BOSTON (CBS) – For the first time since the 2006-07 season, the Boston Celtics, 23-54, find themselves on the outside looking in on the NBA postseason.
With five games left to go in the regular season, all eyes for the Celtics are now pointed toward the draft lottery on May 20 and the draft on June 26, which scouts are calling the most talented draft in a decade.
All season long we’ve heard names like Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Joel Embiid and Julius Randle — players that former Butler coach Brad Stevens has seen blossom from his familiarity with the high school and AAU basketball scenes.
Due to this familiarity, does that give Stevens a leg up on the Celtics scouts? Given his college coaching background, should Stevens be more involved in the draft process?
The reason these questions are being brought up stem from comments made recently by the first year NBA coach. He pointed to the Chicago Bulls roster and how they’re stacked with players that were successful in the NCAA tournament, like Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich just to name a few.
Celtics VP of basketball operations Danny Ainge has said on this station that he takes little stock in the tournament, and if anything he only uses it as a tool to break ties among players that, in his mind, are even.
If Brad Stevens puts more stock in the tournament than Danny does, does this mean he should take a backseat in the draft process?
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones discussed that very topic Monday night on the nightly ‘Celtics At 7‘ feature.
“I get that he’s seen a lot of these prospects, but if he thinks it matters that people have played in the national championship game and that’s the reason the Bulls are so good, like, what are we talking about here? I would put zero stock what these guys do in the NCAA tournament. I don’t know how much of a seat at the table Brad Stevens has when it comes to personnel decisions, but for the draft let’s let Danny Ainge handle that aspect.”
Listen below for the full discussion with Rich Keefe: