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Lackluster Draft Night Means A Busy Summer Ahead For Ainge, Celtics

BOSTON (CBS) -- All of those rumors and all the talk of the Boston Celtics moving up in the NBA Draft were all for naught.

When it was all said and done the Celtics used their 16th overall selection, and their 28th overall selection, and their two second rounders on Thursday night. Danny Ainge said leading up to the draft he didn't want four new players for his team, but in the end, that's exactly what he ended up with; four more young players for an already young roster.

It wasn't from a lack of trying though. The Celtics put in their work, with Ainge and company working their phones until the keys fell off. But they couldn't close on the deals they were gunning for, and they couldn't find a willing dance partner by the time Thursday's early selections came and went.

"[We tried] very hard; I've never seen anything like it in my 13 years in the league," Celtics CEO Wyc Grousbeck told 98.5 The Sports Hub's Adam Jones shortly after Boston drafted Terry Rozier 16th overall. "But no go... We just about gave the keys to the franchise in some cases.

Celtics draft pick Terry Rozier. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Grousbeck later said Boston made some unbelievable offers that were rejected. All of this led to a very disappointing and frustrating draft night for fans of the green and the team itself.

The Celtics missed out on a pair of highly coveted big men early in the draft, with Duke center Jahlil Okafor going third overall to Philadelphia and Kentucky center Willie Cauley-Stein going sixth overall to Sacramento. There was some hope the Celtics would climb up and land one of those two perceived studs, but that never materialized. They were also in trade talks with the Charlotte Hornets to acquire the ninth overall pick, which they could have used to select Duke forward Justise Winslow. Those efforts also came up short.

So instead, the Celtics took their four designated picks on draft night.

The Rozier selection was the real shocker of the night, viewed as a Belichickian-style reach at 16th. Why another defensive-minded, offensively-challenged guard when they had just drafted a similar player, Marcus Smart, sixth overall last year? We're still searching for that answer.

R.J. Hunter
R.J. Hunter. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Those worries were relieved a little bit after the selection of R.J. Hunter at 28th, a bonafide scorer the Celtics could certainly use, and even project pick Jordan Mickey, a shot-blocker from LSU selected early in the second round, has some promise to develop into a big bodied contributor. Both could end up being solid contributors for the Celtics (as Rozier could too), and fit needs. But they'll still have to prove themselves and earn their roster spot.

Jordan Mickey. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

The Celtics also added William & Mary point guard Marcus Thornton with their final pick of the night. Why not add another guard to the mix?

For a fan base still waiting for some fireworks, draft night was a disappointment. The Celtics were in nearly every rumor that involved moving up in the weeks leading up to Thursday night's festivities in Brooklyn, but Ainge couldn't close any of the deals he threw out there.

What this means is a much busier summer for him and the Celtics brass. Ainge added three more guards to an already crowded depth chart, meaning he'll really have to put on his "Trader Danny" hat and figure out who is staying and who is going. Will Marcus Smart or Avery Bradley be on the move, or will it be one of the newest members of the team? That's a tough decision Ainge, his staff and head coach Brad Stevens will have to make as some point before the season.

Ainge will also have to try even harder on the free agent market, a place the Celtics have never really been all too successful. They have money to spend this summer, which may help lure a big name to Boston, but they aren't the only team willing to toss a truckload of money at the likes of LeMarcus Aldridge and Kevin Love. They will likely be better off focusing on the trade front, with their treasure chest of future picks and a pair of valuable trade exceptions. But that will involve Ainge making sure those deals get done, which he was unable to do Thursday night.

The roster is far from done, and there will be plenty of moves by the Celtics before the 2015-16 season gets underway. But after the disappointment of draft night, it's very clear the Celtics will have to hit it big this summer.

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