BOSTON (CBS) — Celtics fans know the team’s history at the draft lottery all too well, and so does Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck.
Wyc joined Felger & Mazz on Wednesday afternoon, still glowing from the team coming up as winners in the draft lottery in New York City. Grousbeck said he made the trip the New York with low expectations.
“I assumed all along, it was a 25 percent chance, so I figured I’d be apologizing to fans,” Grousbeck said. “I really wasn’t expecting to win at all. It was just a complete gift.
“I really just wasn’t imagining it. I’ve been used to disappointment down there at the lottery,” he continued. “Just had no expectation to win.”
He summed up his feeling quite simply: “I’m loving life right now.”
Of course, a celebration can only last so long, and eventually it becomes business time. With that in mind, do the Celtics know if they’re going to use the pick or trade it?
“We don’t have to know. We get to just relax,” Grousbeck said. “And this is a nice position to be in. I think — and I’ve said it — I think these picks are very, very valuable.”
Grousbeck noted that trading the pick to get a player with a max contract means the team would have to send equivalent money out, so the value really is in adding the young player who is five or six years away from a max deal.
“If you can get a really good guy with this pick, you’ve got him, you can build with him,” Grousbeck explained. “It’s a totally different thing. These picks are really valuable in today’s NBA. So our intention would be to make the pick unless someone blows us away with an offer.”
As for which player the Celtics might pick? Grousbeck said he leaves that to Danny Ainge and Co.
“Last time I talked to Danny, he had the guys in order. But he is entitled to change his mind right up until [the draft],” Grousbeck said.
There’s been some talk that the Celtics wouldn’t want the No. 1 pick, because the young player they drafted wouldn’t be developed enough to contribute to a title run with this current core of Isaiah Thomas, Al Horford and No. 3 overall pick in 2016, Jaylen Brown. Grousbeck said he didn’t quite understand that logic.
“I just looked at something that said we average 25 years old, including Al Horford. The other three [teams] in the semifinals average 28, 29 years old. We’re four years younger than any other team that’s playing right now,” Grousbeck said. “I’m not worried that Jaylen Brown’s going to miss any windows. The kid just turned 20. I’m worried that I’m going to miss his window. I’m 55.”
Grousbeck also noted that the superteams in Cleveland and Golden State can’t run the league forever, and that their windows will eventually change as well.
And, as it relates to that superteam in Cleveland, Grousbeck was asked if he believes his team has a chance to beat the Cavaliers in the conference finals.
“I do think we have a chance, particularly because we’re starting out on home court tonight,” he said. “I’m not going to predict it, but I’m going to hope for it.”
Listen to the full interview below: