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Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

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  • Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

    As the confetti fell from the rafters and covered the Boston Celtics in glory for the 17th time in the organization's rich history, fans in the other NBA cities were left to ponder the same question:
    Why not us?

    Why were the Celtics, an average team through the early part of the decade and a horrific one (24-58) last year, able to swing two monstrous trades to acquire two of the Big Three, notably Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen . . . and (pick your team) could not?

    Well, at the risk of coming off as a Pacers apologist for one of the first times in recorded history, there's a very good reason Indiana didn't make those kinds of deals, why the Pacers couldn't have made those kinds of deals and why it's still out of the question.

    They don't have players that other teams desire.

    There's Danny Granger and there's, um, er, hmmm . . . there's Danny Granger.

    Let's stop for a second and look at how the Celtics pulled off the two mega-trades:
    They acquired Allen from Seattle in exchange for the No. 5 pick in last summer's draft. (There were also some other odds and ends involved in the trade.) Now, where was the Pacers' first-round pick? That's right: The Pacers didn't have a first-round pick, having foolishly dealt it away in the Al Harrington trade. And just for the record, that wasn't a Larry Bird idea.

    Now let's look at the Garnett mega-deal. The Minnesota Timberwolves got two commodities the Pacers lack: They received four cheap, low-risk players under the age of 24 (Al Jefferson, Sebastian Telfair, Ryan Gomes and Gerald Green), they acquired another valuable piece in the expiring contract of overpaid Theo Ratliff ($11.66 million), and the Celtics' 2009 first-round pick.

    In the world of rebuilding NBA teams, there is no more valuable chit than an overpaid stiff whose bloated salary number is soon to come off the books -- another reason the Pacers would have been better off keeping Austin Croshere for one more season instead of dealing him prematurely for Marquis Daniels.

    So the Wolves got younger and cheaper and obtained more cap flexibility. Jefferson, clearly, will be an excellent player down the line. Telfair has been an enigma, but he's a low-risk proposition and will be a restricted free agent this summer. Same thing with Kirk Snyder, who was acquired for Gerald Green in a deal with Houston. Gomes is not currently under contract for next season.

    What did the Pacers have that Seattle or Minnesota could have wanted?

    Granger, maybe. And the Pacers are not moving Granger. Period.

    Jermaine O'Neal? His trade value is as low now as it has ever been, and while it would be preferable to move him this offseason so rebuilding can commence, the truth is, the Pacers might have to hold tight and wait until next season's trade deadline to get full value for him. That's assuming he's healthy at that point.

    After that, the Pacers have a lot of overpaid, ordinary players with long-term deals. Who wants Troy Murphy? Who wants Mike Dunleavy, even after a breakout year? Who wants Jamaal Tinsley? No, really, I'm not asking, I'm begging, does anybody want Tinsley? Please?

    One of the primary reasons the Celtics were in this position is because Danny Ainge, who looked like a complete dope until last summer, was not afraid to let his team go in the dumper for a few years.

    They already had Jefferson in house, having taken him at No. 15 in the 2004 draft. Then, in 2005, they drafted Green at No. 18 and Gomes at No. 50. (Another reason to mention how the Pacers threw away a second-rounder on James White.) Then, in 2006, Ainge acquired Telfair and Ratliff from Portland.

    The moral of the story is, the Celtics willingly if grudgingly fell to rock bottom, drafted reasonably well (traded for draft rights to Kendrick Perkins at No. 27 in 2003 and Rajon Rondo at No. 21 in 2006), added some young talent and an expiring contract, and put themselves in a position to make two seismic, offseason deals.

    Lucky? Yeah, there was some of that. A decade ago, Pierce dropped to the Celtics at No. 10. And it's helpful that Ainge and Minnesota GM Kevin McHale have a relationship -- and yes, McHale deserves another Celtics championship ring for this most recent Boston championship.

    Even knowing that Bird and McHale have a history, both sides know the Pacers had nothing to offer in a deal to get Garnett and Allen.

    No first-round draft choices. No intriguing young players, unless you're intrigued by Shawne Williams. No expiring contracts. Nothing.

    The Celtics made their championship deals because of drafts and trades they made during the franchise's dark period. The Pacers are still waiting for that first glimmer of light. Unless somebody wants Tinsley for, say, LeBron James. Somebody? Anybody?

    http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dl...TS15/806190433

    I just quit reading after like the third paragraph...

  • #2
    Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

    "I'll always be a part of Donnie Walsh."
    -Ron Artest, Denver Post, 12.28.05

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

      Originally posted by duke dynamite View Post
      One of the primary reasons the Celtics were in this position is because Danny Ainge, who looked like a complete dope until last summer, was not afraid to let his team go in the dumper for a few years.
      well it is true. bottom line is, ainge pursued a classic rebuilding strategy - trading vets for shorter contracts and picks - which eventually paid off when kg and allen hit the market for relatively little value.

      what's amazing is that ainge did it with relatively low picks (#5 last year was the highest in that span) and that he didn't give up his current superstar (pierce).

      can we pursue a similar strategy? well if we continue to suck for the next 3 years (after which we'll have huge expiring contracts) and manage to draft well, then yeah we'll be in a position to acquire the next batch of disgruntled superstars.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

        Excellent article. I USUALLY quit reading after like the third paragraph, but this one caught my attention.

        And frustrating is that this guy is right and it is not like it was all plain bad luck. I guess 90% of the guys on the forum knew it was wrong to deal the 2007 pick for Al Harrington. If we picture this scenario, then there would have been no GS trade at all or at some other dimensions. And we ended with our pick.

        I still don't understand why Granger dropped to 17th that year though ... We clearly where NOT completely unlucky throughout these last years.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

          Originally posted by wintermute View Post
          well it is true. bottom line is, ainge pursued a classic rebuilding strategy - trading vets for shorter contracts and picks - which eventually paid off when kg and allen hit the market for relatively little value.

          what's amazing is that ainge did it with relatively low picks (#5 last year was the highest in that span) and that he didn't give up his current superstar (pierce).

          can we pursue a similar strategy? well if we continue to suck for the next 3 years (after which we'll have huge expiring contracts) and manage to draft well, then yeah we'll be in a position to acquire the next batch of disgruntled superstars.
          Ainge didn't get Ray Allen cheaply. He traded the #5 overall pick in what was said to be a strong draft for a 32 year old SG. In just about any other circumstance, that's absolutely the wrong trade to make.

          Al Jefferson isn't a superstar, but he's a very solid building block. He's 23 years old and already a 20 and 10 player. He'll probably be an all-star at least a couple times in his career. He was clearly the best thing that was offered for KG (unless McHale turned down Bynum and Odom).

          The key for Ainge was that he still had a 5 time all-star player who just happened to have one injury plagued year, he had a 23 year old PF who was already very productive and he got the #5 pick in the draft after sucking for one season where Pierce was injured.

          The other key was that KG and Allen were at the tail end of their primes. Still in their primes to be plenty productive, but near enough to the end of their primes that their respective teams were willing to unload them for less than they would have in years' past.

          Credit Ainge for making a bold move when he saw an opportunity that doesn't come along very often. During the summer, a majority of Celtic fans said they would not include Jefferson in any KG package.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

            Originally posted by Tony Valente View Post
            And frustrating is that this guy is right and it is not like it was all plain bad luck. I guess 90% of the guys on the forum knew it was wrong to deal the 2007 pick for Al Harrington.
            You would be surprised how many people supported that deal at the time. I was against, but seemed to be a pretty small minority.

            Regards,

            Mourning
            2012 PD ABA Fantasy Keeper League Champion, sports.ws

            2011 PD ABA Fantasy Keeper League Champion, sports.ws

            2006 PD ABA Fantasy League runner up, sports.ws

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

              I do not understand why so many people get riled up over Kravitz's columns. I genuinely find them funny/entertaining. He is just throwing his opinion out there and I take them for what they are worth. No need to get the panties in a bind people!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

                That pick that we gave up went from being Harrington to Diogu or Dunleavy. I'd rather have either of those guys than Acie Law, who was picked at that spot and all Pacers fans wanted for some reason. He's worthless. Time to move on.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

                  Bob kept referring to the Celtics reaching rock bottom, and seemed to imply that reaching rock bottom was the reason they were able to make the trades last summer - and or turned the team around. The highest draft pick they had was the 5th pick, beyond that they were barely making the playoffs every year. So it just isn't correct to suggest that the Celtics were aided by reaching rock bottom

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

                    I also fail to understand the conviction that so many people (including Kravitz) have that Indy would support a team that sucked huge rocks for 5 years or more because the fans somehow knew that it would be worth it later.

                    Given the screaming and mass desertion after 2 years of no playoffs, imagine what would happen after 5? Heck, folks around here (not naming any names) were screaming after we made the ECF too many times without getting the championship.

                    Patience is not a common characteristic around this city, especially under circumstances where better basketball can be found elsewhere regionally.
                    BillS

                    A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.
                    Or throw in a first-round pick and flip it for a max-level point guard...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

                      Originally posted by Raoul Duke View Post
                      That pick that we gave up went from being Harrington to Diogu or Dunleavy. I'd rather have either of those guys than Acie Law, who was picked at that spot and all Pacers fans wanted for some reason. He's worthless. Time to move on.
                      Not everyone wanted AC Law. I, personally, never wanted him. Those that did were wanting him for a position of need not the BPA.

                      The reason the Hawks drafted Law is that they unwisely passed on taking CP 2 years previously, and didn't draft a PG in 06 either. They were feeling the heat "of their fans" to take a PG, not to mention they needed one. They still do.

                      Yes, it IS time to move on! The 07 pick by the Pacers NEVER had to be AC Law. Harrington wouldn't have been here thus neither the albatross contracts of Murphy or Dunleavy. The Pacers wouldn't have the Zircon of the trade, Ike, either. The Pacers could had:

                      Thaddeus Young
                      Julian Wright
                      Al Thornton
                      Rodney Stuckey
                      Nick Young
                      Sean Williams
                      Marco Belinelli
                      Morris Almond

                      and others to just mention a few.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

                        Originally posted by Tony Valente View Post
                        Excellent article. I USUALLY quit reading after like the third paragraph, but this one caught my attention.

                        And frustrating is that this guy is right and it is not like it was all plain bad luck. I guess 90% of the guys on the forum knew it was wrong to deal the 2007 pick for Al Harrington. If we picture this scenario, then there would have been no GS trade at all or at some other dimensions. And we ended with our pick.

                        I still don't understand why Granger dropped to 17th that year though ... We clearly where NOT completely unlucky throughout these last years.
                        Granger dropped to us that draft because people had concerns about his knee.
                        Sometimes a player's greatest challenge is coming to grips with his role on the team. -- Scottie Pippen

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

                          Reason 10034 why Bob is an idiot when it comes to the NBA.
                          One of the primary reasons the Celtics were in this position is because Danny Ainge, who looked like a complete dope until last summer, was not afraid to let his team go in the dumper for a few years.

                          They already had Jefferson in house, having taken him at No. 15 in the 2004 draft. Then, in 2005, they drafted Green at No. 18 and Gomes at No. 50. (Another reason to mention how the Pacers threw away a second-rounder on James White.) Then, in 2006, Ainge acquired Telfair and Ratliff from Portland. (Seth edit: what did they have to give for them?)

                          The moral of the story is, the Celtics willingly if grudgingly fell to rock bottom, drafted reasonably well (traded for draft rights to Kendrick Perkins at No. 27 in 2003 and Rajon Rondo at No. 21 in 2006), added some young talent and an expiring contract, and put themselves in a position to make two seismic, offseason deals.
                          What part of drafting 15th and 18th is "tanking"? Gee Bob, the Pacers are already doing the same things. The difference is that their TE + first round pick became Al Harrington. Had it become Ray Allen then that's step 1.

                          Next they just need to draft Al Jefferson at 11, trade he and JO's expiring for one of the top 5 players in the NBA, and perhaps shift Murphy and Dun for different contract structures (break into 2 players, change length by trade, change amount slightly by trade, get a pick).

                          Hell, they don't even have to deal away Tinsley to do this. And on top of that what makes anyone think that Danny was "letting" the Celtics stink? Hey, the Pacers have been well below .500 for 2 years themselves, so apparently Bird isn't "afraid" to let the Pacers stink too. It's called bad GMing and Ainge, like Doc, got pretty lucky to get out of a bad spot. Plus he gave up on Al Jefferson which is WORSE than trading Danny Granger.


                          I'm so F bombing sick of Kravitz just walking his way right back to "blow it up". But to do it in an article that says 100% that the Pacers ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO BLOW IT UP makes Bob look incompetent.

                          And to dismiss the fact that Ainge got really freaking lucky after his horrible tank plan backfired when they lost badly in the lottery, ruining months of "not intentional" losing (yeah right), is just icing on the Kravitz BS cake. Not to mention skipping over the "you got KG for WHAT!" aspect that has plenty of people questioning McHale's own GM skills. Jefferson being a great prospect but still risky for team that has KG to deal. Why not have KG be your Paul Pierce and do your own reversal?

                          So all we need is a couple of foolish or desperate GMs to give us sweet deals in order to have a limited window shot that involved ALMOST LOSING IN ROUND ONE to an 8th seed. Yeah, where was this article after game 6 versus Atlanta, Bob?



                          STOP WRITING ABOUT THE NBA KRAVITZ, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND IT.
                          Still waiting on you to find out who KYLE Lowry is, or perhaps you have some other "who's that guy" names you'd like to add to your list of NBA expertise.
                          Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 06-19-2008, 12:33 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

                            Originally posted by Mourning View Post
                            You would be surprised how many people supported that deal at the time. I was against, but seemed to be a pretty small minority.

                            Regards,

                            Mourning
                            The team had CHARACTER issues, Al was seen as a big fan favorite (he was) and a high character guy (good enough I'd guess). He also was good friends with JO.

                            The problem was fitting him into the actual roster with Rick as his coach. That part of it didn't work well. And even still the Pacers got him below what his open market value probably would have been due to the TE limits and no other teams left.

                            As mentioned the pick became Ike basically so what's the problem. If Ike was Al Jefferson you'd be trading he and JO in a year or so for West or Howard or some other star big ala KG.

                            There is NOTHING different in the how right now, it's the WHO that's the problem. Betting doesn't mean you lose, betting on the wrong horse means you lose. But if you don't bet you can't win either.

                            Originally posted by BillS View Post
                            I also fail to understand the conviction that so many people (including Kravitz) have that Indy would support a team that sucked huge rocks for 5 years or more because the fans somehow knew that it would be worth it later.

                            Given the screaming and mass desertion after 2 years of no playoffs, imagine what would happen after 5? Heck, folks around here (not naming any names) were screaming after we made the ECF too many times without getting the championship.

                            Patience is not a common characteristic around this city, especially under circumstances where better basketball can be found elsewhere regionally.
                            Exactly. It didn't even take two full seasons of only modest losing, not the full-on 22 win classics of Pacers years gone by (not that attendence back then was worth a crap either, even after they drafted Smits and Miller and Tisdale and Person).
                            Last edited by Naptown_Seth; 06-19-2008, 12:29 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Kravitz: Pacers can't use Celtics' blueprint

                              Originally posted by Naptown_Seth View Post
                              Reason 10034 why Bob is an idiot when it comes to the NBA.

                              What part of drafting 15th and 18th is "tanking"? Gee Bob, the Pacers are already doing the same things. The difference is that their TE + first round pick became Al Harrington. Had it become Ray Allen then that's step 1.
                              Well, careful. You just lectured him on where the picks were, but you then made it sound like Boston and Indiana traded an identical pick away and one of us got Allen, the other Harrington. Remember they used the #5 (their one true "dump" year) to get him, not #11.

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