|Five worst Celtics draft day moves of Danny Ainge era||06.27.12 at 7:20 pm ET|
When Danny Ainge was hired as Celtics president of operations in 2003, he inherited a team on the upswing that had just come off of a pair of playoff exits following six straight seasons missing the playoffs.
Nine years later, Ainge has become known across the league for his bold decision-making, something that has helped the Celtics rise back to the elite of the NBA over the last five seasons. But despite the success, it hasn’t gone without some controversy and questionable moves.
As Ainge enters his 10th NBA draft in the Celtics front office, here’s a look at the top five worst draft day moves Ainge has made and how they’ve panned out.
5. J.R. Giddens, 30th pick, 2008 – Heralded as one of the best scorers in the 2008 draft class, Giddens simply just never panned out in the NBA. Considered to be a potential replacement for Tony Allen, who eventually left the Celtics in free agency, Giddens couldn’t live up to the defensive standards that Doc Rivers stresses and never received much playing time.
It didn’t begin well for Giddens, who declined to participate in minicamp after being drafted because he hadn’t agreed to a contract. After finally signing, the 6-foot-5 guard was put on assignment with the Utah Flash of the NBA D-League before getting called up to the Celtics in February 2009. He saw very limited action and saw eight minutes during the season.
In 2009-10, Giddens saw an increased role but still didn’t see much playing time. He played 4.7 minutes per game in 21 appearances, which even included a start on Jan. 2, 2010. He scored a career-high 10 points and posted nine rebounds against the 76ers on March 19, 2010, as a member of the Knicks after being traded by the Celtics. For his career, Giddens averaged 1.9 points, 1.4 rebounds and 6.5 minutes per game.
Where is he now?: On Feb. 18, 2010, Giddens was traded by the Celtics as part of a deal that sent him, Bill Walker and Eddie House to the Knicks in exchange for Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry. He saw an increased role with the Knicks but chose to leave the NBA after the season to pursue a career overseas. He spent 2010-11 in Poland before signing with PAOK Thessaloniki, in Greece, where he currently plays.
|List: Danny Ainge’s best, worst draft day moves||06.23.11 at 8:37 am ET|
The Celtics’ season has been over for a while now, and if you’re still in mourning, we’re sorry. But it’s times like these when it’s best to look to the future, and in this case, that means Thursday’s NBA draft. The C’s have the 25th pick in a relatively thin class, but as history has shown, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge always is capable of creating some draft day drama. Here are a few of Ainge’s best moves when the Boston is “on the clock” (followed by a few he’d rather have back).
5. Drafting Ryan Gomes in the second round in 2005
Overall, the 2005 NBA draft was a disappointment for the Celtics (see below), but Ainge managed to pluck a promising talent out of the second round. Boston took Ryan Gomes of Providence with the 50th pick, one spot ahead of Robert Whaley and two spots behind Mickael Gelabale. Gomes started 33 games in his first year and 60 his second year, and ended up averaging 12.1 points and 5.6 rebounds per game in 2006-07. In the same fashion as Al Jefferson, Gomes saw his trade value increase with his breakout season, and he eventually was used as one of the many pieces in the Kevin Garnett trade.
Gomes never was a back-to-the-basket player in college and was vastly undersized in the NBA. Still, he’s managed to develop into a solid small forward for the Clippers and is averaging over 10 points per game in his career.
4. Trading for Kendrick Perkins in 2003
In his first year as general manager, Ainge had two first-round picks in one of the most talented draft classes in NBA history. No, he didn’t miraculously trade up for LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, or Dwyane Wade, but he did trade draft picks Dahntay Jones and Troy Bell to the Grizzlies for their first-round picks, Marcus Banks and Kendrick Perkins. You might only recognize one name from that transaction, but KP43 is the only one that mattered.
|Celtics announce the Robinson deal||02.18.10 at 9:02 pm ET|
The Celtics officially announced the deal to acquire Nate Robinson and Marcus Landry from the Knicks in exchange for Eddie House, Bill Walker and J.R. Giddens. Boston President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge lauded Robinson’s ball-handling and scoring abilities, suggesting that he brings sorely needed skills to the team.
“Nate is one of the great athletes in the league and he brings a dynamic scorer to our team,” Ainge said in the release. “We have been seeking a second ball handler capable of penetrating the defense and we believe that he provides that. We love Nate’s ability to pressure the ball defensively and we think he can add to our defense as well as our offense.”
Robinson, a 5-foot-9 guard, is currently averaging 13.2 points, 2.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 24.4 minutes per game. The former Washington Husky is also shooting a career-high 45.2 percent from the field in 30 games this season.
Ainge did suggest that it was difficult to part with House, who became a key reserve in parts of three seasons with the Celtics. House was averaging 7.2 points, 1.4 boards and 1.0 assists a game this year. Read the rest of this entry »
|Giddens reacts to trade||at 8:43 pm ET|
On Thursday, WEEI.com spoke with J.R. Giddens in an exclusive telephone interview after he was traded to the New York Knicks as part of the Nate Robinson deal.
Giddens averaged 1.0 points and 0.9 rebounds in 3.9 minutes per game for the Celtics over the last two seasons. He recently got his first NBA career start in place of an injured Paul Pierce.
Giddens, who turned 25 last week, has been in Boston rehabbing his left knee (meniscus surgery) and predicts he could play in the next three-to-four weeks, depending on the Knicks’ assessment. He expects to leave for New York on Friday morning, and shared his thoughts on his past and present teams:
What was your reaction when you heard you were being traded to New York?
Well I was excited, but it was bittersweet just because I really wanted to do well and show the city of Boston what I could do. But hopefully the Knicks will give me the opportunity.
Why do you think you will be a good fit for Mike D’Antoni’s system?
As a ballplayer, I’ve got to think that I’m a good fit in any system. I’ve had three different college coaches. Then me being athletic in this system because he likes to run-and-gun and get up and down, I’m athletic and I’m best in transition. I could really use my athleticism to help them.
How did playing in Boston in under such a big spotlight prepare you for playing in Madison Square Garden?
Well New York is the mecca of basketball and Boston is a championship town and it’s so traditional. Both of them are obviously so rich with basketball tradition. Being out here and seeing how people appreciate basketball, it gives you that love for the game, and I’ll carry that over to New York if I’m given the right opportunity.
Can you sum up your time in Boston — what you learned and what it meant to play for the Celtics?
I learned a lot from a lot of the veterans and just being under the tutelage of Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers. You get to see great leaders and how they prepare themselves every day and just how they approach life. Just seeing Kevin (Garnett), Paul (Pierce), and Ray (Allen), and even guys like (Rajon) Rondo that are coming into their own, I can see how they conduct business every day, prepare their bodies, the preparation they go into every game with. Just as far as the physical and mental aspect of the game, they taught me a lot. And sitting on the bench with guys like Rasheed (Wallace) and (Brian) Scalabrine, Scal talked to me so much and helped educate me on situations in the game and just how to have my mental.
I think that I was like the little brother to everybody out there, so everybody kind of passed on a little bit of knowledge to me. From the head of the organization down, I’ve had so many heartfelt conversations with even trainers, ball boys, doctors, some of the veterans, some of the young guys, everybody. When you’re a young guy on the team, everybody has some wisdom to give you. So I’ve learned so much that I just feel blessed to be in that position. Now hopefully if the situation’s different, I can apply that on court in New York or wherever I get my chance.
You must be excited that both Eddie House and Bill Walker will be going with you to New York.
Yeah, I’ll still be with those guys and familiar with them, being them for two years now.
What are you most looking forward to about being a Knick?
I’m just looking forward to starting fresh and hopefully getting the opportunity to show coach and players that I can help them win games and that I’m a good player and somebody that they’d like to have on their team.
You have that shamrock tattooed behind your ear. What’s next?
With the shamrock, it took me 22 years to get drafted to the NBA and the Celtics were the first team that gave me the opportunity to go on and play professional and follow my dreams and my heart. Every one of my tattoos means something so that’s always going to be my first, so the shamrock stays.
|Giddens cautious with return from surgery||02.07.10 at 4:12 pm ET|
J.R. Giddens recovery is ahead of schedule, but he isn’t rushing himself back on the court.
Giddens underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee last Tuesday to repair a torn meniscus he suffered while assigned to the Maine Red Claws. Even though he predicts he could return earlier if needed, he is planning on taking the full six weeks before he is cleared to play.
“I’m actually having a speedy recovery,” he said before the Celtics-Magic game. “I think if I was one of the major players on the roster, I could probably be back playing within a week-and-a-half. But I’m probably just going to take six weeks off, so probably another five weeks [from now]. I’ll start weight training next week, but everything’s good. I’ll probably start jogging, shooting free throws now.”
After having 25 percent of his meniscus removed, he doesn’t feel any soreness in his knee except for the two spots where he received what he called “baby stitches,” which he expects to have removed today. He has been lifting weights and doing exercises to improve his range of motion and strength.
Giddens will continue his rehab during the All-Star Break. He originally planned to attend the festivities in Dallas with his family to celebrate his February 13th birthday. (They live a few hours away near Oklahoma City.) Now he will stay back to get healthy.
“I’m trying to stay focused and make sure that my body’s right,” he said. “So I’m just going to stay up here in Boston, kept it very low-key, and make sure I’m rehabbing, trying to get back as soon as I can because I’m already ahead of schedule. I wouldn’t want to do anything like put myself back a week or so. You never know with injuries, people getting hurt, so I just want to try to stay fresh and get stronger day by day.”
|C’s say Giddens knee surgery successful||02.02.10 at 4:35 pm ET|
The Celtics announced Tuesday afternoon that guard J.R. Giddens underwent successful left knee arthroscopic surgery at the New England Baptist Hospital. The surgery was performed by team physician, Dr. Brian McKeon and assisted by John Rand. No timetable has been set for his return. Giddens, a 6-foot-5 guard, has appeared in 21 games for the Celtics this season and registered season-highs of six points and seven rebounds against New Jersey on Jan. 13. In four games on assignment for the Maine Red Claws of the NBA Development League this season, he averaged 18.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steal in 31.8 minutes per game.
|Celtics recall Giddens from Red Claws||01.29.10 at 6:54 pm ET|
The Celtics recalled J.R. Giddens from the Maine Red Claws, their NBA D-League affiliate, the team announced on Friday.
The recall is procedural, according to multiple reports. Giddens recently injured the meniscus in his left knee and is scheduled for surgery.
Giddens played in four games for the Red Claws during his recent assignment, averaging 18.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists. He is averaging 1.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 21 games for the Celtics this season.