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Ainge's type

Discussion in 'Mark Blount's Port Cellar: Celtics Forum' started by Sprowl, May 17, 2018.

  1. Sprowl

    Sprowl Emile de Becque Dope

    I don't mean their brain type, but I am interested in the types of player that Ainge (and Stevens) seem to gravitate toward, whom they pursue in free agency or the draft, whom the Celtics pick up on the cheap, or who falls through the draft to Boston.

    The team likes wings who can do everything: shoot, dunk, handle the ball, defend all positions. The team's highest draft assets have been spent on multi-talented wings, and Ainge has avoided drafting assets at all levels (first overall picks like Fultz and second round picks like Bell) that look like traditional big men or ballhandlers.

    Instead, he likes big men with small men's skills: Horford shoots the three, distributes and takes his man off the dribble, Monroe dribbles and makes plays below the rim. And he likes small men who excel at big men's jobs: Smart bullies his opponents on defense, Rozier sweeps the boards.

    If Boston had a high draft pick in the 2018 draft, I suspect that Ainge would steer away from Ayton and Bamba, and choose a multi-skilled wing like Doncic or a category-bending big like Bagley.

    WWDD (what would Danny do)?
  2. amarshal2

    amarshal2 Member SoSH Member

    Going in a slightly different direction, I was reading somewhere earlier this week that Ainge gets made fun of by the front office staff for how he gravitates towards ultra competitive guys.


    Another example:

    He forgot Rozier, who’s somewhere in between on vocalness but no less a killer. Certainly Rondo, Pierce, and KG fit the mold as well.

    I’m not sure Cleveland is even half a team of killers.
  3. ehaz

    ehaz Member SoSH Member

    I'm not nearly the most basketball minded person here, but I feel that Jaren Jackson Jr would fit Danny's MO moreso than Bagley. I just don't see Bagley's game translating much to the NBA. He can't protect the rim, defend the perimeter, and his scoring/rebounding numbers in college seem to come from just being a better athlete than the competition. I don't know what position he plays in the modern NBA.
  4. americantrotter

    americantrotter Member SoSH Member

    All I know is that before the KG fueled run I was worried about weird brain science. He won me over with the big three.

    I think back to the brain science and I marvel at the moves made when he looked to be a one hit wonder when we got old.

    Damn, we’re lucky. It could’ve gone sideways, but Stevens, and the long term commitment. He is no average GM.

    Understatement I know.

    Also it’s legitimately cool to have the agitator of the 80’s be the mindfuck of the present.
  5. queenb

    queenb Member SoSH Member

    First, I am in still in awe that Ainge traded out of the No. 1 slot last year. As far as basically the entire league was concerned, Fultz was a franchise point guard just there for the taking, and the perfect replacement for IT. Somehow he knew that the Sixers would trust their own scouting over his, and that the Lakers would pass up Jayson Tatum for Lonzo Ball. Let's say Danny knew what he might have in Tatum -- the fucking balls on him to wait til No. 3.

    If they had landed the No. 2 overall and Ayton went 1, I think Ainge would've taken Doncic. Has the potential to defend wings, has guard skills with the ball is in his hands, and would probably grow into a knockdown shooter in the Celtics' system. If they landed No. 3 and Doncic was gone, that's interesting. Everyone would expect Bamba because he provides rim protection, supposedly a need, and he's got decent shooting mechanics so he could become a bit of a floor-spacer. But because this is Danny Ainge we're talking about, I could see the entire world thinking he needs to take Bamba, Bagley, Jackson Jr. to get bigger inside, only for him to trade back a few spots and grab Mikal Bridges. He's not a need, but he's everything you described: 6'7" with long arms, considered an elite wing defender and can guard 1-4, shot 43 percent from 3 and 85 percent from the line. (He's so good I actually hope he doesn't fall to the Sixers at No. 10.)

    EDIT: And the player with the most Terry Rozier-like tenacity in this draft is Collin Sexton. For those who don't know this, in a game between Alabama and Minnesota this year, a bench-clearing brawl (plus some foul trouble) got all but three Alabama players tossed from the game, so the Tide had to play 3-on-5 for the last 10 minutes of that game. Insanely, Sexton kept them in it and they only lost by 5, and he finished with 40 points.
    #5 queenb, May 17, 2018
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  6. Koufax

    Koufax Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    In the context of collecting killers, I am having a hard time processing the trade of Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green - and then giving Green a big contract to re-up. Al Horford doesn't strike me as a killer type, but maybe he is. His preference for ultra-competitive types does, however, explain drafting Marcus Smart at #6.
  7. Dernells Casket n Flagon

    Dernells Casket n Flagon Member SoSH Member

    Given this is a baseball message board, isn't two high draft picks the ultimate small sample size? Do we have any evidence that the Celtics don't just go for whomever they believe to be the best player available? We know they would have taken Tatum over Fultz even with the 1, is that due to Tatum's type or did they just look at him and see him as the best player in the draft.
  8. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

    I'm convinced this is why he passed on Fultz.
  9. mostman

    mostman Member SoSH Member

    So Smart for GM in 2035?
  10. Reverend

    Reverend for king and country Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    I'm hoping to see him as Jaylen's chief of staff by then.
  11. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

    I also think DA's draft strategy has changed since GSW started dominating. I think I ready many moons ago that DA used to look for guys who had one NBA-ready skill so hopefully they could contribute something. But Steve Kerr puts it well here (warning: pron-like defensive highlights from GSW win embedded!):

    I think what Danny has done, and what he has understood, is this league is all about having a bunch of 6-7 guys who can switch and guard the perimeter and are strong enough to guard inside.
    Danny also seems to like guys with NBA-ready bodies so it was surprising he went with JJJ over Butler (his biggest drafting regret).
  12. Montana Fan

    Montana Fan Well-Known Member Silver Supporter SoSH Member

    I think he has changed since he's had a couple years to learn Brad's style. He definitely wants competitors but he is also looking for smart, coach-able young men who are top notch athletes.

    Ainge is drafting guys that Brad can mold. He'd done it with a bunch of guys that came from outside the organization, IT4 & Turner being the biggest examples. He did it with the 2010 & 2011 teams at Butler who pardon me for saying so, had a HS tennis player as their best athlete.

    And now as Ainge has aligned his drafting skills the Stevens' player type, he has delivered Smart, Rozier, Brown, Tatum and Semi over the last 4 drafts. While Smart isn't on the level of Brown/Rozier in terms of athleticism, he is an excellent athlete. He missed with Young and who knows how the Justice Winslow thing would have turned out but I expect Ainge to continue to draft smart, hard working, athletes and agree with whomever posted that Jackson would likely be his target if he had a top pick. I wouldn't rule out the possibility of Ainge trading up in this draft if there's a guy he really wants. If he could turn Rozier into Collin Sexton, that might be a best case scenario for the Celts over the next 4 years.
  13. ALiveH

    ALiveH Member SoSH Member

    When he had mid-late first round picks in the past, he also seemed to like guys who were projected lottery picks coming out of high school but whose draft stock dropped during their freshman year due to bad college fit. Avery Bradley immediately comes to mind, but IIRC we looked at this before and there were others.
  14. JohnnyTheBone

    JohnnyTheBone Member SoSH Member

    I had Smart as a natural for Secretary of Defense.
  15. wade boggs chicken dinner

    wade boggs chicken dinner Member SoSH Member

    Good memory. I found the discussion in the Jabari Bird thread, who fits that mold.

    So does, as HRB notes, Giddens, Orien Greene, and Ojeleye, as well as Justin Reed (parade all-American; RIP), Sullinger, Gerald Green, and James Young.

  16. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

    At some level basketball skills (real or perceived) have to come into play. Perkins had very few and he was ossifying. Although he might have helped them in 10-11, I think Ainge realized that that team wasn't winning a title and he thought Green had real skill going forward. I also overestimated Green's ability.
    Whatever Horford's "killer quotient," he's got skills. Also, his leadership ability may stand alongside "killer-ness" in the Ainge hierarchy. I could see Brown filling Horford's leadership role down the road.
  17. Big John

    Big John lurker

    Auerbach called players like Smart "instigators." Ainge was one himself.
    The biggest common trait I see in Ainge's successful player acquisitions is mental toughness. I can't believe the poise with which Tatum plays at age 19.
    Jeff Green could have been the prototypical multi-talented wing for today's NBA game, but he lacks the requisite mental toughness.
  18. benhogan

    benhogan Baynes Hogan SoSH Member

    I'm guessing that chest pounding, finger pointing, trash talking is a standard definition of a killer type. (ie Marcus Morris, Marcus Smart, Draymond Greene, etc)
    Al is intelligent, poised, and efficient a duplicate of Brad Stevens style, silent killers. (see also Tatum, Brown)
    I like having the balance of both on the squad.
  19. Was (Not Wasdin)

    Was (Not Wasdin) family crest has godzilla SoSH Member

    I was coming here to post something along these lines, you beat me to it. He also drafted or traded for guys like Al Jefferson, Leon Powe and Brandan Wright, all of whom were top 5 HS prospects.
    I do think he puts a lot of emphasis on attitude as well, after seeing the impact KG had on the whole organization.
  20. Reverend

    Reverend for king and country Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Al Horford is more the quiet kind of ha-ha good one, buddy, you sure burned me goes home to his adorable family, kisses his Miss Universe wife goodnight, and falls asleep next to his Last-Guy-Voted-to-the-All-Star Team trophy on a huge pile of money kind of assassin.
  21. Soxfan in Fla

    Soxfan in Fla Member SoSH Member

    Overall I think he seems to pickup guys that have a good head on their shoulders and remain cool under pressure. Horford, Kyrie, Tatum, Brown and Rozier all fit that bill for sure. Smart has remained cool on the court but done a couple dumb things off it.
  22. TFisNEXT

    TFisNEXT Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Yeah this basically nails it. Horford is the one who makes you think you are winning while he is systematically dismantling you in a quiet and efficient manner. He'll let you get the loud dunk and not say much back when you flex in his face afterward. But then he's going to draw you out of position that allows the wide open layup for Tatum on the other end and then draw two quick fouls on you and before you know it, your ass is stapled to the bench in foul trouble and you've also given up 3 or 4 easy buckets because Horford fucked up your defensive assignments.
  23. joe dokes

    joe dokes Member SoSH Member

    I dont know about mental toughness. He came back after open heart surgery. He seemed poised enough. He just isn't that good.
  24. bakahump

    bakahump Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Holy Crap! its not often you can be a NFL QB with a supermodel wife and have the 2nd best looking spouse on the local sports scene. Well done Al.
  25. Jimbodandy

    Jimbodandy Member SoSH Member

    There ia no doubt that Ainge prioritizes attitude and aptitude above measurables. And he could care less about what buzz follows a guy.

    Guys drafted at 19/20yo will reach greater heights if they are willing to work hard and take well to coaching.

    If your team is filled with veterans, the job of a coach is largely managing minutes and egos. If your team is mostly in their early 20s, you better have an actual development function and guys who really want to be developed. We have both.
  26. Saints Rest

    Saints Rest Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Those first two sentences sound an awful lot like a description of a curmudgeonly old coach in a hoodie.
    The last 3 sentences aren't far off either.
  27. nighthob

    nighthob Member SoSH Member

    On Horford, I don't think he's anything but a killer. He's just lower key than Marcus.

    As for Perkins/Green, people tend to romanticize Perk. He was great when he was healthy, when Boston finally traded him he was broken. People tend to forget, but Boston needed a C right then, and Perkins was done for the year. Nenad Krstic wasn't much, but he was a live body that could play while they waited for Shaq to get healthy (which, alas, never happened).

    Once they had their athletic F, they decided to hold on to him in hopes of getting their aging guys more rest. And it wasn't exactly a "big contract". It was 4/36.
  28. Manzivino

    Manzivino Member SoSH Member

    Jeff Green also brought us the Memphis pick, and his buzzer beater against the Heat in 2013 ultimately landed the Cs in the sixth draft slot where they took Smart instead of the fifth slot where they might have blown it and taken Exum instead. Jeff Green butterfly effect is definitely net positive.
  29. Eddie Jurak

    Eddie Jurak Go Leafs Go Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Danny Ainge was on Bob Ryan's podcast back around the beginning of the season, and when Ryan asked him about Horford, Ainge said something like, "Well, Al is kind of like KG in some ways, but without the crazy."

    Tommy called Al "silent assassin" during a game earlier in the season.

    I always liked his game, but in these playoffs there have just been more moments where Horford has stepped up and taken control than I'd noticed with him before.

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