So this is what tanking gets you? Color me not impressed.
Wasn't the point of this exercise to draft an Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, or Joel Embiid-- a real franchise changer? Or wasn't it to use all the draft chips to trade for a top player like Kevin Love? Instead, I feel like a person going to the cage at the casino with a bagful of chips and left standing looking at the few bills I got in return.
Alas, there was no Wiggins or Parker. The ping pong balls ensured that, although the Celtics could have tried to trade up from six. It sounds like Cleveland-- the owner of the number one overall pick-- was listening to offers. How seriously they were listening nobody knows. Some of the rumored deals I heard would have been difficult to reject, if true. One of the rumored deals involved the Orlando Magic dealing Aaron Affalo along with the number four and twelve overall picks. And the Cavs said no? Yeah, so the Celtics had no chance of trading up.
But what about Love visiting Boston and going to a Red Sox game last month? WEEI's Kirk Minihane proclaimed, "Ainge is going to make it happen. Kevin Love is coming to Boston." So what happened? What about that Rondo, Love, Carmelo Anthony new Big Three everyone was dreaming about a few weeks ago?
Instead we have Rondo, Smart, Young, Jeff Green, and Jared Sullinger? Woohoo!!
My point is not that Danny Ainge has failed to this point. Au contraire-- I'm happy with the draft. I love Smart's competitiveness and Young has the potential to be a 20-point-plus per game scorer.
My point is that tanking guarantees nothing. I have the same feeling about the Celtics drafting Smart as if they had drafted Julius Randle (who went 7th) or Doug McDermott (who went 11th). They are all nice players who will have nice NBA careers, but won't be one of those top-tier superstars.
In fact, I might be more excited about the Young pick, and he fell to 17. Here's hoping he becomes the next James Harden (minus the beard).
So why did fans have to endure the garbage we had to see last year? Even worse-- what guarantee do we have that the Celtics won't do it again this year? Some would argue that the concept of tanking works, but the Celtics didn't do it right. They won too many games! So let's try it again, and, damn it, we're going to do it right this time.
I know Danny isn't done yet. There is still free agency (but no top free agent wants to come to Boston of their own volition) and trades can still be made. I'm saying I won't be too excited if this is the end game.
I would trade Rondo. Not because I don't think he and Smart can't play together. I think they easily could. I think Smart plays out of position at point guard. It would bother me that both can't shoot from outside of fifteen feet. It's just that Rondo is Boston's best trade bait. As it stands now, the Celtics still are not a playoff team. Jeff Green? Jared Sullinger? Throw in some draft picks. See what you can get.
I'm not getting any younger. I can't be wasting two years waiting for... what? The Celtics to land the number one draft pick? And if the Celtics are tanking to be drafting 18-year-olds, how long is this reconstruction going to take? I guess I should be more vigilant about my diet and exercise regimen.