Ainge: Time will tell on draft picks

June, 29, 2012
6/29/12
1:14
AM ET


BOSTON -- A handful of quick hits from Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge after completing his draft-night haul in Ohio State's Jared Sullinger (No. 21), and Syracuse's Fab Melo (No. 22) and Kris Joseph (No. 51):

* Ainge's thoughts on Boston's three draft picks: "Well, I think we got a 3, 4, and 5. We thought that was important. We didn't necessarily draft on need, although big guys are hard to find. Quality bigs are the most challenging position to find in the draft and in free agency, so we're very excited about the results tonight."

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* On Sullinger and the disc issues in his back: "When the day started, I did not think he would be there at 21. We got wind that the back issues, he was slipping a little bit in the draft. He was projected much higher last week, and so we're fortunate to get him. We were concerned and we did our research on the back issues and felt comfortable. But there are some issues there, and our medical staff thinks that short term and long term there may be some maintenance issues with the back. Doc Rivers played with a herniated disk for 13 years, so it may need surgery at some point, it may not."

* On his emotions following the draft: "You guys have been covering me for a while now. I don't get really too excited or up or down on these... Sometimes the rookies turn out great and sometimes they struggle. Time will tell. And it's up to them. They'll get an opportunity and if they work at it and they get better, some guys get better, some don't. Having said that, I'm very optimistic for these three guys. I think they have a bright upside, and all of them are workers. All of them put in the time and want to improve, and we'll see if they can make the adjustments."

* On having plans for the first days of free agency next month: "I've been talking with Kevin (Garnett) and his people, and don't really have any conclusions yet. But that's a big part of it, absolutely. That's our No. 1 option, and one reason is because Kevin's such a valuable player and the other reason is he's the only guy we can talk to until Sunday."

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Jeff Green
PTS AST STL MIN
16.9 1.7 0.7 34.2
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 8.1
AssistsR. Rondo 9.8
StealsR. Rondo 1.3
BlocksK. Humphries 0.9