I'm stealing this question straight from one of our fine producers at CSN, Jeff Capotosto. I'm not insightful enough to come up with it on my own, so I'll swipe it.
Question: What has been Danny Ainge's home-run draft pick in his 13 years in charge of the Boston Celtics?
Has he ever had one? If he has, someone has to tell me who it is.
Al Jefferson? Just because someone (i.e., buddy Kevin McHale) overpaid for his services doesn't mean he's a great player. Rajon Rondo (draft day trade in 2006)? Meh. I know a lot of you liked him for a time, but is he a singular talent? Sorry, he never was and never will be. Same goes for Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, Ryan Gomes, Delonte West and/or Tony Allen.
We're not suggesting Ainge is a bad drafter. He hasn't had many lottery picks to work with and you can certainly point to many good selections. He's gotten value low in the process. Rondo at 21. Bradley at 19. Allen at 25. Kendrick Perkins at 27. Gomes and Big Baby Davis (draft day trade in 2007) in the second round.
But he doesn't have a Klay Thompson (11th) or a Khwai Leonard (15th overall) on his draft resume. He doesn't have a Draymond Green (second round), Tony Parker (28th overall), Manu Ginobili (second round) or DeAndre Jordan (second round).
Again, I'm not blaming Ainge for it. Some of those picks were flat-out miracles. No other teams have been able to do what the Spurs or Warriors (Steph Curry at 7 is also ridiculous) have done, either.
But if you believe Ainge is going to pull some magic with this Brooklyn draft pick, I want to know what you're basing it on. His history suggests he might get a nice prospect and an interesting player, like a Jefferson or a Marcus Smart. But if this third overall pick turns into something truly special, it will be the first time Ainge has done it.
But a trade? Now we're talking. I know he can do that.
Email Felger at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen to Felger and Mazz weekdays, 2-6 p.m., 98.5 FM. The simulcast runs daily on CSN.