This isn't the first time and probably won't be the last time Danny has thrown cold water on the 2014 draft class. Ainge insists there's no franchise player in this draft yet again. Could he be sincere in saying that when there is indeed no Tim Duncan or Shaq, a franchise center ... something the C's dearly need, as well as a top notch SG?
Is Danny just talking down the value of this draft? But if he really intends to tank, why would he talk down the value of a pick he may get? If he gets the 3rd pick in the lottery and wants to trade it, hasn't he done himself and the franchise a disservice letting other GM's know he doesn't place alot of value on this asset, hence the possibility of getting less in return for it if traded? Shouldn't he be pumping the players in this draft to his own benefit if he gets a top five pick and wants to flip it? And if he intends to keep what he gets, why isn't he playing it close to the vest and keeping quiet?
And before you say I'm naive, I know that Danny likes to misdirect the masses and other GM's away from what he is really thinking. But, could it be that Danny is prepping us for a move out of the draft and into a trade involving our pick or maybe he's being honest for once. Mazz thinks Ainge is serious!!! As Mazz sees it, Danny really sees no franchise player, after all, none of these 3-4 players everyone is drooling over is taller than 6'9" !!! No Duncan, No Howard and can any of these guys be as good as LBJ or Durant? If he doesn't see (or doesn't get a high enough pick anyway) Randle, Wiggins or Parker as a go to guy then does he settle for Exum or Selden at SG or take a flyer on Cauley-Stein or Embiid at C? If Ainge is serious and being honest, why bother tanking ... continue to improve your current assets, work some trades and consider some free agents if you are too good already. Should you land in the lottery then take the best you can get, unless another team wants our pick bad enough to trade us a sure thing.
A review of the projected picks by HoopsHype doesn't even find the C's picking in the top 14!
That being the case ... If Ainge is signaling that he's not that enamored with this draft and intends to trade his way back into contention here are a few ideas to resolve some of our problems at SG and C and fill some of our holes ....
Anthony Marrow @ $1.1MM (current salary) and Spencer Hawes ($6.5MM currently) whose coming into his prime at 25 y.o. are relative bargains that can help to establish a core until we sign the other 2 stars we need. If we are already assured of one in the 2014 draft as you think and have the ability to sign a FA or work a S&T with our TPE this summer then these two guys can make a big difference leaving us maybe one player short. But Danny still has that big expiring contract in Hump and other bodies and picks as well that he can use to trade for that missing star.
Hawes is in the top 6 of all centers in scoring and rebounding among the best centers in the league ... names bandied around these pages all the time as guys we should trade for ... Horford, Vucevic, Kanter, Cousins, Gasol (both), Pekovic, Lopez, Jordan, Gortat & Drummond.
When Hawes gets scooped up by another smart GM and becomes an intricate piece in attaining a championship elsewhere, the same posters will wonder why we didn't go after him when we had a chance.
Morrow is astounding at hitting the three ... he may not be the all around player you want as a starting SG but he can be a that guy off the bench when you need the long ball and has the potential to every bit as good as Ray Allen who himself wasn't know for much more than hitting the deep ball.
Potential Roster Before use of Draft Pick/s, TPE or Trades
C: Hawes - Fav - Oly
PF: Sully - Bass - Oly
SF: Green - Wallace - ???
SG: Bradley - Morrow - Brooks
PG: Rondo - Crawford - Pressey
This roster can be improved with Additional Trades/Draft Pick/s and use of TPE for a FA/S&T
Asik ... Hayward ... Gay???
Would Toronto and the C's do Wallace/Bogans/Pick for Gay? Is Gay overpaid or duplicitus with Green? Could we play Gay at the SG ala Wallace with Green at the SF? Would Houston trade Asik for Hump or Bass and Lee? Could a deep bench with one $19MM player, one $13MM player and four $8-10MM players be as affective as one with two/three $18MM players? Depth with speed that never tires means running other teams' core players into the ground.
Asik ($8.5MM Cap) - Hawes ($8.5MM) - Fav ($2MM)
Oly ($2MM) - Sully ($1.4MM) - Green ($9.2MM)
Green - Gay ($19MM) - Hayward ($7.5MM)
Gay - Hayward - Bradley ($6MM) - Morrow ($2MM)
Rondo ($13MM) - Crawford ($6MM) - Pressey ($750K)
$86MM in team salary but remember, if the C's can stay under the tax cap this year to avoid the repeater tax then they can go over the apron next year. The trick is working the Asik & Gay deals so they don't push us over the apron but that s/b doable as long as Lee & Bogans are moved with Hump or Bass and Wallace. Hayward, Hawes and Morrow wouldn't be added till after the season is over so no problem with them.
PS: I throw the Gay trade out there for your consideration. To cut down on the cap we could keep Bass at PF and forget about Gay though some insist we need a Superstar. Gay & Rondo qualify as two stars with Green bringing up the rear. But With Green and Hayward at SF we'd be fine and we also have Osby in Me who could be a third option potentially.