. 1 pick two years in a row, do you? You’ll probably take a guy like Bogdan Bogdanovic.”
David looks at his assistant and mouths, ‘How does he know about Bogdanovic?”
David: “Bogdan Bogdanovic. That’s a good one.”
David crosses Bogdanovic off the top of his draft board.
Danny: “How about I give you the No. 6 pick, No. 17, the Clippers pick in 2015 and take all that pressure of drafting first overall off your hands?”
David: “Well, three is two more than one …”
Danny: “Oh, I didn’t know you guys were doing advanced metrics now.”
David: “Advanced what now?”
Danny: “So, do we have a deal or what?”
David: “Sure. Hey, do you think Nemanja Dangubic will still be available at No. 6?’
Wyc enters Danny’s office, pantomimes fireworks blowing up and yells, “Jabari!”
David: “Jabari? You guys are taking Jabari Brown at No. 1? He’s that junior guard from Missouri, right? I like it. We were thinking about taking him, too.”
3. TOO-DA-LOO RAJON RONDO
Danny: “Hi, Pete, it’s Danny.”
Kings GM Pete D’Alessandro: “I was thinking about you the other day.”
Danny: “Oh, really, why’s that?”
Pete: “You know that Uruguayan soccer player who bit the Italian guy? Didn’t you bite somebody?”
Danny: “Tree Rollins bit me.”
Pete: “I think it’s the other way around.”
Danny: “I was there. I think I’d remember being bitten by a Tree.”
Pete: “Well, let’s agree to disagree.”
Danny: “He bit me!”
Pete: “Sure, whatever you say, Danny. What was it you were calling about?”
Danny: “Well, remember that Rondo deal we discussed in February?”
Pete: “What Rondo deal?”
Danny: “C’mon, don’t tell me you can’t remember that, either.”
Pete: “I’m just messing with you. Our first-round pick and Isiaiah Thomas, right?”
Danny: “You’re forgetting a guy whose name rhymes with Sven Schmclemore.”
Pete: “Macklemore? The singer?”
Danny: “Ben McLemore, you idiot.”
Pete: “I don’t remember including him in that offer. You sure you’re OK?”
Danny: “Good talk, then, I guess.”
Pete: “I’m just kidding, Danny. Relax. The No. 8 pick, McLemore and Thomas in a sign-and-trade for Rondo? I like it. Rudy Gay could use a friend around here.”
Rajon Rondo enters Danny’s office and throws a water bottle at his head.
Pete: “What was that?”
Danny: “Oh, nothing. Hey, I heard Rudy picked up his $19.3 million option. Nice one.”
Pete: “Thanks …”
Danny: “I was joking. That’s terrible.”
Pete: “What’s that now?”
Danny: “Never mind. Hey, good luck out there. You’re doing a bang-up job.”
Danny hangs up the phone with Saunders, D’Alessandro or Griffin and slides open the bottom drawer of his desk, pulling out two small glasses and a gallon of milk.
Wyc: “Don’t you think this calls for Scotch?”
Danny: “You didn’t think I was just going to give you milk, did you?”
Danny pulls out a bottle of Hershey’s syrup and fires a squeeze into each glass.