clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Danny Ainge: "I didn't believe the 2016 pick would be where it is"

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

"Today, the basketball gods smiled on the Nets," Mikhail Prokhorov said on the draft night of June 27, 2013, when the Celtics and Nets agreed to a deal that sent Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry to Brooklyn.

The Nets had a good, if drama-filled, season, but failed to sustain the success. They dug themselves a deep hole, but nobody thought they'd dig this deep.

Not even Danny Ainge.

"I thought Brooklyn was going to be good," Ainge said told the Boston Globe. "I thought that maybe the 2018 pick might have a chance to be a decent pick, but I really didn't believe that 2016 pick would be where it is. I thought they had a chance to be a good team€” like, a really good team."

Like Ainge, Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, who admitted to 'tracking Nets games', didn't think the Nets pick would be this good. "We thought the Nets were putting together a good team," Grousbeck said. "I suspect neither we nor the Nets thought it would be this high this year, otherwise there might have been some protection on the pick."

Now, both are smiling ear to ear. The Celtics made a push for the playoffs with a young and upcoming roster, while the Nets finished with its third worst record in the 82-game era.

Ainge pulled off the defining moment in Brooklyn Nets history, which, appropriately, involves actions off the court. In exchange for one good year, the Nets traded its 2014, 2016, and 2018 first-round picks, and the right to swap first-round picks with the Nets in 2017.

This wouldn't be the first time, though. In years past, the Nets gave up picks that turned into Enes Kanter, Gorgui Dieng, Draymond Green and Damian Lillard.

The NBA Draft Lottery is Tuesday and the NBA world will find out where the Celtics will pick. They have a 46.9 percent chance of landing in the top three. The Nets' 2014 pick -- James Young -- turned into a disappointment for Boston, but he was taken with the No. 17 pick. A top three pick is a completely different story.

And that's where we stand today.

This Monday will be filled with smiles and cheers towards the future, as the Nets will introduce Kenny Atkinson as head coach of the Nets. Then on the following day, things will become doom and gloom again, as the Nets will brace to watch the Celtics potentially land a top three pick.

Nobody expected it to end up this bad.