In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

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In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

Post by bobheckler on Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:11 pm

http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/celtics/2018/04/bulpett_in_different_world_celtics_could_have_giannis_antetokounmpo



Bulpett: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo



In different situation, Giannis could be C




Steve Bulpett Tuesday, April 03, 2018





Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo scores on Boston Celtics center Aron Baynes as forward Semi Ojeleye looks on during the second half of the NBA game at the TD Garden on Wednesday, October 18, 2017. Staff Photo by Matt Stone



The Celtics will have the unique displeasure of going up against Giannis Antetokounmpo tonight in Milwaukee, and all I can think of is the scene from “Cocktail” when Tom Cruise fights off the doorman, heads to the elevator with Elisabeth Shue and turns to the rich and disapproving father to say, “It didn’t have to be this way, you know.”

But while you think of me with appropriate disgust and perhaps plan an intervention, let’s take a look back at June 27, 2013, and the events that led to Danny Ainge passing on the chance to bring Antetokounmpo from Athens, Greece, to the Athens of America.

That draft began with the Celtics holding the 16th pick. More important, they’d already reached agreement earlier in the day to send Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn in the blockbuster that would reconstruct the franchise on the fly.

Turning back to the draft, the Celts had identified a player they liked who might fall into their range, and to enhance their ability to get him, they worked out a deal with the Dallas Mavericks that if their Kelly Olynyk was available at 13 (darn, gave it away), they would convey the 16th pick and two second-rounders to move up.

That’s the way things played out, and the C’s had the Mavericks take Olynyk for them. Three picks later, the Celts selected Lucas Nogueira, whom Dallas moved with Mike Muscala and Jared Cunningham to Atlanta for Shane Larkin, the 18th pick that year, and cash.

While all this was going on, Milwaukee piped up in the 15th position and selected Antetokounmpo, a thin and athletic project still more than five months shy of his 19th birthday.

At the time, the Celtics weren’t fazed by the pick.

“Giannis was a really bright talent,” Ainge said. “He was really young. He played on a pro B team in Greece, and I saw him practice. I met him. He was very skinny. I thought he was absolutely a worthwhile project.

“But never in a million years did I see him becoming a potential best-player-in-the-league type of player. And I saw his potential as a good player because he could handle the ball, and he was long. But he was really, really skinny, and I think he was about two or three inches shorter than he is now. But what an amazing player.”

With Antetokounmpo averaging 27.2 points and 10 rebounds, that’s an understatement.

But Ainge and the Celtics didn’t wait until he was an All-Star to re-examine their draft night thinking to see if there was something they might have missed that would have altered the course of the evening.

“Sure,” Ainge said. “We do that with every draft. I mean, I guess the only thing about a guy like Giannis is everybody missed on that, pretty much. Nobody thought he was the best player in the draft and had that type of potential, and yet I think that everybody after the top eight or 10 players probably considered him to some level.

“But no doubt, he’s a guy that potentially you could have had in a draft. We look back every year after the draft and after we see how guys develop. We try to figure it out. Sometimes when a guy evolves four or five years later, you know, those are really the guys you can’t tell are going to become that. But Giannis was pretty good in his second year. I mean, he was a talented kid right away, but it was on losing teams. But by his second year, you could tell that he was pretty dang special.”

Players of that tender age often take giant steps if they have the talent and work ethic because they are still early in their development.

“The younger you draft kids, the harder it is,” Ainge said. “I say this all the time. In college, you’re recruiting 17- and 18-year-old kids and, for example, Steph Curry couldn’t even get a scholarship at Virginia Tech, let alone Duke and North Carolina. But he turns into an MVP of the NBA. And when you’re looking at kids 17 and 18 in preparation of drafting them, it’s a crapshoot.

“And there are guys that are easy. The whole world could see that LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant were going to be great. Those guys were pretty easy to see. But Giannis, you’ve got to give him a lot of credit. He’s a bright kid and a hard worker, and he’s developed into one of the great players in our league.”

As for the Celtics’ interest in Olynyk, Ainge said, “We needed shooting at the big positions. Brad (Stevens) wasn’t hired yet, but even when Doc (Rivers) was here, he liked his big guys to handle the ball some. That’s one reason why we brought (Brian Scalabrine) in as a big that could shoot and dribble, and dribble handoffs are a big part of the game nowadays. That’s why we like (Al) Horford and lots of guys, but Kelly was a very versatile guy that could play the 4 and the 5, and those guys are hard to find.”

Jokingly asked if he’d ever given Olynyk a hard time for not being Antetokounmpo, Ainge laughed and said no.

“But Kelly was Giannis against us last time we played Miami,” he added, referencing the 32 points (12-of-15 shooting, 6-of-8 on 3-pointers) he threw at the Celts in a one-point Heat win at the Garden in December.

It was probably enough to make Ainge consider a cocktail.



bob



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Re: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

Post by cowens/oldschool on Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:14 pm

No GM is perfect, I’m just glad we have Jaylen Jayson and Kyrie....
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Re: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

Post by bobheckler on Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:16 pm

cowens/oldschool wrote:No GM is perfect, I’m just glad we have Jaylen Jayson and Kyrie....


Cow,

Good for you. I thought for sure you'd go off like a Space X rocket on Danny for taking Kelly over The Freak.


bob



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Re: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

Post by mrkleen09 on Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:44 pm

Nothing says lazy journalist with nothing to say today, than a good Monday Morning Quarterback article
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Re: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

Post by dboss on Tue Apr 03, 2018 3:28 pm

I would venture that Ainge kicks himself over passing up the freak for KO.

However hind sight is 20/20 vision.  Ainge has more than made up for missing on a pick by drafting Smart, Rozier, Brown and Tatum.  That is like a batter going 4 for 4.
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Re: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

Post by Sandpd on Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:28 pm

dboss wrote:I would venture that Ainge kicks himself over passing up the freak for KO.

However hind sight is 20/20 vision.  Ainge has more than made up for missing on a pick by drafting Smart, Rozier, Brown and Tatum.  That is like a batter going 4 for 4.

+1

Generally speaking, but with a few exceptions, the draft is a crap shoot - no one has a crystal ball and sometimes you just luck out. There have been plenty of highly touted draft picks that were considered can't miss prospects and turned out to be busts. Then, sometimes you get lucky and find a diamond in the rough that falls into your lap by default because the teams picking ahead of you passed on him. Just like in the draft lottery, having the most ping pong balls doesn't guarantee that you'll end up with the #1 pick.

". . . you've gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?"
Dirty Harry Callahan
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Re: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

Post by dboss on Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:51 pm

I do not subscribe to the notion that the draft is a crap shoot.  It is not like teams just throw the dice and hope snake eyes does not come up.

The drafting position is probably the single biggest factor in improving a teams odds at landing the right player.  The quality of scouting and predraft evaluations including workouts and consultations with prospects are highly important.  Some teams do this significantly better than others.  I will use the Spurs as an example.  They have not had a high pick since Leonard but every year they have some guy you never heard of that turns into a solid NBA player.

Danny drafted Rozier at 16.  I thought it was a reach.  I thought he could not shoot the long ball.  I thought he did not have the skills to run an offense.  But Danny identified something that other teams missed because in his 3rd year Rosier looks like a top 5 pick.

The other factor is the coach.  We have seen a ton of guys who underperform and just cannot find a comfort level.  But if you have a coach like Brad Stevens he is able to uncover the true value of players as does coach Pop.

Danny has been on a hot streak and has not missed on a guy in 4 years but again three were top prospects and Danny had top positioning in those drafts.  There were other highly touted prospects but Danny saw something special in the players he drafted.  Now most Celtics fans see the same thing.
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Re: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

Post by swish on Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:18 pm

It's never been a crap shoot - The talent scouts do their job, with exceptions of course, - but on average,  the higher the pick -  the better the results.

  swish


Last edited by swish on Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:56 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

Post by k_j_88 on Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:52 pm

Ainge traded *up* to get Olynyk is perhaps the rather puzzling part.


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Re: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

Post by kdp59 on Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:59 am

and on another thread we read about the despair of a former #3 selection, who has washed out with two teams now in only a few years.

Crap shoot...one might very well agree.
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Re: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

Post by worcester on Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:09 am

Swish, whenever I've tried a crab shoot, there's no meat left on them afterwards.
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Re: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

Post by bobheckler on Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:29 am

worcester wrote:Swish, whenever I've tried a crab shoot, there's no meat left on them afterwards.

worcester,

Next time use melted butter in a spray bottle set to 'stream'.

Survival skills in Maine outback.


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Re: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

Post by swish on Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:55 am

worcester wrote:Swish, whenever I've tried a crab shoot, there's no meat left on them afterwards.

worcester

When I was a kid back in the 1940's - shooting crabs in the Taunton river was a favorite pastime. I guess that somewhere along the line they changed it to craps. Just kidding.
Thanks for the editing.

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Re: In different world, Celtics could have Giannis Antetokounmpo

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