Danny Ainge Sees No Franchise Players in Next Year’s NBA Draft

by October 03, 2013

With apologies to Andrew Wiggins and everyone else in next year’s loaded NBA Draft, Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge — who swears the C’s aren’t tanking, no sir! — simply doesn’t view anyone coming out of college as a franchise-altering player. Per SI: “As I walk around town, more than anything else there are those that say, ‘Hey, don’t win too many games,’ said Ainge, the Celtics’ president of basketball operations. ‘There are so many fans that want us to play for the draft.’ Ainge’s measured response is that they should be more careful what they wish for. ‘That’s harder than people recognize,’ said Ainge of losing as a strategy. ‘It’s a really easy thing to conceptualize, and an easy thing to talk about and philosophize about. But it’s a hard thing to live through — for fans, for coaches, for owners, for sponsors, for our TV partners.’ It was the pain of losing that forced his coach of nine years, Doc Rivers, to relocate, with great irony, to the Clippers. ‘Right,’ said Ainge. ‘It’s a really hard thing to do.’ Without ever mentioning the name of the consensus No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins, Ainge made it clear that he does not believe the Kansas freshman carries the value of Kevin Durant, with whom he is often compared. ‘If Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was out there to change your franchise forever, or Tim Duncan was going to change your franchise for 15 years? That might be a different story,’ said Ainge. ‘I don’t see that player out there.’ […] ‘I could see our team playing better than what some people think,’ said Ainge. ‘But I could also see us having some struggles because we don’t really have that star. With the exception of (Rajon) Rondo, of course; but we don’t know when he’ll be back.'”