Having won the title on no less than a record 17 separate occasions, the Boston Celtics are currently the most successful team in NBA history. Since the franchise’s inception in 1946, one of the main reasons why the Celtics have been able to remain as one of the top teams in the league is because they function like a will-oiled machine. Ranging from their ability to bring in free agents to draft picks and everything in between.
A ton of credit has got to be given to the organization’s front office, who through the years have sustained a culture of success within the franchise.
Proof of this can be seen by the number of good to great players that the Celtics have acquired through the draft. Selecting a prospect in the draft is usually hit-or-miss for the most part, but for Boston, their success rate in the same is quite remarkable. Today we examine some of the best Celtics draft picks.
As far as high picks go, Danny Ainge is perhaps the biggest draft steal for the Celtics ever. The 6-foot-4 guard was overlooked in the 1981 draft, and wasn’t selected until the second round as the 31st overall pick. Ainge is a two-time NBA champ with the Celtics and has one All-Star nod to his name.
Today, Ainge has been given the huge responsibility of ensuring the success of the organization for the years to come as the team’s general manager and President for Basketball Operations. Few can argue that he has been doing a tremendous job thus far.
Selected 10th overall by Boston in the 1998 draft, Paul Pierce is definitely one of the greatest players in Celtics history. Polarizing as he may be, the 6-foot-7 guard/forward has the credentials to show for it: 10-time All-Star, four-time All-NBA selection, and a Finals MVP title. Perhaps most notably, Pierce spearheaded Boston’s memorable 2007-08 championship. In 15 seasons with the C’s Pierce holds career averages of 21.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 1.7 triples per game.
Not many would have thought that Larry Bird would have had such a tremendous career ahead of him when no less than five other teams passed on him during the 1978 NBA Draft. As destiny would have it, Bird would fall to the sixth spot in the draft to the Celtics. The Hall of Famer is a 12-time All-Star, a Rookie of the Year winner, a three-time All-Defensive team member, a two-time Finals MVP, and a three-time season MVP. Bird was pivotal to the Celtics’ success in the 1980’s, as he led the team to three NBA titles in 1981, 1984, and 1986.