At the moment when the envelope was opened revealing the Celtics were the proud new owners of the No. 6 pick in this year’s draft, team co-owner Wyc Grousbeck admits he wasn’t very pleased with anyone.
“I looked across the room. I was way in the back near the stands and I just stared daggers at Mark Tatum,” Grousbeck said of the man who was the bearer of bad news. “He’s a very, very nice guy. … He sounded disappointed. It was like when Adam Silver said we had the fifth pick in 2007.”
Despite the obvious initial disappointment, Grousbeck told Felger & Mazz on Wednesday that the C’s are in fine position to get back to being a championship contender.
With two picks in the first round this year as well as multiple first-rounders in the coming years, Grousbeck expressed confidence in the C’s ability to get where they want to go — even if Danny Ainge has made some comments saying the draft class doesn’t exactly live up to all the hype.
“Others have listened to Danny in the past and others have ended up being fooled later on,” Grousbeck said. “We’re good with 6 and 17. We’re good with our pick next year, wherever it is. And the Clippers unprotected No. 1, thanks very much for that, Doc Rivers. We’ll make this work.”
Grousbeck was asked if seeing the Cavaliers win the lottery three out of four years makes him believe a major change is necessary in the process.
“We all like sports, we all love sports, and part of it is that these improbable things happen,” Grousbeck said. “I mean, Cleveland hasn’t had a championship since what, ’64? If they win the lottery three times, maybe it’s finally their year. Who knows?”
As most Celtics discussions do these days, the conversation then shifted to Rajon Rondo and his future with the team.
“I feel pressure every year to be on track and to get somewhere and having guys around who want to be there and want to dig in. So we’ve got guys like that, and there’s no question that Rondo’s one of them,” Grousbeck said. “He deserves all the accolades he’s gotten, including being voted an All-Star starter and winning a world championship. And Brad [Stevens] and Danny feel the same way, about building around him. So I’m not worried about Rondo. He was in the building this morning working out hard, and he looks great. He’s killing it. He looks like the old days before the knee [injury].
“I would generally say that the experience with Rondo has been extremely positive,” Grousbeck added. “I know it’s viewed as positive on both sides. In fact, Rajon and I had a brief talk … and it’s just positive. He loves being a Celtic. I think he wants to take this team back to where he had it before.”