BOSTON — Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge unknowingly tipped the group’s first-round selection of Texas A&M big man Robert Williams when level guard Terry Rozier known as him throughout a reside webcast.
Rozier was showing on Bleacher Report’s on-line draft present when he was requested to foretell Boston’s choose at No. 27. Instead, Rozier FaceTimed Ainge, who answered on the Celtics’ follow facility and ultimately revealed the upcoming choose.
“I got to draft a point guard,” Ainge joked when Rozier, Boston’s postseason starter whereas Kyrie Irving was injured, first requested in regards to the group’s selection. Pressed for the precise choose, Ainge answered, “It’s going to be Bob Williams, but we’re looking at all the medical stuff.”
After Thursday’s draft concluded, Ainge admitted he was unaware that Rozier was calling throughout a reside broadcast.
“I was obviously joking with Terry about the guard position. I had no idea I was on live, whatever it was,” Ainge stated. “I thought he was FaceTiming me. I had no idea. But, anyway, that is sort of funny. We’re excited about Robert, and we felt like he was the best player available, and we think he’s a great fit for our team.”
Both Ainge and Celtics coach Brad Stevens revelled in the truth that Williams, a projected lottery choose, slipped to Boston late within the first spherical.
“[Williams] was a player that we liked coming into this draft process. He’s a rim protector and rebounder, and a guy who can play above the rim on both ends of the court,” Ainge stated. “We don’t have much of that. We have a little bit of that, but not what he can do. So his abilities to protect the rim and rebound and run the floor, and I think, are some of his greatest traits and uses.”
Said Stevens: “Danny and [assistant general manager] Mike [Zarren] really started talking about [Williams] around [pick] 17 or 18. He’s a really talented guy. There’s a lot of good players out there, and each pick, we were hoping more and more that he would be available at 27.”
There had been buzz main as much as Thursday’s draft that the Celtics, armed with their gaggle of future draft picks and a few intriguing younger expertise like Rozier, is likely to be concerned with shifting up into the lottery. Ainge stated the group knew by Thursday the situation was unlikely.
“We had spent the last few weeks trying to figure out what the cost was to get into the top of the draft. We knew going into today that it was very, very unlikely that was going to happen,” Ainge stated. “We were preparing for the 27th pick in the draft, and we were preparing for opportunities to move up, not all the way to the top of the draft, but somewhere in the middle of the draft. We were even preparing for opportunities if guys we didn’t like were [at No. 27] and moving backward in the draft. That’s the same thing we do every year in the draft with any situation that comes up.”
Despite being a lottery projection (ESPN had him ranked 12th total), Williams didn’t attend the draft festivities in Brooklyn, as an alternative electing to host a draft social gathering along with his household at a Buffalo Wild Wings in his native Louisiana. Local information footage confirmed the household erupting in celebration when Williams’ selection was broadcast all through the restaurant.
Williams will probably be formally launched to the Boston media subsequent week earlier than the Celtics’ youngest gamers launch into follow prematurely of summer season league play in Las Vegas subsequent month.