The Celtics are armed with a wealth of picks in this June’s draft, but the team also remains high on last season’s crop of rookies, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com writes. Team executive Danny Ainge believes that a number of Boston’s young players could blossom if given more playing time, Forsberg relays. Ainge also noted that he has received trade inquiries from other teams regarding power forward Jordan Mickey and point guard Terry Rozier, the scribe adds.
“I really believe it’s an opportunity league. There are many players that are sitting on benches on other teams that are stacked with talent that just don’t get an opportunity. We have some on our team,” Ainge said. “We think [2015 second-round pick] Jordan Mickey has a bright future and [2015 first-round pick] Terry Rozier has a bright future and we’ve gotten calls from other teams about them that say, ‘Those guys aren’t getting an opportunity in Boston, we want to get those guys to come play for us.’ But we’re going to try to be patient with them as well, and other young guys.”
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- Brad Stevens said he doesn’t regret sitting the younger members of the team, with the coach adding that playing time needs to be earned in the NBA, Forsberg relays in the same piece. “No, because it’s earned. I mean, who are you sitting?” Stevens responded when asked if he had any regrets about his rotation. “This is professional basketball and I think that we had five good [guards/small forwards]. Marcus Smart is obviously young, but otherwise guys that have been in the league for a while and earned that time at those spots, when you start talking about the 1 through 3. … Usually we stayed with those five guys when we were healthy.“
- The team also intends to scour the market for undervalued players, an approach that has served the team well in recent seasons, Forsberg also notes. “It really is an opportunity league and I think the last couple of years — the Jae Crowders of the world, Isaiah Thomas, guys that we’ve acquired via trade like Jonas Jerebko — they love the fact that they’re getting an opportunity to play and with that opportunity they’ve shined,” Ainge told reporters.
- Maccabi Tel Aviv forward Dragan Bender told the Celtics that he would come to Boston for a workout after the Israeli season ends, Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe relays (via Twitter). Bender is the No. 3 overall prospect according to Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.