P/sunny
56°
P/sunny
Hi 77° | Lo 63°

Rebuilding Celts have 2 1st-round picks

  • FILE - In this March 23, 2014 file photo, Arizona forward Aaron Gordon dunks a basket against Gonzaga during the first half of a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in San Diego. Gordon is a possible pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

    FILE - In this March 23, 2014 file photo, Arizona forward Aaron Gordon dunks a basket against Gonzaga during the first half of a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in San Diego. Gordon is a possible pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

  • FILE - In this April 16, 2014 file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) drives against Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves have been talking to teams for weeks now about trading All-Star forward Kevin Love. That could happen on draft night, Thursday, June 26, when the Timberwolves hold 13th pick. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)

    FILE - In this April 16, 2014 file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) drives against Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves have been talking to teams for weeks now about trading All-Star forward Kevin Love. That could happen on draft night, Thursday, June 26, when the Timberwolves hold 13th pick. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)

  • FILE - In this April 16, 2014 file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) drives against Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves have been talking to teams for weeks now about trading All-Star forward Kevin Love. That could happen on draft night, Thursday, June 26, when the Timberwolves hold 13th pick. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)

    FILE - In this April 16, 2014 file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) drives against Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves have been talking to teams for weeks now about trading All-Star forward Kevin Love. That could happen on draft night, Thursday, June 26, when the Timberwolves hold 13th pick. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2014 file photo, Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart (33) goes up for a dunk in front of Texas Tech forward Jordan Tolbert (32) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla. Smart is a possible pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2014 file photo, Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart (33) goes up for a dunk in front of Texas Tech forward Jordan Tolbert (32) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla. Smart is a possible pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

  • FILE - In this April 24, 2010 file photo, Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond speaks at a news conference before Game 3 in the first round NBA basketball playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, in Milwaukee. The Bucks could very well be down to taking either Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins with the second overall pick in the NBA draft, though Milwaukee's veteran general manager said he'll listen to trade offers too. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

    FILE - In this April 24, 2010 file photo, Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond speaks at a news conference before Game 3 in the first round NBA basketball playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, in Milwaukee. The Bucks could very well be down to taking either Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins with the second overall pick in the NBA draft, though Milwaukee's veteran general manager said he'll listen to trade offers too. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

  • FILE - In this April 24, 2010 file photo, Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond speaks at a news conference before Game 3 in the first round NBA basketball playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, in Milwaukee. The Bucks could very well be down to taking either Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins with the second overall pick in the NBA draft, though Milwaukee's veteran general manager said he'll listen to trade offers too. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

    FILE - In this April 24, 2010 file photo, Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond speaks at a news conference before Game 3 in the first round NBA basketball playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, in Milwaukee. The Bucks could very well be down to taking either Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins with the second overall pick in the NBA draft, though Milwaukee's veteran general manager said he'll listen to trade offers too. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

  • FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2014 file photo, Kansas center Joel Embiid (21) plays in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma in Lawrence, Kan. Embiid is a possible pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2014 file photo, Kansas center Joel Embiid (21) plays in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma in Lawrence, Kan. Embiid is a possible pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

  • In this April 26, 2014, photo, Dallas Mavericks guard Jose Calderon drives during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs in Dallas. Dallas and the New York Knicks have agreed to a trade that would bring center Tyson Chandler back to the Mavericks three years after he helped them win a championship only to leave right away in free agency. Two people with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday, June 25, 2014, the Mavericks would send guards Calderon and Shane Larkin and center Samuel Dalembert to the Knicks for Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been announced. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    In this April 26, 2014, photo, Dallas Mavericks guard Jose Calderon drives during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs in Dallas. Dallas and the New York Knicks have agreed to a trade that would bring center Tyson Chandler back to the Mavericks three years after he helped them win a championship only to leave right away in free agency. Two people with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday, June 25, 2014, the Mavericks would send guards Calderon and Shane Larkin and center Samuel Dalembert to the Knicks for Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been announced. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

  • In this April 26, 2014, photo, Dallas Mavericks guard Jose Calderon drives during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs in Dallas. Dallas and the New York Knicks have agreed to a trade that would bring center Tyson Chandler back to the Mavericks three years after he helped them win a championship only to leave right away in free agency. Two people with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday, June 25, 2014, the Mavericks would send guards Calderon and Shane Larkin and center Samuel Dalembert to the Knicks for Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been announced. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    In this April 26, 2014, photo, Dallas Mavericks guard Jose Calderon drives during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs in Dallas. Dallas and the New York Knicks have agreed to a trade that would bring center Tyson Chandler back to the Mavericks three years after he helped them win a championship only to leave right away in free agency. Two people with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday, June 25, 2014, the Mavericks would send guards Calderon and Shane Larkin and center Samuel Dalembert to the Knicks for Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been announced. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

  • FILE - In this March 23, 2014 file photo, Arizona forward Aaron Gordon dunks a basket against Gonzaga during the first half of a third-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in San Diego. Gordon is a possible pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
  • FILE - In this April 16, 2014 file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) drives against Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves have been talking to teams for weeks now about trading All-Star forward Kevin Love. That could happen on draft night, Thursday, June 26, when the Timberwolves hold 13th pick. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)
  • FILE - In this April 16, 2014 file photo, Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love (42) drives against Utah Jazz forward Jeremy Evans, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Minneapolis. The Timberwolves have been talking to teams for weeks now about trading All-Star forward Kevin Love. That could happen on draft night, Thursday, June 26, when the Timberwolves hold 13th pick. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt, File)
  • FILE - In this Feb. 22, 2014 file photo, Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart (33) goes up for a dunk in front of Texas Tech forward Jordan Tolbert (32) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Stillwater, Okla. Smart is a possible pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York.(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
  • FILE - In this April 24, 2010 file photo, Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond speaks at a news conference before Game 3 in the first round NBA basketball playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, in Milwaukee. The Bucks could very well be down to taking either Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins with the second overall pick in the NBA draft, though Milwaukee's veteran general manager said he'll listen to trade offers too. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)
  • FILE - In this April 24, 2010 file photo, Milwaukee Bucks general manager John Hammond speaks at a news conference before Game 3 in the first round NBA basketball playoffs against the Atlanta Hawks, in Milwaukee. The Bucks could very well be down to taking either Jabari Parker or Andrew Wiggins with the second overall pick in the NBA draft, though Milwaukee's veteran general manager said he'll listen to trade offers too. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)
  • FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2014 file photo, Kansas center Joel Embiid (21) plays in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oklahoma in Lawrence, Kan. Embiid is a possible pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Thursday, June 26, 2014 in New York. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)
  • In this April 26, 2014, photo, Dallas Mavericks guard Jose Calderon drives during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs in Dallas. Dallas and the New York Knicks have agreed to a trade that would bring center Tyson Chandler back to the Mavericks three years after he helped them win a championship only to leave right away in free agency. Two people with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday, June 25, 2014, the Mavericks would send guards Calderon and Shane Larkin and center Samuel Dalembert to the Knicks for Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been announced. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
  • In this April 26, 2014, photo, Dallas Mavericks guard Jose Calderon drives during the first half of Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs in Dallas. Dallas and the New York Knicks have agreed to a trade that would bring center Tyson Chandler back to the Mavericks three years after he helped them win a championship only to leave right away in free agency. Two people with knowledge of the deal said Wednesday, June 25, 2014, the Mavericks would send guards Calderon and Shane Larkin and center Samuel Dalembert to the Knicks for Chandler and point guard Raymond Felton. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been announced. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

BOSTON — Danny Ainge stockpiled draft choices for his big rebuilding project with the Boston Celtics.

Now the decision-maker who won three NBA championships as a player with the Celtics and one as their general manager gets to use them after the third worst season in team history.

They have 10 first-round picks in the next five drafts, starting with two tonight when they pick sixth and 17th.

Arizona forward Aaron Gordon and Oklahoma State guard Marcus Smart should be available for the Celtics’ first pick with a slim possibility that Kansas center Joel Embiid will drop that far following foot surgery that is expected to sideline him four to six months.

Injuries “are always concerns, especially when it’s a player like that, that we won’t be able to have in to evaluate to really get the risks from our medical staff,” Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge said. “There’s a lot of guesswork involved, but you’re always trying to weigh short term and long term.

“We try to think long term that if a guy has to miss a couple months, that shouldn’t deter us from taking him if he’s going to be the best player long term.”

The Celtics are more likely to draft Smart, who can play both guard positions, or Gordon.

The 6-foot-3, 227-pound Smart, who averaged 18 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists as a sophomore last season, could team up with point guard Rajon Rondo, entering the final year of his contract, or could make Rondo expendable in a major trade.

Gordon, 6-foot-9 and 220 pounds, averaged 12.4 points, eight rebounds and two assists as a freshman and turns 19 on Sept. 16.

Danny Ainge, now the team’s president of basketball operations, hasn’t ruled out a trade. And team owner Wyc Grousbeck has said “there could be some fireworks” this month.

The Celtics have been linked to Minnesota forward Kevin Love, who recently watched a game at Fenway Park and talked with Rondo.

But the Celtics apparently don’t have the talented veterans to package in a deal for the forward who is set to opt out of his contract with the Timberwolves when his contract expires after the upcoming season.

“We want to win. We want to be good,” Austin Ainge said. “The decision comes when you’re cashing in future assets, if it’s time to push all your chips to the middle of the table or if it’s to be as good as you can without sacrificing the future. Those are case-by-case decisions and it depends how good we can get now.”

The Celtics could add two first-round picks to a core that includes two forwards chosen in the last two first rounds, Jared Sullinger in 2012 and Kelly Olynyk in 2013. They have no second-rounder this year.

But they have three first-rounders in 2015 — their own plus one obtained from the Los Angeles Clippers for allowing them to sign coach Doc Rivers and another from Philadelphia. They have two in 2016, one in 2017 and two in 2018.

The extra picks this year and in 2016 and 2018 came in a trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, key players on the 2007-08 championship team, to the Brooklyn Nets on July 12.

The Celtics were 25-57 last season under new coach Brad Stevens. They opened at a respectable 12-14 then went 13-43 the rest of the way.

Rondo missed the first 40 games recovering from major knee surgery that hindered his preseason workouts but made it through the season without a significant setback.

Stevens was coaching at Butler when Danny Ainge signed him to a six-year deal for his first pro job. That was a major step in the long-term reconstruction of the team.

Now the Celtics can add two more youngsters to that project.

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.