June 17, 2024

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 5 comments

I can't help but keep thinking about the Sixers trading up to #1 to draft Markelle Fultz in 2017 and the Celtics getting paid handsomely in draft picks to drop back two spots to draft Jayson Tatum at #3, the guy they would have drafted at #1 if they'd stayed put.

And the Sixers drafting Ben Simmons at #1 the year before, with the Celtics drafting Jaylen Brown at #3 (using one of the unprotected picks they got from sending Pierce and Garnett to the Nets).

The 2017 Celtics first round pick that went to the Nets in that deal ended up being...Kyle Kuzma at #27.

It's not "some folks have all the luck". It's "some folks have all the front office".

posted by beaverboard at 12:01 AM on June 18, 2024

It's not "some folks have all the luck". It's "some folks have all the front office".

Many of the "experts" who give their opinions on the NBA give credit to Brad Stevens for assembling the team. He said during one of the post-game interviews that it was easy to build a championship team when you start with a core of Brown and Tatum. Stevens was hired as head coach by Danny Ainge, and ultimately promoted to his current position at the suggestion of Ainge. So give Ainge credit for the series of "thefts" that produced the core. Now consider that Ainge was with the Celtics as a player during the years of Red Auerbach's management. I am sure that much knowledge was passed along to Ainge during those years. Auerbach was no stranger to Machieavellian maneuvers. The 1956 draft was the most notable example. Through some trades, the Celtics turned Ed McCauley and the draft rights to Cliff Hagen into the 2nd pick. Rochester Royals had the first pick, but they liked Sihugo Green. To make sure that Rochester did indeed take Green, Walter Brown, owner of the Celtics and also of the Ice Capades, offered the Royals owner a 2-week appearance of the popular ice show as long as they took Green. The Celtics then took an athletic center from San Francisco by the name of Bill Russell. Having "all the front office" is a long tradition in Boston.

So, beaverboard, will we see you in Boston on Friday for the Duck Boat parade?

posted by Howard_T at 09:24 PM on June 18, 2024

Then there are teams on the other side of the front office coin...

I lived in Michigan for the late 20teens and early 2020s, and was driving home listening to the afternoon sports talk show discussing the upcoming Pistons-Bucks game, where one host just wanted to tank and not even try any more so that they wouldn't be stuck with something like the 15th pick. At the time, the Bucks were getting to the playoffs but hadn't won a title yet and their core three players were: Giannis, who was actually the 15th pick; Malcolm Brogdon, who was a 2nd round pick (and still got the ROY); and Khris Middleton, who was actually drafted BY THE PISTONS. It was just ... dude, draft position is not your problem here.

Also a year or two earlier, the Pistons had pick #12, and took Luke Fuckin' Kennard when Donovan Mitchell and Bam Adebayo were on the board.

posted by LionIndex at 11:24 PM on June 18, 2024

The less said about the Michael Jordan ownership of Bobcats/Hornets2.0 the better off we'll all be.

posted by NoMich at 11:30 PM on June 18, 2024

Sorry to say I won't be at the Friday parade. Obligations beckon elsewhere.

The Auerbach - Volk - Ainge - Stevens management succession is remarkable.

I'm conveniently choosing to ignore the Carr and Pitino years in this moment of afterglow.

I still can't believe how Auerbach got all the great players he did through the years. By methods varied and brilliant.

Ainge's drafting of Jayson Tatum via the Sixers is the descendant of Auerbach's gamesmanship in the 1986 draft. Auerbach said to the Cavaliers (picking first): "If you don't draft Brad Daugherty, we will". The Cavs, rattled or not, drafted Daugherty and Auerbach's successor Jan Volk, picking second, got the guy they wanted all along. Len Bias.

Devastated by the death of Bias but resolute in the search for talent, in the following year's draft, Volk confirmed Lion's point that draft position isn't always paramount by picking a gem at #22. Reggie Lewis.

It is possible to build sustained excellence, but unexpected tragedies make it a lot harder. You can imagine what the Celtics' continuity would have been like if those two guys had lived.

Brad Stevens' boldness in building the 2023-24 Celtics roster is reminiscent of Volk's bold moves in the mid 80's. He traded fan favorite Gerald Henderson to get the pick they used to draft Bias. Prior to that, Cedric Maxwell, another fan favorite, was traded to get Bill Walton.

posted by beaverboard at 05:45 PM on June 19, 2024

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