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10 Years of Ainge: Ainge's best draft 2004?

Posted by shawn cassidy on June 15, 2013 at 5:15 AM

I think Danny's best draft was in 2006 when he traded for Rondo and drafted Powe in the second round. I think 2004 is a very close second. In 2004 Ainge drafted Al Jefferson with the 15th pick. Then Ainge drafted Delonte West at the 24th pick, and Tony Allen at the 25th pick. That proved to be the core of the Celtics youth movement for a couple of years. Al Jefferson was also used as apart of the KG deal, and West was used in the Ray Allen deal. Tony Allen remained with the Celtics as a key bench player in the new Big Three era. Jefferson was solid in his last year in Boston. He averaged 16.4 points per game, and over 10 rebounds per game. Without Al being a talented young big man. I don't know if Mchale trades Kevin Garnett to the Celtics. Al Jefferson had this to say about Boston when he played against the C's last year.

Pregame: Al's back in Boston

Taken by the Celtics with the 15th pick in the 2004 draft, Jefferson spent three seasons in Boston before being dealt to Minnesota as part of the package that brought back Kevin Garnett. Jefferson is in the final year of his contract (one that will pay him $15 million). Would he entertain the idea of a Boston return if that option existed next offseason?

"Well, this is my first home, man," said Jefferson. "This will always be my home away from home. This is the first place I ever -- Danny Ainge gave me a chance when nobody else did. So if that situation were to happen, I would love to do that again. But right now, like I said, it's just all about taking care of business and finishing the season out right."

It has also been rumored that Ainge tried to trade for Jefferson again this past season, and it's also rumored that Boston will attempt to pursue him this offseason. As for West, he was apart of the Ray Allen trade. He was a tough one to let go, but it had to be done. Danny never lost sight of West, and the Celtics resigned him in 2010.

Delonte West returns to Celtics

The Celtics have signed Delonte West to a contract, according to team president Danny Ainge, who would not reveal whether it is a guaranteed deal or training camp invitation.

West, 27, a troubled but talented swingman, gives the Celtics another proven entity as they vie for another championship run. Because of gun charges in Maryland, West will miss the first 10 games of the regular season, meaning he will not be available for the Celtics until Nov. 17 against the Washington Wizards.

Ainge has long been an admirer of West and regretted trading him to Seattle in 2007 in the Ray Allen deal. West played his best basketball in Boston, averaging 12.2 points and 4.4 assists in 69 games in 2006-07 but to match salaries, Ainge had to throw West in with Wally Szczerbiak to acquire Allen.

West was dealt to Cleveland in February 2008 and he played 2 1/2 seasons with Cleveland, the last plagued by the gun charges, in which he was arrested for carrying three guns and a bowie knife while speeding on a three-wheel motorcycle in suburban Washington D.C. He pleaded guilty to weapons charges and received home detention that would allow him to travel with his NBA team.

"Delonte has been one of my favorite players that I enjoyed watching in my time here with the Celtics," Ainge told the Globe. "He is a competitor and we're all aware (of his issues) and we've done a lot of checks and had a lot of conversation with Delonte and his people and we obviously have a long history with Delonte also and we think he can help us win."

West's return wasn't a fairy tale ending. He only played in 24 games for Boston in the regular season. He had the 10 game suspension at the start of the season, and was hit hard with a broken wrist. He was supposed to be a key backup for Rondo and Ray Allen, but he was neither. West played the following season in Dallas, but he didn't play for any team this year.

As for Tony Allen I've already covered him in this series. (10 Years of Ainge: Tony Allen's departure)

Ainge has drafted well in his tenure. Of course not every season has had great talent. But in 2004. Ainge drafted players that helped bring banner 17 to the Celtics because he used them in the two big trades. That's how I want to view at least.

Categories: 10 Years of Ainge

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1 Comment

Reply Greg
1:08 PM on June 15, 2013 
I thought it was our future. It was with the trades..