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During the 2007 NBA Draft, Danny Ainge began his magical offseason and before the night was done, the Celtics had acquired Ray Allen and Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis for Jeff Green, Delonte West, and Wally Szczerbiak. That, as everyone now knows, led to the acquisition of Kevin Garnett and the eventual NBA Champion rolling rally in Boston.
The celebration from the 2007-2008 season may just be beginning, but the Celtics have work to do in the offseason if they hope to raise Banner #18 next year. First on the agenda? The NBA Draft. With their No. 30 selection (a pick they hope to have for years to come), the Celtics chose shooting guard J.R. Giddens from the University of New Mexico. Who?
Giddens reportedly had been on the mind of Danny Ainge for some time. After the NBA Finals and subsequent rolling rally, Ainge handed Doc Rivers a scouting report of Giddens and some video showcasing his talents. Doc was apparently enamored right away and was impressed with what he saw, especially on the defensive end:
“He has a chance to fight for minutes right away because of his defense.”
NBADraft.net (a site I consult every year around draft time) had Giddens slotted to be picked by the Los Angeles Lakers…in the second round at No. 58. So why did Ainge take him 28 picks earlier than he was mocked to go? Ask Danny yourself:
“I think he’s a playmaker at the defensive end. This guy gets steals, blocks shots from the guard position. He’s a playmaker at the defensive end and he’s a pretty darn good offensive player.”
The folks at NBADraft.net had yet to even give Giddens a score on their scouting report. There’s a few notes about his amazing ability to dunk. OK, so good defense, good dunking skills, and a shooting guard? Tony Allen anyone?
That’s right! Tony Allen is basically gonzo now that the Celtics drafted Giddens. It may take a year, but Allen will be on his way out as there is a younger duplicate ready to step in and play. Giddens is kind of old (22)…and I say that because he was one of the few players drafted that is older than I am. But, Giddens is still younger than Tony Allen, who at 26 getting older and still recovering from a major knee injury.
Look for Giddens to get a similar amount of playing time as Gabe Pruitt got in 2007-08 (basically none), as he may be sent back and forth between the NBADL and the Celtics.
As far as the other two picks the Celtics made, the Celtics drafted SF Bill Walker from Kansas State with the No. 47 pick (acquired from the Wizards for cash considerations). Ainge his known for his good 2nd Round picks (Ryan Gomes, Leon Powe) so this could also work.
Before a devastating knee injury derailed his college career, Walker was known for his legendary dunking ability. NBADraft.net’s Aran Smith recalls that Walker had explosive skills:
“…an absolutely jaw dropping, electrifying dunker capable of getting air like the greatest dunkers of all time, Jordan, Dominique, Vince Carter, Josh Smith etc. … His leg strength and explosiveness is off the charts…”
With the last pick of the draft, the Celtics took a Turkish center named Semih Erden. He’s a 7-footer and has good skills, so there’s promise with this guy. But…he probably will never play in the NBA.
So there you have it, another NBA Draft is now history and all players drafted will probably have little or no impact on the Celtics season.
Are you satisfied with the Celtics pick of J.R. Giddens at No. 30?
Total Voters: 110