By Peter F. Stringer
June 27, 2007
WALTHAM - Danny Ainge has his notebook ready and he's got the scenarios down. He knows whom he wants to take and he's ready to draft.
That said, the Celtics' Executive Director of Basketball Operations made it clear to the reporters assembled at the Sports Authority Training Center at HealthPoint on Wednesday morning that he won't be taking any calls regarding any of the wild trade speculation that's been floating around for the last two weeks, or anything else for that matter.
He'll be too busy working through the variables that present themselves on draft day, whether its moving up in the draft, moving back in the draft, trading out completely or standing pat.
"There's a lot of discussions that I've had over the last month that will be dependant upon the draft and how it unfolds," Ainge said. "There's a lot of different scenarios that we'll be prepared to do as the draft unfolds, and typically what happens is that tomorrow, starting in the afternoon leading up until draft time, there's a lot more discussions and a lot more possibilities."
Ainge was peppered with questions about what the Celtics plan to do, and while no one was expecting him to show his hand, it didn't stop reporters from asking some pretty direct questions. Inquiries about trade rumors and reports that players from other teams named in said trade rumors don't want to come to the Celtics were the soup du jour, but Ainge has already been hearing this stuff all week.
Must get pretty annoying, huh?
"The only annoying thing is that you guys have to think that they're true and try to track me down to find out my opinions on them. Other than that, I think they're kind of fun," Ainge said. "What I think is really fun is that you guys actually believe them. But as far as the interest level, it's fun."
Ainge also mentioned that he keeps in regular contact with the guys on the roster about what the team is doing to improve itself and what the players are doing to improve themselves in the offseason as well.
Finally, Ainge noted that while he wants to make some changes to his roster between now and October, he doesn't feel the need to. "That's when you make bad trades," Ainge said.
The Celtics staged their final draft workout in Waltham on Wednesday, and while USC's Nick Young, who was the most prominent of the four players in the house today, is projected to be a first-rounder, he's not likely in the Celtics' plans at #5.
However, Ainge and Head Coach Doc Rivers made a trip to Phoenix Tuesday to see three guys who are definitely in the mix at that spot. The C's saw Corey Brewer, Joakim Noah and Jeff Green each for a second time, and while Ainge once again came away impressed again with all three players, the workout sort of disappointed him because when all three players perform so well, it's hard to see any separation between the prospects.
"They all played well. You hope to see some separation, or somebody jump off the charts," Ainge said, echoing what Rivers told reporters. "[It would] make my job a whole lot easier. That wasn't the case. They all played well."