In 1981, with the 31st pick in the 2nd round of the NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics selected shooting guard Danny Ainge. He had just come off of a senior season at BYU which included the John Wooden Award -- given to the best collegiate player in the nation.
Yet ultimately, like in most of his life, he was unappreciated by the majority of the NBA, except by the Boston Celtics -- An organization which Ainge has helped so much over the past 30 years.
When Ainge takes a bow as team president, just like he did as a player in 1995, he'll go out as one of the most respected men in NBA history, and all the praise was rightfully earned.
As a player, Ainge was a crucial piece in the Celtics 1984 and 1986 NBA championship teams. While names like Larry Bird and Kevin McHale draw most of the attention from fans, Ainge was a key contributor who was never fully appreciated until he left the organization as a player in 1989.
That is, until he returned to the organization as a team executive in 2003.
After a few run-ins with stars Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce and coach Jim O'Brien in the seasons that followed, Ainge was fighting for his job after the Celtics finished with a league-worst 24-58 record in 2006-07.
What he did in the very next offseason, however, turned him into NBA Executive of the Year, and in the process changed the way in which teams are created in the NBA, for better or for worse.
Ainge traded for both Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in the same offseason, who combined with Pierce to create the "Big Three" in Boston. The team in the 2007-08 season went on to a league-best 66-16 record while winning the NBA championship. The 42-win improvement from the previous season is an NBA record.
Ainge was promoted to team president shortly after that tremendous season had ended.
Unfortunately for Celtics fans, Ainge hasn't been able to repeat the glory of 2008, but he's been able to get the Celtics awfully close. He's found the right talent to keep the Celtics competitive, always in conversation for an NBA championship.
Since becoming team president in 2008, what then are the five best contracts Danny Ainge has inked for the Celtics organization?