Danny Ainge has to be public enemy number one for Philadelphia 76er fans. The Celtics have owned the 76ers on and off the court and are 21-4 against Philly since the 2014 season. Just imagine what Philadelphia looks like if Jayson Tatum winds up in Philly instead of Markelle Fultz? I think you could argue that Philly wins the title if that’s the case.
We all know the story. Danny Ainge ripped off Jerry Colangelo prior to the 2017 NBA Draft when Ainge traded down from 1 to 3 and picked up a future Sacramento Kings first round pick. That trade is officially in the books as Jayson Tatum and Romeo Langford for Markelle Fultz. 76er fans thought that Ainge was done ruining their sleep patterns. Think again.
Did Danny Ainge fleece the 76ers again during the 2019 NBA Draft? It certainly appears that way. It’s hard to argue with what ESPN’s Jonathan Givony wrote. He listed the Celtics among his winners of the 2019 draft. His reasoning made a lot of sense:
“In 2014, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie was able to sniff out the Orlando Magic’s interest in drafting Elfrid Payton, selecting him at No. 10 and forcing Orlando to give up an additional first-round pick to get its target.
Five years later, it appears that the Boston Celtics were able to do the same, taking advantage of the 76ers’ very clear interest in Matisse Thybulle early on in the pre-draft process. The Celtics picked Thybulle at No. 20 and flipped him to Philly while moving down to No. 24 and extracting the No. 33 pick. The Celtics then turned around and auctioned off that pick to the Suns for a 2020 first-round pick, doing some nifty business considering where they started from.”
Let’s take a look at a quick resume for Mr. Edwards. Edwards, 21, and 2nd team All-American. Owns school record for 135 made 3-pointers. Led the Big 10 in scoring (24.3 points per game) and took Purdue to the Elite 8. Edwards also scored 42 points in that loss to Virginia. Edwards owns the All-Time NCAA Tournament record for 28 3’s made. Seems like the kind of dart throw that makes sense if you ask me.
First, I want to say that Jonathan Givony is being totally misused at ESPN. His Draft Express content back a few years ago was a must read before the draft. Now he’s stuck behind an ESPN paywall. The fact that ESPN put Chauncey Billups behind the desk is completely unacceptable. Even if you don’t agree with their assessments, Mike Schmitz and Givony do an outstanding job providing information on every draft prospect. Instead, we had Chauncey Billups doing awful player comparisons trying to convince us that Brandon Clarke plays like Shawn Marion. Billups also did about 14 comparisons and went mute mode after the lottery picks. Now I have more dirt on Billups. EMBARRASSING!
Now let’s get back to the task on hand. I said this prior to the draft. Carsen Edwards was PERFECT for Philly. He’s the perfect ball handler and scorer off the bench that the 76ers need. Basically, everything that TJ McConnell couldn’t do, Edwards had that potential to do. Instead, the Celtics are coming home with him. For what? You’re telling me Philly has so many leaks that Boston knew who they were picking in the
Look, I don’t know if Matisse Thybulle was a player that warrants a trade up. Could they have gotten him at 24? I don’t know that for sure either. What I do know is that Philly needs players who can put the ball in the hole. Thybulle is regarded as a good defender and not much else. Maybe that changes. What I do know is Tobias Harris, JJ Redick, and Jimmy Butler are the only reliable shooters on the roster. All three of them are free agents.
I put the 76ers as a big loser in my draft column. They gave away 2nd round picks like they were candy in moves that didn’t make sense. Philadelphia’s bench needs major work. Mike Scott blows (and is also a free agent). Right now, the only locks that are currently on the roster right now are Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Zhaire Smith, and Jonah Bolden. Smith looks like a bust too thus far. All of the remaining cap space will be used to bring back Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. Philly could have really used
Did Danny Ainge fleece the 76ers on