BOSTON (CBS) — On Thursday night’s “Celtics at 7,” Adam Jones and Adam Kaufman try to figure out the future plans of the Boston Celtics.
While their win over the Heat on Wednesday was a nice emotional boost for Brad Stevens, his players, and even fans that aren’t on board with all the “tank talk,” it seriously hurt Boston’s chances in the lottery, dropping them to sixth in the tank-rank.
“It’s not just beating Miami, which is great for Brad Stevens and great for the guys in the locker room, great for Grande and Max — I’m sure they wanted to see a win. But for Celtics fans who have wrapped their heads around what this season is, that’s a frustrating win,” said Jones. “It knocks you down a few pegs down and maybe takes away from getting an elite player, if you believe elite guys exist in that draft, which I do.”
“Likely they’re going to select six through nine, and that’s where the great prospects are off the board,” said Jones. “You want to be somewhere in the top four or five to get have an opportunity to get an elite player in the draft, and I really think it’s the top four now. It’s Wiggins, Parker, Embiid and Exum.”
“If you’re anywhere outside of that top four and I’m Danny Ainge, I’m looking heavily to trade the pick for someone to build around,” said Jones.
Should the Celtics land a pick in the six to nine range, Jones and Kaufman discuss another possible route for the team this offseason: Build with youth rather than bringing in veterans.
“Are the Celtics angling for Brad Stevens to coach Rondo and another All Star or two, or did they bring him in here because they’re going the youth route with young players,” asked Jones. “Emphasizing what Stevens was so good at at Butler; developing two or three star recruits and turning them into, in the case of Gordon Hayward, and NBA player.”
“I think Ainge’s ideal plan is to have Stevens grow in the NBA with a young group of players, who he can still, to a certain degree, control like he did in college. You’re not going to have, save for a guy like Rondo, that egotistical NBA talent,” added Kaufman. “I think that is the plan for both Ainge and Stevens, but I think you can do a little bit of both.”
“I don’t think Ainge wants to load up on veterans like when Ray and Garnett came in here in 2007,” said Kaufman. “But if he can bring in young talented veterans, like the pipe dream of Kevin Love…. that is the best of both worlds.”