Ainge, Celtics Excited After Lottery

Marc D'Amico
Team Reporter and Analyst

BOSTON – Join Danny Ainge and the rest of the Boston Celtics by getting excited about the next five weeks. There are so many things that could happen.

The Celtics landed the sixth selection in the 2014 NBA Draft during Tuesday night’s Lottery drawing in New York City. They also own the rights to the 17th overall pick and have a host of future first-round picks at their disposal.

Boston has options – plenty of them – and that fact is pumping some energy into the veins of some of the team’s most important executives.

Steve Pagliuca

Celtics managing partner and co-owner Steve Pagliuca represented the Celtics at Tuesday night's Draft Lottery.
NBAE/Getty Images

“This is an exciting time of the year. This is an exciting time for our franchise,” Danny Ainge said Tuesday night, shortly after watching the Lottery unfold on television. “We can do anything from taking the two draft picks and continuing to add to our young talent, or we could make some bigger deals that speed up our process, and everywhere inbetween.”

Ainge, who’s currently in Los Angeles watching some of the Draft’s top prospects work out, continued by saying, “I think that everything is possible. It’s going to be a really interesting next month.”

Celtics managing partner and co-owner Steve Pagliuca is surely buying into the excitement as well. Pagliuca, who represented the team at Tuesday’s Lottery drawing, believes Boston will have a shot at snagging two legitimate players if it chooses to use both of its picks next month.

“If you look at this board, this board is a lot better than any draft that I’ve seen,” said Pagliuca, who has co-owned the team since December of 2002. “We’ve got the experts, and people who are really excited about the type of players you can get at picks 17, 18 or 19.”

Pagliuca also indicated that Ainge and his staff may be higher on this Draft class than they are publicly indicating.

“Our guys are about as excited as they’ve been about any draft since we’ve been here,” Pagliuca revealed.

Ainge likened Boston’s current scenario to that of 2007, when the team owned the fifth pick in a star-heavy Draft. The Celtics used that pick as trade bait to acquire Ray Allen. Shortly thereafter, they acquired Kevin Garnett, and the rest is history.

Trading the sixth pick, the 17th pick or both is a possibility for Ainge. He indicated Tuesday night that he will look into any and all options before settling on the route that will be most beneficial for the future of his franchise.

“I do think that that’s a possibility, moving up,” commented Ainge. “Moving down is also a possibility, and moving out or using all of those picks are all options. We’ll explore all of those things.”

Should the Celtics decide to stand pat, Ainge sounds confident that he’ll be able to add high-ceiling players to his young and talented roster.

“I think you can get a player who’s capable of starting on an NBA team, being a starter on a winning team,” Ainge said. “I think that we’ll have our options with a handful of guys.”

There’s nothing better for an NBA general manager than having options. Ainge is chock full of them, enough to have the other 29 GM’s peering his way with envy.

That why he believes everything is possible.