Four first round picks for... Justise Winslow?? (Ainge's drafting record)

NomarsFool

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He is clearly ok to push his chips into the middle when the deal is right. But for all the complaints when he doesn't trade up on draft day or land the white whale, there's something to be said for not overpaying. He seems to have that value threshold clear in his mind and won't exceed it. That's a good thing.
I certainly agree that Ainge is above average, but it's interesting how much different his legacy would have been if Charlotte had been smart enough to accept Ainge's offer of 6 draft picks, including 4 future first rounders for the rights to draft Justice Winslow. If not for Charlotte, that move would have crippled the Celtics for years to come.
 

Pollard's Spartan Beard

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I certainly agree that Ainge is above average, but it's interesting how much different his legacy would have been if Charlotte had been smart enough to accept Ainge's offer of 6 draft picks, including 4 future first rounders for the rights to draft Justice Winslow. If not for Charlotte, that move would have crippled the Celtics for years to come.
Ainge gets criticized for this pretty often, and I take your point, given would have almost certainly been a massive overpay.

However, to play devil's advocate, if he had dealt the C's two first round picks from that same 2015 draft as rumored (Rozier and RJ Hunter) and two non Brooklyn firsts from the 2016 draft (Yabusele and Zizic), the conversation looks a bit different. It's entirely possible - admittedly in hindsight - to craft a version of the Winslow trade that doesn't cripple the Celtics. In fact, it seems more far-fetched to me to imagine that he would have thrown that highly coveted Brooklyn pick into such a deal, given that they also had the Dallas pick from the Rondo trade and their own late first to offer. It's hard for me to believe that Ainge would have considered a deal that involved the picks that would become Brown or Tatum.

What's really funny to me is that I'd much rather have Justise Winslow than any of the other four players we ended up with by keeping the picks. What's more of a bummer is when you look at some of the guys like Siakam, Brogdon and Murray taken after Yabusele in 2016 who the Celtics had two bites at the apple to get and didn't.
 

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I certainly agree that Ainge is above average, but it's interesting how much different his legacy would have been if Charlotte had been smart enough to accept Ainge's offer of 6 draft picks, including 4 future first rounders for the rights to draft Justice Winslow. If not for Charlotte, that move would have crippled the Celtics for years to come.
The point is that he didn't make a crippling trade. When the overpay that comes to mind is one that didn't actually happen, I'd say that your record is pretty fucking good.
 

Big John

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Is everyone certain that the huge offer for Winslow was in fact made, or is it just a myth?
 

benhogan

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Is everyone certain that the huge offer for Winslow was in fact made, or is it just a myth?
I'm pretty sure neither Danny would admit to offering that

or Charlotte admits to declining that offer...

due to the sheer volume of picks, the Nets picks were probably lottery-protected

 
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NomarsFool

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Ainge himself has talked about it. I don't remember if he gave details, but I sort of think he would have corrected the rumors if they were far off.
 

benhogan

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Ainge gets criticized for this pretty often, and I take your point, given would have almost certainly been a massive overpay.

However, to play devil's advocate, if he had dealt the C's two first round picks from that same 2015 draft as rumored (Rozier and RJ Hunter) and two non Brooklyn firsts from the 2016 draft (Yabusele and Zizic), the conversation looks a bit different. It's entirely possible - admittedly in hindsight - to craft a version of the Winslow trade that doesn't cripple the Celtics. In fact, it seems more far-fetched to me to imagine that he would have thrown that highly coveted Brooklyn pick into such a deal, given that they also had the Dallas pick from the Rondo trade and their own late first to offer. It's hard for me to believe that Ainge would have considered a deal that involved the picks that would become Brown or Tatum.

What's really funny to me is that I'd much rather have Justise Winslow than any of the other four players we ended up with by keeping the picks. What's more of a bummer is when you look at some of the guys like Siakam, Brogdon and Murray taken after Yabusele in 2016 who the Celtics had two bites at the apple to get and didn't.
this is a good recap and your suggestion is probably the most plausible

" if he had dealt the C's two first round picks from that same 2015 draft as rumored (Rozier and RJ Hunter) and two non Brooklyn firsts from the 2016 draft (Yabusele and Zizic)"
 

Jimbodandy

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I reiterate that Ainge's terrible mistakes are a trade that he didn't actually make and passing on guys in the draft that at least half the league also passed on. Seems like a pretty good record. Not trying to discourage nitpicking, but just pointing it out.

Clearly Ainge isn't gun shy. He'll bet big when the big hands come. But he doesn't have a track record of overpays for trades. Like not even a little bit.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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I reiterate that Ainge's terrible mistakes are a trade that he didn't actually make and passing on guys in the draft that at least half the league also passed on. Seems like a pretty good record. Not trying to discourage nitpicking, but just pointing it out.

Clearly Ainge isn't gun shy. He'll bet big when the big hands come. But he doesn't have a track record of overpays for trades. Like not even a little bit.
Like players, its kind of unfair to evaluate executives versus perfection. I know some people want/expect each player to take good shots and make them each time however that isn't how basketball actually works.

Similarly, it isn't realistic to grade GMs on their misses only - in short, you have to look at how they did relative to the other front-offices in the league. On that front, Ainge grades out pretty well and imo, the competition is stiff. Furthermore, as everyone knows, talent evaluation is tricky. If you are going to fault an executive for missing on individual players, you are going to find a lot of screw ups. I have yet to come across a sports executive who gets it right all the time.
 

InstaFace

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Yeah Jimbo, but "it's interesting to note!" that if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle.

"It's interesting to note this counterfactual which, despite not being true, serves as a base for me to effectively criticize someone while also not having to defend that criticism because it didn't actually happen". It's concern-trolling, dolled up to look like mere sophistry. "I'm very concerned that Ainge almost did this bad thing!" well, I hope he got all the indignant replies he was hoping for with that bit. Next move would usually be to call the realists "snowflakes", I think.
 

Jimbodandy

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Yeah Jimbo, but "it's interesting to note!" that if my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle.

"It's interesting to note this counterfactual which, despite not being true, serves as a base for me to effectively criticize someone while also not having to defend that criticism because it didn't actually happen". It's concern-trolling, dolled up to look like mere sophistry. "I'm very concerned that Ainge almost did this bad thing!" well, I hope he got all the indignant replies he was hoping for with that bit. Next move would usually be to call the realists "snowflakes", I think.
Hear Hear!
 

Devizier

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Some misses are worth noting, like Traylor over Nowitzki/Pierce.

But not taking a flyer on a teenaged Giannis or whatever is not in the same league, despite how great Giannis has become. At least Olynyk became one of the better players from that draft.
 

Big John

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Some misses are worth noting, like Traylor over Nowitzki/Pierce.

But not taking a flyer on a teenaged Giannis or whatever is not in the same league, despite how great Giannis has become. At least Olynyk became one of the better players from that draft.
So did Gobert, taken 27th. Every time this issue comes up, someone steps in to exonerate Ainge. Given where the team was in 2013-- in the first year of a rebuild-- there was no excuse not to go for the brass ring. Olynyk was always going to be a complementary player at best, and taking him was the worst mistake of Ainge's career. To Ainge's credit, he hasn't make that many.
 

nighthob

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So did Gobert, taken 27th. Every time this issue comes up, someone steps in to exonerate Ainge. Given where the team was in 2013-- in the first year of a rebuild-- there was no excuse not to go for the brass ring. Olynyk was always going to be a complementary player at best, and taking him was the worst mistake of Ainge's career. To Ainge's credit, he hasn't make that many.
From what I understand from a Minnesota blogger, the T’wolves loved Olynyk and he assumed that Boston’s pick was part of a strategy to land Love when he finally went on the market. But I agree that Ainge should have been swinging for the fences, had they drafted Antetokounmpo then their plans to sign Horford and Durant probably come to pass. (Given Durant’s comments on the Greek Freak, and jesus can you imagine that front court with Tatum and Smart coming off the bench?) Also the cursed Summer of ‘17 never happens.

On the other hand, had the Lakers been willing to part with Lonzo Ball in their trade talks with Cleveland Boston would have got a top 5 pick in 2018 to go along with Shae Gilgeous-Alexander. ;)

IIRC, they couldn't take anyone who could be in the roster because of a salary or roster spot crunch.
Yeah, there was a mistake that year, but it wasn’t the draft, it was failing to cut bait on James Young. Had they paid Atlanta to take him they would have had the ability to make one pick. Had they moved on from Olynyk and Young they could have drafted whomever they wanted at 16 and 23.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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So did Gobert, taken 27th. Every time this issue comes up, someone steps in to exonerate Ainge. Given where the team was in 2013-- in the first year of a rebuild-- there was no excuse not to go for the brass ring. Olynyk was always going to be a complementary player at best, and taking him was the worst mistake of Ainge's career. To Ainge's credit, he hasn't make that many.
Who "steps in to exonerate Ainge"? Is there a defense attorney here who has managed to clear his name and keep him out of prison?

Anyone can cite this as a huge failure for Ainge but the fact is that Gobert was selected 27th in that draft. Rebuilding teams like Cleveland had two bites at the apple and passed on him both times. Atlanta passed on him twice too and they were a pretty well run team at the time (I think Ferry was pretty good but your results may vary).

Btw, I am not "exonerating" Ainge but holding him to a standard of missing on a Gobert or, better yet an Antetokoumpo when many of his peers did as well, including well regarded talent evaluators like Sam Presti, seems silly. And pointless because nothing can be done to change it.

Again, Ainge has done pretty well as evidenced by a team that had just two losing seasons (including one where they were close to .500) during their "rebuild" over the past decade. During Ainge's 18 year tenure running the Celtics, they have had five losing seasons total assuming they finish better than .500 this year. Its fair to lament his misses but, on balance, the guy has done a very good job overall.
 

bigq

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Olynyk was always going to be a complementary player at best, and taking him was the worst mistake of Ainge's career. To Ainge's credit, he hasn't make that many.
I did not love the pick at the time and maybe it was a safe pick but it was far from a bust and Olynyk is a decent NBA player. If he was the worst mistake of Ainge’s career, that is saying something. I probably would have gone with James Young, Yabu or Zizic for that distinction.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I distinctly remember DA saying that he has no regrets about Giannis - that he liked him but had no idea he would become a MVP candidate.

Every few years the Giannis discussion comes up and people state that because BOS was bad, they should have "swung for the fences." That's a strategy that can keep teams in perpetual 25 win seasons. The other school of thought - one to which I think DA subscribes - is that he tries to accumulate assets and the more assets he has, the more moves he can make. You know, hit singles.
 

Big John

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Olynyk wasn't an "asset." He was at best cap filler who was allowed to walk for nothing. He's the definition of "journeyman." The only two GMs other than Ainge who passed on Giannis and still have NBA jobs are Presti (who took Stephen Adams at #12} and Dennis Lindsay, who took Shabazz Muhammad at #15 but redeemed himself by selecting Gobert at #27. The others were all fired at one time or another.
 

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Olynyk wasn't an "asset." He was at best cap filler who was allowed to walk for nothing. He's the definition of "journeyman." The only two GMs other than Ainge who passed on Giannis and still have NBA jobs are Presti (who took Stephen Adams at #12} and Dennis Lindsay, who took Shabazz Muhammad at #15 but redeemed himself by selecting Gobert at #27. The others were all fired at one time or another.
A 3 point shooter with height who plays a solid team game, isn't asset? Even if you say no now, he was then. At 13, Ainge was drafting a franchise cornerstone in that draft? Or he was drafting someone who could be a solid complementary player and possible be one of a couple of 'raw' dimes to throw into a deal to gain a quarter. He's flat out stated that he liked GA, but just didn't see him becoming what he has. Gerald Green anyone? An incredible athlete, jumps out of the gym - everything going for him. Tell me with what you knew then that GA was definitively going to be more than Gerald Green. At that point, what were his options with his knowledge at the time, and given the state of the team at the time? At that moment, I bet Ainge thought that Olynyk had the higher floor. Turns out he was wrong. And there are a whole bunch of football GMs who passed on the GOAT QB 5 times... does that mean that all of them suck - because who doesn't need a GOAT QB?

And agree or not, Ainge/Stevens clearly liked Olynyk - they went and got another one named Theis (even though he rebounds much better).

Anyone can debate Ainge's draft record (and I think it could be a fun conversation at times). But hammering him for Olynyk over GA is just 20/20 hindsight.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Olynyk wasn't an "asset." He was at best cap filler who was allowed to walk for nothing. He's the definition of "journeyman." The only two GMs other than Ainge who passed on Giannis and still have NBA jobs are Presti (who took Stephen Adams at #12} and Dennis Lindsay, who took Shabazz Muhammad at #15 but redeemed himself by selecting Gobert at #27. The others were all fired at one time or another.
I am not sure what your point is. Should Ainge be relieved of his duties for his miss on Gobert? I mean, he has had other draft misses as well in 18 seasons.
 

Devizier

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The only two GMs other than Ainge who passed on Giannis and still have NBA jobs are Presti ... and Dennis Lindsay,
That's slicing the onion pretty finely since you've already eliminated half the teams in the league (Giannis picked 15th).

Only 9 GMs had tenure from before the time of the 2013 draft and, as you point out, exactly two of those had a draft pick above #15 that year. Ainge wasn't one of them, though. That was Donnie Nelson, who traded down from #13 in exchange for #16 and future picks from the Celtics.

It's also worth noting that almost all of those still-tenured guys passed on Gobert as well.
 

Big John

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I am not sure what your point is. Should Ainge be relieved of his duties for his miss on Gobert? I mean, he has had other draft misses as well in 18 seasons.
Yes he has. I forgive him for Marcus Banks since it was his first year on the job and they thought they needed a point guard instead of David West. I'll forgive him for JR Giddens too, since they had just won a championship and didn't see the need for a player like DeAndre Jordan or Omer Asik. (Dragic would have been nice coming off the bench, though.) So all GMs make mistakes, even the good ones like Ainge. But it WAS a mistake. What he and Austin missed in 2013 was the kid's mental makeup. Giannis had drive, a love for the game.
 

InstaFace

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A 3 point shooter with height who plays a solid team game, isn't asset? Even if you say no now, he was then. At 13, Ainge was drafting a franchise cornerstone in that draft? Or he was drafting someone who could be a solid complementary player and possible be one of a couple of 'raw' dimes to throw into a deal to gain a quarter.
Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown. The goalposts are moving like crazy - he's basically arguing for the sake of arguing, I can't follow his point to even describe it to you, other than "Ainge bad!". Olynyk was such a liability that a team signed him for 4 years $50M, shortly after he was a legitimate difference-maker in getting us to the EC Finals.

This is the strangest argument I've seen in the last 6 months here in the port cellar, and that's amid some strong competition.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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At the risk of creating more thread clean-up, is there a way to become significantly more accurate in talent evaluation? Does more data necessarily make projections about a human's development path more accurate?

I suspect that it does but how do you account for bad habits or influences or a previously undiscovered health issue?

I am more interested in how teams might evaluate talent going forward versus rehashing the past. I suspect most people have already made up their minds about Ainge's track record.
 

RetractableRoof

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At the risk of creating more thread clean-up, is there a way to become significantly more accurate in talent evaluation? Does more data necessarily make projections about a human's development path more accurate?

I suspect that it does but how do you account for bad habits or influences or a previously undiscovered health issue?

I am more interested in how teams might evaluate talent going forward versus rehashing the past. I suspect most people have already made up their minds about Ainge's track record.
Haven't all sports organizations tried to add various layers of assessment to their drafting process? I recall some organization (my memory isn't helping at the moment) adding a former military expert whose specialty was determining if a soldier was likely to be a successful candidate for special forces duty, etc. He was attempting to adapt the methodology to drafting. I never saw a followup or assessment of his assessment.

I will say in general, that we've all heard that with generational level exceptions the difference in physical abilities between the really successful professional athletes and the lesser successful professional athletes is really quite small. So if the difference in physical skills between say Fultz, Ball, and Tatum isn't that different (and a team doesn't have a positional need), the choice has to come down to what's between the ears or beneath the breast plate. I don't know how Ainge dodged the Fultz bullet, but I'm grateful that he was able to do so. I mentioned Gerald Green previously - was he much different than Vince Carter in terms of athletic gifts? And yet he took a many year winding journey to even figure out how to get on the floor as a contributing piece and Carter is still shuffling his walker over to the scorers table to check in once or twice a month at 40+ years old.

It's a weird task evaluating a persons mental strength/discipline or their desire. One athlete is hardened by his upbringing and brings an unrelenting drive with him during his career - it's a positive motivating force. Another player from the same environment, with a similar story gets the first contract and sees his goal accomplished and doesn't burn any further. How do you tell A from B? I think that is part of why BB is successful in his team building, he turns over every rock he can to determine if the person has the sport IQ to learn, the character to be self disciplined (obvious exceptions apply), and the passion for the game to all combine into a successful player that can be coached to be part of the system. Ainge has to find his own perfect mix of a player, and then because only 5 can be on the floor at the same time - he's still handicapped if draft position doesn't bless him with the chance to get the franchise athlete.

I haven't added much to the answer, but it's a wicked domain to try to be successful in. If I were a GM, I would invest every dollar, turn over every rock I could with respect to development of the players (Chip Kelly style - nutrition, sleep, training, hyperbaric chambers, grafting zombie parts onto their anatomy - whatever it takes). I'd then make a pattern of drafting the athletes with a passion for the game and hope that carried the day. And I'd rent instead of buying because it is a wicked domain... lol
 

scottyno

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If there's anything you can knock Ainge for in his draft history, in general he does seem to go for the safer possibly lower ceiling picks, and you can debate overall draft philosophy. However, he also hits on almost all of his 1st round picks. Yeah he hasn't drafted a star outside the top 3 since Rondo and Jefferson, but he has a great record of drafting solid guys who end up having the best or among the best careers of any available players, even with hindsight. It's a lot of singles and doubles, as opposed to swinging for the fences when you're probably going to miss and strike out, which is even more impressive when you consider that they've been picking late in the draft for years with their own pick.

In this age where you generally build a contender around 2-3 high salary guys and then need to fill in the rest for little money, being able to hit on cost controlled rookies is more important than ever.
 

BigSoxFan

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If there's anything you can knock Ainge for in his draft history, in general he does seem to go for the safer possibly lower ceiling picks, and you can debate overall draft philosophy. However, he also hits on almost all of his 1st round picks. Yeah he hasn't drafted a star outside the top 3 since Rondo and Jefferson, but he has a great record of drafting solid guys who end up having the best or among the best careers of any available players, even with hindsight. It's a lot of singles and doubles, as opposed to swinging for the fences when you're probably going to miss and strike out, which is even more impressive when you consider that they've been picking late in the draft for years with their own pick.

In this age where you generally build a contender around 2-3 high salary guys and then need to fill in the rest for little money, being able to hit on cost controlled rookies is more important than ever.
Agreed. I really don’t know how anyone can criticize Ainge’s drafting. Lamenting about the Freak is fine. That’s the one where you can wonder why he didn’t swing for the fences but even the guy he picked ended up playing a big role in an ECF run and is still producing today. We didn’t get the Freak but we did get good value for the pick.

Most importantly, he nailed the Tatum and Brown picks, which has set up this franchise for the next decade. Time Lord has been injured a lot but remains an asset. Early returns on Langford look promising. Williams and Edwards have started slowly but I would be surprised if we don’t get a quality rotation guy out of one of them.

It looks like the Memphis pick is settling in the mid first round. I wouldn’t be against Ainge swinging for the fences here but if he doesn’t I will be confident in him finding another valuable piece.
 

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Danny swings for the fences sometimes. Draymond Green (35th) was a safe pick in 2012, but he chose Fab Melo (22).

Drafting is hard.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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Haven't all sports organizations tried to add various layers of assessment to their drafting process?
Not all but a lot. I mean DA at one point had the brain-typer on BOS's payroll so he's been looking for an edge too. A lot of teams over all sports are spending money to figure out the "science" of future performance and frankly, I think there's more than a few start-ups that are trying to puzzle this together.

Still, insofar as I know, there's no study that shown that drafting is a repeatable skill as opposed to luck. I would be interesting in seeing anything that suggests opposite to this. One of the reasons the Ravens (I know) and the Pats (I believe) horde draft picks is because the secret to drafting well is to have more picks than other teams.

(Notwithstanding the foregoing, I understand that HOU and LAD in baseball may have developed some cutting edge hacks in player development that help them do better in that category than other teams.)
 

Smokey Joe

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And what is Jonathan Niednagel doing now? Besides running a Braintyping Institute out of a POB in Missouri? I just hope he’s still not on Ainge’s contacts list.
 

Big John

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Still, insofar as I know, there's no study that shown that drafting is a repeatable skill as opposed to luck. I would be interesting in seeing anything that suggests opposite to this. One of the reasons the Ravens (I know) and the Pats (I believe) horde draft picks is because the secret to drafting well is to have more picks than other teams.
I wouldn't call drafting a "skill." It's a process to which teams devote significant resources. But certainly some GMs are better at drafting, starting with Bob Meyers, who assembled a dynasty without a single top five pick.
As for having more picks, sure. It spreads the risk. But I wouldn't equate the NBA draft with the NFL draft. In football, you need 22 guys, and except for star quarterbacks, players are more fungible. In the NBA draft, each selection is more important: you've got 17 slots to fill instead of 51, and no taxi squad.
 

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Danny swings for the fences sometimes. Draymond Green (35th) was a safe pick in 2012, but he chose Fab Melo (22).

Drafting is hard.
This is a very important point. There is a ceiling/floor tradeoff to drafting, but it's rarely stark. Olynyk is the prototypical high floor/low ceiling guy, but even with him, there was star upside if he had better defensive instincts which allowed him to foul less, and if he developed more as a passer. Even measuring upside is itself a probabilistic enterprise however.
 

bowiac

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I wouldn't call drafting a "skill." It's a process to which teams devote significant resources. But certainly some GMs are better at drafting, starting with Bob Meyers, who assembled a dynasty without a single top five pick.
As for having more picks, sure. It spreads the risk. But I wouldn't equate the NBA draft with the NFL draft. In football, you need 22 guys, and except for star quarterbacks, players are more fungible. In the NBA draft, each selection is more important: you've got 17 slots to fill instead of 51, and no taxi squad.
On the Bob Myers point, those guys were assembled under Jerry West, and since West left the organization, they've mostly done nothing with the draft. But more broadly, I would caution against overindexing on draft success with built around three players. You can build a dynasty with three players, but it's still just a very small sample size as far as drafting skill goes.
 

Big John

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Yes, I stand corrected. West also hit on SGA for the Clippers, not to mention getting Williams, Beverley and Harrell in the Chris Paul trade.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Ainge has certainly done well at the top of the draft, even when that's been harder than it sounds. Jaylen Brown wasn't necessarily obvious guy to choose at #3 in 2016 (there were groans at the Celtics draft event when the pick was announced), and Markelle Fultz was the obvious guy to choose at #1 to many. Looking at players drafted at the top of those 2 drafts, Ainge went 2 for 2 when that outcome was by no means assured.
 

Big John

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Yes, 2014, 2016 and 2017 were good years. And he's often done well in the middle of the first round: Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Bradley, Rozier. But he missed on James Young, and the jury is out on Langford.
 

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Yes, 2014, 2016 and 2017 were good years. And he's often done well in the middle of the first round: Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Bradley, Rozier. But he missed on James Young, and the jury is out on Langford.
Jury is still out on Williams and Edwards, too. Of all the rookies, Waters might have been the most impressive so far, IMO.
 

NomarsFool

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Tatum over Fultz was a grand stroke. It's certainly possible that he just got lucky. But, whether it was luck or skill, that was a great move when I think every single talking head / draft expert had Fultz ahead of Tatum.

It's waaaay too early, but I'm a bit disappointed with how Grant Williams has developed. I thought he'd have more of an offensive game and I thought he'd play more of a role given how thin the Celtics are at the 4-5.
 

Big John

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Meh, I'm not going to get down on Williams for a bad game. He's had some good games too.

As for passing on Fultz, I think that was skill, not luck. Tatum was the best player in the draft hands down. I would not have been happy with Lonzo Ball either. There is a bandwagon effect at the top of many drafts that inflates the value of certain players. I think agents have a hand in it, but so do the draft website purveyors like Jon Givoney and Aran Smith.
 
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Ainge had the #1 pick in the Tatum draft. If you can't give the guy credit for taking the best player from the draft and getting an additional pick out of it, I don't think that anything that Ainge does will ever please you. Luck had nothing to do with it.
 

benhogan

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Nov 2, 2007
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Grant Williams (21) is a very good selection.
His advanced off/def/net rating is excellent. He will never be a big box score/stat stuffer.
He is a great complimentary player to JT/JB/Kemba/GH, he won't steal shots from them but will play solid defense. His IQ/make-up is off the charts for a kid his age.

Waters (22), as a late 2nd rounder, was a very good value selection. G-League Player of the Month out of the gates is really impressive. The one time he received real minutes in an NBA game, he was a big contributor in the win. I'd like to see him get more minutes at the NBA level going forward.

Romeo (20), when healthy, has been solid. He doesn't look overwhelmed on the floor and is strong going to the hoop.

Carsen (21), had a promising summer/pre-season but has been disappointing. 2nd rounder, on the cheap for multiple years, still developing. The good news is he has received plenty of NBA minutes and hasn't hurt the teams W/L record. He needs to work on a shooting routine/rhythm at Maine.

These guys are very young, promising, great attitudes, hard workers. Most importantly they will need to earn their minutes as opposed to rookies on tankers that are just handed NBA minutes.

I'd give Ainge an A- for his 2019 draft (plus adding Tacko for nothing is another coup by Danny)
 

Devizier

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This last year's draft looks pretty crappy in hindsight.

Outside the top three it looks like an awful lot of role players at best. Thybulle comes as good as advertised on defense at least.
 

nighthob

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Jul 15, 2005
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Tatum over Fultz was a grand stroke. It's certainly possible that he just got lucky. But, whether it was luck or skill, that was a great move when I think every single talking head / draft expert had Fultz ahead of Tatum.
A lot of us had them as 1A/1B. I had no problems with the pick as Tatum is the definition of the kind of player that Ainge goes for, he was long, athletic, and a gym rat. It's why I do sort of fault him for not sticking to type with Giannis. Because I understand the thinking, someone that long and that athletic, given the motor and work ethic, can improve their skills. Kelly Olynyk is never going to get more athletic, and jesus did he need to sharpen his game still.
 

InstaFace

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Sep 27, 2016
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Ainge has certainly done well at the top of the draft, even when that's been harder than it sounds. Jaylen Brown wasn't necessarily obvious guy to choose at #3 in 2016 (there were groans at the Celtics draft event when the pick was announced), and Markelle Fultz was the obvious guy to choose at #1 to many. Looking at players drafted at the top of those 2 drafts, Ainge went 2 for 2 when that outcome was by no means assured.
Bk-Ref has, in that draft, that Jaylen Brown is ranked 7th by WS, 15th by WS/48, 14th by BPM and 12th by VORP. Simmons ranks first in 3 of the 4, though he obviously wasn't available at #3. But other top picks including Sabonis, Jamal Murray, Poltl and Buddy Hield all rank above him in terms of results. That's before you get to deeper-round picks that happened to pan out, like Siakam, which I don't think is fair to hold against him.

I'm an NBA advanced-stat newb, but other than avoiding Dragan Bender I'm not sure Ainge really hit a bullseye there. He scored highly, he avoided a big miss, but didn't max out his value, either. And before anyone confuses what I'm saying: I love Jaylen Brown and love watching him. I just don't want to overstate the case for Ainge there. He did OK in 2016 (and probably hit median-to-above-average expectation with Rozier in 2015 too), but it was 2017 where he really shined. Likewise 2014 (Smart), unless you want to hold "not drafting Jokic" against him, along with holding that against the rest of the league.

I think the important conclusion we can take from a long career of Ainge decisions is that:

(1) He doesn't fuck up the important decisions. The biggest picks you can say were a bust relative to their slot were probably Yabusele (2016/#16), James Young (2014/#17) and Fab Melo (2012/#22). Everything else, including every pick higher than that, has panned out to a greater or lesser degree.
(2) He has some of that Auerbachian ability to win trades that make people shake their heads later.

That alone makes him a top 5 GM in the league.
 

chilidawg

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Bk-Ref has, in that draft, that Jaylen Brown is ranked 7th by WS, 15th by WS/48, 14th by BPM and 12th by VORP. Simmons ranks first in 3 of the 4, though he obviously wasn't available at #3. But other top picks including Sabonis, Jamal Murray, Poltl and Buddy Hield all rank above him in terms of results. That's before you get to deeper-round picks that happened to pan out, like Siakam, which I don't think is fair to hold against him.

That alone makes him a top 5 GM in the league.
Would you trade Jaylen for any of those guys though? Siakam and Simmons yes, the rest of them no.
 

Euclis20

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Yeah, Siakam is the only guy drafted behind Brown that is clearly better than him (and even then, Siakam is 2.5 years older than Brown and a lot closer to being a finished product at this point). There are a few other guys in a similar class (Murray, Sabonis, Brogdon, Hield) but of those, Brown is either far younger (Brogdon/Hield are both 27 to Brown's 23), or a better two way player at a more important position (Murray/Sabonis). Brown is also the most athletic of the bunch and has shown tremendous improvement since his first couple of years, making the career numbers comparison a bit less valid.

*edit - Poltl doesn't deserve to be in the same sentence as Brown or the other other players mentioned above. He's a nice backup center, averaging 5.2 points and 5.7 rebounds for a crummy Spurs team. Jaylen Brown is a borderline all star for a top 5 team.
 

lexrageorge

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Jakob Poltl is an example of why those bk-ref stats are not considered all that rigorous or even useful. He is obviously a useful role player; he can rebound and score inside. He cannot defend and his free throw shooting is atrocious and will likely never improve. He is also one year older than Brown.