It was the first question that came to the mind of most Celtics fans when the team selected Marcus Smart with their first first-round pick Thursday night – what does this mean for Rajon Rondo?

Well, according to owner Wyc Grousbeck, the answer is not much at all. The reason for Grousbeck’s public stance is head coach Brad Stevens, who proved through a 25-win season that he could handle most of what Rondo could throw at any first-year head coach.

“It’s interesting, that wasn’t a topic of conversation tonight,” Grousbeck said. “We have confidence in Brad that he can manage a roster but we also had confidence that of the “Top 6″ we were going to take the best available as opposed to trying to slot in. That’s a strategy when you’re rebuilding a team, you take the best available athlete and then you let it all work out. We’ve got an all-star point guard so that’s not a question here.”

“I don’t think this has any impact on Rajon at all.”

Grousbeck acknowledged he hadn’t spoken with his star point guard before the selection was made.

Earlier this offseason, Grousbeck hinted at possible “fireworks” this summer if the Celtics found a trade partner.

“I always said fireworks were a possibility,” he said. “It takes two to tango around here. There just hasn’t been that much movement tonight. Typically on draft day, we make two trades if not three. That’s just the way we roll, “Trader Danny,” and it’s had great effect for us. We like to be aggressive about rebuilding this team. We like to become contenders again as quickly as possible. So, we’ll keep working the phones but it takes two partners to make a trade.”

So the Celtics did what Danny Ainge predicted they would at the beginning of the night — hold onto their selections at six and 17 overall, taking Smart and Kentucky’s James Young.

“We knew there were six or seven kids that we wanted,” Grousbeck said. “So, the idea of moving to eight or 10, moving slightly higher in the draft really wasn’t of interest. Maybe there’s a cliff in the draft. We wanted to stay at six or move up. We wanted to make other trades in recent days. We’d been on the phone quite a bit with other teams about other ideas. Nothing ever really seemed close to fruition, no matter how hard we tried. I remember trading for Kevin Garnett in ’07 and I got a call from Minnesota on July 30 or 31st, [so] the trade season is not over yet.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Once again, the Celtics stood pat and selected Kentucky wing James Young with their No. 17 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.

James Young

James Young

Once again, the Celtics stood pat and selected Kentucky wing James Young with their No. 17 pick in Thursday’s NBA draft.

The 18-year-old averaged 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 32.4 minutes per game as a freshman during the Wildcats’ run to the NCAA championship game this past season. He’s probably best known for “>his aggressive dunk as part of his 20 points in Kentucky’s title loss to UConn.

Considered a potential impact scorer, Young shot just 40.7 percent from the field at Kentucky after being highly recruited out of high school. Questions also exist about his commitment to defense.

The C’s selected Oklahoma State sophomore Marcus Smart with their No. 6 pick.

More to come. For a complete scouting report, click here.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

Apparently Red Auerbach paid very close attention to the “Big Bad Bruins.”

When the Celtics chose Oklahoma State fireplug point guard Marcus Smart with the sixth pick overall Thursday night, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck thought back to something Auerbach told him when he bought the team.

Apparently Red Auerbach paid very close attention to the “Big Bad Bruins.”

When the Celtics chose Oklahoma State fireplug point guard Marcus Smart with the sixth pick overall Thursday night, Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck thought back to something Auerbach told him when he bought the team.

“We like the fact that he’s an instigator,” Grousbeck said. “Back to Red, as Red told me personally right when I came in, ‘You need instigators, not retaliators.’ This kid is energetic. He’s a bull. He is a force and when I met him, he filled the doorway. He’s just got that physique and that drive and that attitude that we really like around the Celtics.”

Grousbeck said he’s been on the radar of the Celtics for some time, including three sessions in front of team president of basketball operations Danny Ainge.

“Our war room is very happy with the pick,” Grousbeck said. “My job is to be part of that and be supportive. Our basketball guys are very excited and have been focusing on Marcus for several weeks. [They] really like the top six or seven kids in the draft quite a bit but really thought he’s pretty exceptional in a couple of ways and really looking forward to having him in green.

“He’s been on our list for a month as we started setting up the draft workouts. He came back here twice and Danny saw him again in a third workout elsewhere. He’s seen him personally three times in the last two or three weeks. We really thinks there’s a lot of quality in the top of the draft here and think that it’s not always clear how to differentiate among the quality. I’m repeating things as opposed to giving you my own personal evaluation. That’s not my role with this team. But we think this kid really has some special attributes.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

After all the pre-draft debate over whether or not the Celtics should trade up, trade down or trade out of the No. 6 pick, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge held firm and selected Marcus Smart.

After all the pre-draft discussions about whether or not the Celtics would trade up, trade down or trade out of the No. 6 pick, president of basketball operations Danny Ainge held firm and selected Marcus Smart.

As Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck noted, the Oklahoma State point guard came to Waltham for three workouts prior to the draft. The C’s liked Smart from the start, and he told reporters in New York on Wednesday he had an inkling he might end up in Boston. Despite all the smokescreens, all signs have pointed to Smart for weeks.

At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Smart has been described as a bulldog, a fierce competitor and defensive-minded. The 20-year-old averaged 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists a game as a sophomore for the Cowboys. Many believe he would have been drafted No. 1 overall had he come out as a freshman in 2013.

As was the case with both of his new backcourt mates, Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley, the knock on Smart is outside shooting ability. He shot just 29.9 percent from beyond the arc this past season. Still, both Rondo and Bradley have demonstrated the ability to improve their jump shots at the NBA level.

More to come. For a complete scouting report, click here.

Blog Author: 
Ben Rohrbach

For all the speculation on possible trades up and down in the first round, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said he’ll like stay put with his two first-round picks. Of course, he made that prediction 90 minutes before the first pick of the 2014 NBA draft.

For all the speculation on possible trades up and down in the first round, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said he’ll like stay put with his two first-round picks. Of course, he made that prediction 90 minutes before the first pick of the 2014 NBA draft.

Who knows what will happen after that? The Celtics stayed put in 2007 and drafted Jeff Green at No. 5, only to package a deal to Seattle for Ray Allen.

“There’s been a lot of conversation over the last month,” Ainge said of the interest from other teams looking to move up to take Boston’s first pick at No. 6 overall. “A lot of discussions regarding trading of the picks. Trading up, trading back, trading for players. Big deals, little deals. We’re ready for some different scenarios but just like all trade deadlines, the draft really isnt a deadline, but it is a time where you’ve got to make a decision to take the pick or trade it. Probably it looks like most likely that we’ll keep it.”

Ainge, who said he has “processed” all of the medical information on Joel Embiid, said there’s been “a lot more” dialogue on picks this year compared to last year.

“Quite a few real conversations, but a lot that end in a phone call,” Ainge said. “A yes or a no. Some go a little bit deeper. Two or three phone calls. Some even deeper.”

If Embiid is available, will Ainge be tempted?

“We have processed the information. And I believe in my medical staff. And that’s all,” Ainge said.

Then Ainge was asked to characterize this group of NBA talent.

“I think early in the year, I said it’s a little bit over-hyped,” Ainge said. “I think midway through the year i thought it was still over-hyped. Part of that is maybe the player in me. Like, ‘C’mon let these kids be kids.’ None of these guys are franchise-turners and I still believe that. Everything I said I still believe.

“I’ve always believed, just like in every draft, there are going to be players that are good, guys that can start, guys that can play in rotations on championship teams. There will be a couple of them. Two or three or four maybe that can become NBA All-Stars. I wish I knew which one of those that would be. I think that when you start making comp to Lebron James and Kevin Durant to kids before they’d even played a game in college, that’s sort of unfair. And that’s sort of what they hype was that I was referring to as over-hyped.

“Let’s let them prove it before we start making comparisons. I do feel like we’re going to get a good player at six. A player that I think can be a starter in the NBA. How good they become, time will tell. Players that we’ll be excited about adding to our roster, but players I’m not expected to turn us into an immediate winner by themselves.”

Uncertainty at top?
I think last year’s draft there was some uncertaintly as to what was happening there at the top. There are other drafts, the Rondo draft with Lamarcus Aldridge, Tyrus Thomas, and Bagnarni were the top picks, there was some uncertainty there. It’s not that uncommon that there’s no certainty with who’s going one or two or three.

If you pick at No. 6 and 17, mean you’re in for a longer rebuild?
I think our initial goal when the season ended was to try to expedite a rebuilding process. I don’t think by taking No. 6 and 17 that that has ended. We’ve always been comfortable with No. 6 and 17 and knew that was the most likely scenario. But you can’t rush something that’s not there. We’ll take that first step tonight and continue to throughout the summer and see what opportunities are there. We’ll try to remain opportunistic.

Chance you end up with another pick? higher or lower?
Sure. Probably not higher. I think those have pretty much been exhausted at this point. I wouldn’t say definitely not.

Consensus around what’s there at 6?
I think we have a consensus. Over the last couple weeks, I make it my job to know everybody’s perspective on players, what they think, how they rank players. I meet with them individually, we go through film, we talk through their opinions, we meet collectively. I do believe at this point today for sure with our first pick that we have a consensus order. There’s really close calls. There’s been differences of opinions that we’ve come together on. At 17, there’s not as much of a consensus but there’s just so much uncertainty.

One guy who stands out at 6?
I think we’ve gone through every scenario. Whatever scenario comes before, we’re prepared with a consensus.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Foot and back injuries have caused Kansas center Joel Embiid — once expected to be the first overall selection in Thursday’€™s NBA draft — to slide down the boards.

Embiid’€™s fall has opened up the possibility of the Celtics getting the opportunity to draft the promising big man, something that Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted could be a possibility.

Embiid, a 7-foot center from Cameroon, averaged 11.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in his only season with the Jayhawks, despite only playing organized basketball since 2011.

– It appears that the rumored deal between the Celtics and Kings, which would include point guard Rajon Rondo and Sacramento’€™s eighth overall pick as the two main components, may not come to fruition.

Yahoo! Sports’ Marc J. Spears tweeted that the Kings seem to be content to keep their pick.

The Kings have been at the forefront of trade rumors recently, including a deal to acquire Pistons forward Josh Smith, adding him to a frontcourt that already includes DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay.

– With the draft fast approaching, it seems that the 76ers are going all in in an effort to acquire the first overall pick from the Cavaliers and draft Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins.

Tom Cooney of the Philadelphia Daily News tweeted that the 76ers are doing everything they can to pry the top pick from Cleveland.

Philadelphia certainly has many trading chips at its disposal, including the third and 10th overall picks and a host of promising players such as Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel.

– The Celtics aren’t the only Atlantic Division team reportedly looking to make a few draft-day deals. The Raptors are trying to acquire the Grizzlies‘€™ 22nd overall pick, according to ESPN.

The framework of the deal would be Toronto sending veteran swingman John Salmons and the 37th overall pick to Memphis in exchange for Tayshaun Prince and the 22nd pick.

The move benefits the Rapotors because it would put them in position to select Syracuse guard (and Ontario native) Tyler Ennis.

By making the trade, the Grizzlies would be able to take Prince’€™s $7.7 million salary cap hit off their books for next season.

Blog Author: 
Conor Ryan