By Peter F. Stringer
June 26, 2006
WALTHAM - With the NBA draft just two days away, the Celtics brought back some familiar faces for a workout on Monday, bringing in Marcus Williams, Randy Foye, Rajon Rondo and Cedric Simmons for a second look, along with first-timers Anton Gavel, Wes Wilkinson and Nik Caner-Medley.
While the drills were exclusively for four forwards or four guards when the players first came to workouts, today's drills mixed guards and forwards, giving the workouts a slightly more realistic feel for the players.
Much has happened since the last time these guys worked out for the Celtics. Williams claims that he's dropped some weight since his first workout, while Simmons says he's confident in his decision to stay in the draft and has improved his game considerably since he last worked out in Waltham. As for Rondo, he was fast as ever and Coach Doc Rivers said that his speed "jumps out at you."
Even so, Rivers didn't think that today's workout had the potential to impact who the team would consider drafting on Wednesday.
"I don't think any workout at this point is going to change your mind, but it reassures some of the thoughts you may have had," said Rivers. "There's been times over the years I've been in this league that it has, but it's rare."
That said, most of the players said they didn't have any more clue today than they did a few weeks ago about where they'll be drafted. And they all seemed quite road-weary, and hadn't given much thought to important things -- like what kind of suit they'd wear on draft night.
"I'm just going to do something simple," said Simmons. "No hats."
Meanwhile, Danny Ainge met the press to talk about Wednesday's draft. While he obviously wasn't looking to tip his hand, he did offer some insight about what the Celtics may or may not do on Wednesday night. While he made it clear that he's had offers from teams looking to acquire the #7 pick in the draft, Ainge said he's not looking to trade up for a higher pick because of the price required to move up in the draft, which would likely be a young asset on the current team.
Making a trade with the pick certainly isn't out of the question, but that's easier said then done.
"There's a chance. I'm not sure what percentage," said Ainge. "There's some deals I would like to do with the pick, but I have no idea if we can find a partner to do what we want to do."
While observers have suggested that the team should try to swap the pick for a veteran player, Ainge said he's not looking for "run of the mill veteran players" and he's more interested in talent.
"If there's an All-Star veteran to be had for a couple of young guys, or a draft pick and one of the young guys for something that's really good, I would do that," Ainge said. "But we're trying to just develop great players."