BOSTON (CBS) – If you think the rumors and speculation surrounding the 2014 NBA Draft is crazier than it’s ever been, don’t worry because you’re not alone.
Sean Grande has been the voice of the Celtics for 16 years now and he’s never seen anything quite like this. He joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich show Thursday morning to discuss the draft, starting with LeBron James and how his opting out is affecting the rest of the NBA.
The New York Knicks and Dallas Mavericks agreed to a deal on Wednesday in order to create enough flexibility to be able to land James, as well as Houston’s deal with New Orleans ridding themselves of big man Omer Asik.
“The LeBron pebble has made such waves around the NBA. The Dallas-New York deal happened yesterday in large part because of LeBron. Cleveland is doing all this crazy stuff because of LeBron. I don’t think LeBron is going anywhere, but just the concept that he would [leave Miami] has changed the league. It’s already made slight ripples in the league,” said Grande.
Grande is in lock step with Brian Robb in that the Celtics are more likely to go young for next season rather than make a big splash on draft night, but did hint at the fact that the Sacramento Kings are “as Rondo-crazy as they’ve ever been” — so that’s something to keep an eye on.
Kevin Love has been the big topic of NBA discussion in these parts ever since he was spotted with Rajon Rondo in Boston for a seemingly random trip, leading fans to believe a deal with Minnesota was imminent.
However, Grande says sometimes the best moves are the ones you don’t make.
“I think [getting a superstar alongside Rondo] is what most people want. I think that’s certainly what the goal and idea was. The teams that are successful in the long term are the ones that stay calm today and not racing around in a panic.
“Let’s say you take the two players tonight [at no. 6 and no. 17] and you have two strong assets a year from now. You let people fall in your lap and let other teams make mistakes. I don’t believe [Joel] Embiid will fall to no. 6, but what if he did? Imagine a year from now. If you think your basket is full now, a year from now you’re gonna be in even better shape.”
Add Joel Embiid, the Kansas center considered to be the best prospect but also riddled with injury concerns, plus the LeBron factor and what many believe to be the best draft in a decade, and what you end up with is the makings of a very busy, eventful draft night — some might even call it “insane.”
“This is as insane a draft day as I’ve seen in 16 years of doing this on the morning of when you consider the possibilities and the things that could happen — when guys are asked to fly out the night before the draft for a special workout. In the old days of the NBA you had a pretty good idea. You could safely do a mock draft into the teens and feel pretty good about it. Now we have no idea what’s happening with the first pick, and that’s what makes tonight so exciting.”
MORE FROM TOUCHER AND RICH