May 17, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas represents his team during the NBA draft lottery at New York Hilton Midtown. The Philadelphia 76ers received the first overall pick in the 2016 draft. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas sports his game face as he represents his team during the NBA draft lottery at New York Hilton Midtown. The Philadelphia 76ers received the first overall pick in the 2016 draft. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Isaiah Thomas might not have brought home one of the top two picks in the NBA draft but he did bring a little perspective.

In the wake of missing out on the top two picks in the NBA draft, it was the Celtics good luck charm of a point guard who, after sitting in the conference room of the Midtown Hilton in Manhattan, reminded everyone that a very good player can still be had at No. 3.

“Man, the No. 3 pick. Wasn’t Jordan No. 3? Say no more after that,” Thomas told Marc D’Amico of Celtics.com.

Indeed, Michael Jordan was selected third overall by the Chicago Bulls in the 1984 draft.

What, of course, remains to be seen is how the 2016 class compares with the ’84 class, which featured three hall of famers in the top five picks. Hakeem Olajuwon went first overall to the Houston Rockets. Sam Bowie was selected second by Portland. Jordan went third to the Bulls, followed by Sam Perkins to Dallas and Charles Barkley to Philadelphia. Olajuwon, Jordan and Barkley are all enshrined in Springfield.

How deep was that class? Another hall of famer, John Stockton, was taken 16th overall by Utah. There’s also recent results to suggest that you don’t have to land the top two picks to come away with a haul.

In 2009, Steph Curry was taken seventh overall by the Warriors. In 2012, when the Celtics chose Jared Sullinger 21st and Fab Melo 22nd, the Cavaliers selected Jae Crowder 34th followed by Draymond Green, who went 35th to Golden State.

“The stories in my life usually work out on the side nobody thinks they’re going to work out on,” Thomas said. “When we got picked to go over their and be one of the [top] three picks, I could’ve sworn we were going to get the No. 1 pick. But I’m happy with what we got and hopefully we can work around that.”

Coming out of the TV timeout before the final three picks were announced, cameras caught Thomas with an unusually fierce look on his face as the moment of truth arrived.

“Man, I was just trying to get my inner-Brad Stevens on,” Thomas said. “Trying to be even-keeled, show ’em no emotion, whether it was good or bad and go from there. It worked for the most part, other than the last little moment being up there with other two teams. I shed a little smile because I thought we were going to get the No. 1 pick.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Sam Packard discuss what the Celtics and president of basketball operations Danny Ainge will do now that their lot in the 2016 NBA draft is sealed after finishing third in the NBA lottery held Tuesday night in New York City. The Celtics will pick after the Philadelphia 76ers (No. 1) and the Los Angeles Lakers (No. 2). Will the Celtics keep their pick or trade it away? How hard will that be?

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

WALTHAM  –  In the end, the Celtics and Kelly Olynyk had seen enough from his right shoulder. 

The team and the player decided to make the decision this week to have surgery to repair an injury that hampered the 7-footer in the final two months of the season and in the final three games of the playoff series against the Hawks. 

Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) drives to the basket against Boston Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) and forward Amir Johnson (90) during the second half in game one of the first round of the NBA Playoffs at Philips Arena. (John David Mercer-USA Today Sports)

Celtics center Kelly Olynyk (41) was often reduced to a bystander for the last portion of the season as he was limited by a shoulder injury. (John David Mercer/USA Today Sports)

WALTHAM  –  In the end, the Celtics and Kelly Olynyk had seen enough from his right shoulder. 

The team and the player decided to make the decision this week to have surgery to repair an injury that hampered the 7-footer in the final two months of the season and in the final three games of the playoff series against the Hawks. 

The team also indicated that Olynyk will begin an immediate rehabilitation program and the time frame for his return to basketball activities has not yet been determined.

“It wasn’t a certain shoulder surgery,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Tuesday night. “It wasn’t an easy decision but Kelly’s shoulder just [had] a lot of movement, slipping in and out. I think everybody finally concluded there’s no guarantee it was going to get better without surgery. Through a summer of rehab, there’s still a risk of it slipping in and out of play. So, he chose and we chose collectively for him to get surgery and try to end it once and for all.

“Usually this shoulder surgery is five months [for rehab]. I’ll let you do the month. Every player is different. Every situation is different. That’s approximate.”

If the timetable is indeed five months, that would put Olynyk out until mid-October, the middle of preseason. If all goes well, he should be ready for the start of the regular season. 

Olynyk initially injured the shoulder on Feb. 10 against the Clippers. He missed 14 games before returning for the rest of the season. He re-injured the shoulder in Game 1 against the Hawks and missed Games 2 and 3. He was severely limited in his return to action in Games 4,5 and 6.

Olynyk, who completed his third year with the team, averaged 10.0 points, including shooting 40.5 percent from beyond the arc, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20.2 minutes per game during the 2015-16 regular season. At the time of the injury, Olynyk was leading the team in 3-point shooting and his ability to stretch the floor and spread the offense was noticeable when he was not on the court.

Olynyk recorded a season-high 28 points on 11-21 (.524) shooting from the field, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block on Dec. 11 against the Golden State Warriors.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

WALTHAM  –  Danny Ainge wanted to be perfectly clear Tuesday after being awarded the No. 3 overall pick in the NBA draft lottery in New York City. The Celtics president of basketball operations was disappointed at missing out on the top two picks, yes, but not devastated to tears. 

Danny Ainge

Danny Ainge

WALTHAM  –  Danny Ainge wanted to be perfectly clear Tuesday after being awarded the No. 3 overall pick in the NBA draft lottery in New York City. The Celtics president of basketball operations was disappointed at missing out on the top two picks, yes, but not devastated to tears. 

So before taking any questions, he decided to get out ahead of the questions that were coming about his red eyes. 

“And by the way, I have allergies. I haven’t been crying up in my office. My eyes are puffy,” Ainge said. “Anybody have any questions?”

Then the questions began. With Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram apparently just out of their reach, what are the plans for the third overall pick? 

“We don’t know that yet. We’ll obviously explore that,” Ainge said. “We’re in the middle of that process right now of figuring out who’s in the draft and who’s the best fit for us. We’ll also probably get some calls for that pick I’m guessing, so there’ll be discussion of that too. But right now we’re really in the mode of preparing for the draft.”

The level of disappointment?

“Hey, listen, there’s a lot more things to be disappointed about in this life,” Ainge said. “It could have been worse and it could have been better. It is what it is and we’ll move on and do the best we can to build a great team.”

Still, behind closed doors in the Celtics training facility in Waltham, there was disappointment. But there was no cursing Isaiah Thomas for being in the lottery room in New York and not bringing home the big prize. 

“There were some groans. I think the buildup, once we weren’t sixth and we weren’t five and we weren’t four, there was a lot of hope that we could get a good pick,” Ainge said. “But we’ll take it. We’ll give Isaiah a passing grade. We’ll keep him.”

The second level after Ingram and Simmons starts with names like Dragan Bender of Croatia, Jamaal Murray, Kris Dunn and Buddy Hield. 

“Last year at this time I think everybody saw that and it sort of changed between what everybody thought at this time and what happened in the draft,” Ainge said. “So it’s still too early. There’s still a lot of evaluation. When you’re looking and evaluating in some cases 18 and 19-year-old kids there’s a lot that changes between the end of their college careers and the draft, so I wouldn’t say anything is in stone in how the draft order is gonna go. We’ll just evaluate them all and see how it falls.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

WALTHAM — The Celtics can start finalizing their long-awaited plans for the draft. 

WALTHAM — The Celtics can start finalizing their long-awaited plans for the draft. 

The Celtics will choose third in the annual NBA selection process on June 23. The 76ers will pick first, while the Lakers will pick second. It’s the first time they have chosen third in the draft since 1997 when they took Chauncey Billups out of Colorado. That was followed up by Ron Mercer three picks later in the same draft that Tim Duncan went first. 

This is also the highest the Celtics have drafted since that same draft. The Sixers won the draft and will pick first overall, followed by the Lakers and then Boston. The draft lottery went exactly according to order, first through 14, per the odds going in. 

Isaiah Thomas represented the Celtics in the room, along with owner Wyc Grousbeck, who made his first appearance in the lottery room since 2007 when the Celtics were disappointed with the fifth overall pick, a pick they turned around in a trade with Seattle for Ray Allen. 

The Celtics have had the first overall pick just once in franchise history. With the first overall pick in 1950, they chose Charlie Share out of Bowling Green. 

Only once have the Celtics chosen second overall, taking Len Bias in 1986 behind Brad Daugherty. 

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

Kelly Olynyk finally had his bothersome right shoulder fixed on Monday.

The Celtics announced Tuesday that the 7-foot forward underwent a successful right shoulder arthroscopy for recurrent subluxations.

The team also indicated that he will begin an immediate rehabilitation program and the time frame for his return to basketball activities has not yet been determined.

Kelly Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk

Kelly Olynyk finally had his bothersome right shoulder fixed on Monday.

The Celtics announced Tuesday that the 7-foot forward underwent a successful right shoulder arthroscopy for recurrent subluxations.

The team also indicated that he will begin an immediate rehabilitation program and the time frame for his return to basketball activities has not yet been determined.

Olynyk initially injured the shoulder on Feb. 10 against the Clippers. He missed 14 games before returning for the rest of the season. He re-injured the shoulder in Game 1 against the Hawks and missed Games 2 and 3. He was severely limited in his return to action in Games 4,5 and 6.

Olynyk, who completed his third year with the team, averaged 10.0 points, including shooting 40.5 percent from beyond the arc, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 20.2 minutes per game during the 2015-16 regular season. At the time of the injury, Olynyk was leading the team in 3-point shooting and his ability to stretch the floor and spread the offense was noticeable when he was not on the court.

Olynyk recorded a season-high 28 points on 11-21 (.524) shooting from the field, six rebounds, three assists, three steals and one block on Dec. 11 against the Golden State Warriors.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia