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Ainge sets table for draft

6/26/2014

BOSTON -- Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge met with the media 90 minutes before the start of the 2014 NBA Draft. Walking to the podium, Ainge humorously announced, "Anyone have any questions that I probably won't answer? Fire away."

He dutifully fielded seven minutes worth of questions without tipping the team's draft hand. Since much of this will be outdated shortly, here's some highlights from the Q&A:

Do you still feel like picking at Nos. 6 and 17 is the most likely scenario?

A: "I do."

Has there been any talk of movement with those picks?

A: "There’s been a lot of conversation over the last month, and a lot of discussions regarding trades and trading of the picks. Trading up, trading back, trading for players; Big deals, little deals. We’re ready for some different scenarios... I think, probably, it looks most likely we’ll keep [the picks]."

Has the medical staff had a chance to review information on Joel Embiid?

A: "We have processed the information and I believe in my medical staff. And that’s all."

You said before that this draft is overhyped? Do you still feel that way?

A: "I think, early in the year, I said it’s a little bit overtyped. I think midway through the year, I thought it was still overhyped. Part of that is just maybe the player in me, where, ‘C’mon, let these kids be kids.’ None of these guys are franchise-turners, and I still believe that. I think everything I said about the draft, I still believe. I think that, I’ve always believed that, just like in every draft, there’s going to be players that are good, guys that can start, guys that can play in rotations on championship teams. And there will be a couple of them, two or three or four maybe that become NBA All-Stars -- I wish I knew which one of those [the draft hopefuls] would be. I think when we start making the comparisons of LeBron James and Kevin Durant, with kids before they even played a game in college, that’s sorta unfair. And that was what the hype was that I was referring to as overtyped. Let’s let them prove it before we start making the comparisons, but I do feel like we’re going to get a good player at 6, a player that I think can be a starter in the NBA. How good they become, time will tell. But players that we will be excited about adding to our roster, but players that I’m not expected to turn us into an immediate winner -- by themselves."

Have you formed a consensus about what you guys might take at No. 6?

A: "I think we have a consensus. Over the last couple weeks, I make it my job to know everybody’s perspective on players and what they think and how they rank players. So I meet with them individually, we go through film, we talk through their opinions. We meet collectively. But, yes, I do believe at this point, today, for sure, with our first pick we have a consensus order and it’s really close calls. There’s been different opinions that we’ve come together on. And at 17, it’s probably a little bit more not as much of a consensus. There’s just so much uncertainty."

Is it a really close call between players at No. 6?

A: "I think we’ve gone through whatever scenario, and whatever scenario comes forward, we’re prepared for it with a consensus is what I’m saying."