The 10 Worst Boston Celtics Draft Picks Since 1989

Tom SmithCorrespondent ISeptember 10, 2010

The 10 Worst Boston Celtics Draft Picks Since 1989

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    18 Feb 2000: Head Coach Rick Pitino of the Boston Celtics looks worried on the sidelines during a game against the Golden State Warriors at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California. The Warriors defeated the Celtics 122-100.     Mandatory Credit: Jed J
    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    First of all, why the 1989 line of demarcation? Well, that was the first year the NBA had only two rounds in the annual draft, increasing the importance of your first round selection. There were more teams grabbing into a smaller pot, so your margin of error was reduced.

    Second of all, I don't have all day to devote to this...had to draw the line somewhere!

    I'm looking solely at first round picks here. You can't fault anyone for a boo-boo in the second round.

    In this time, the Celtics have had very few draft days that didn't leave you shaking your head. Antoine Walker and Paul Pierce were no-brainers, but there have been many, many more that just seemed silly at the time.

    On a couple of these slides, the gaffe won't be the particular player selected, but the decisions made regarding that player.

    I hope you enjoy reliving the pain of these picks, and please feel free to defend your favorite players from this gallery of "who's he?"

    Without further ado...

1989, Michael Smith

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    BOSTON - JUNE 10:  A detail of the Boston Celtics logo as the Celtics get set to play against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Four of the 2010 NBA Finals on June 10, 2010 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Nope, no picture available. Can't imagine why.

    Michael Smith was a 6'10" forward from BYU taken with the 13th pick of the 1989 draft. To this day, no one knows why.

    Smith appeared in 112 games over two seasons before being waived by the Celtics. He produced next to nothing.

    The Celtics still had the Big Three around, so this wasn't a critical "now" pick, but just look at the names they left on the board when they made this selection: Shawn Kemp, Tim Hardaway, and Vlade Divac.

    C'mon! Shawn Kemp backing up McHale and Bird? Still shaking my head.

    Grade: F

1992, Jon Barry

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    MILWAUKEE, WI - DECEMBER 28:  Jon Barry #20 of the Houston Rockets drives with the ball during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on December 28, 2004 at Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bucks defeated the Rockets 115-87. NOTE TO USER: User e
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    I've got nothing against Jon Barry as a player or as a pick.

    Barry was selected out of Georgia Tech as the 21st selection of the 1992 draft. Outside of the fact that Latrel Sprewell was still available, this isn't a terrible pick.

    What is terrible, however, is that Barry never played for the Celtics. He was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Alaa Abdelnaby in what became a three-year battle to find a decent center.

    Abdelnaby, besides not being the decent center the Celts were looking for, had gone to Duke. Double-strike.

    Grade: F

1993, Acie Earl

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    12 Apr 1996:  Center Acie Earl of the Toronto Raptors and Pervis Ellison of the Boston Celtics fight for the ball during a game played at the Fleet Center in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Celtics won the game, 136-108. Mandatory Credit: ALLSPORT USA  /Allsp
    Getty Images/Getty Images

    Ironic that the only photo that popped up in the Getty search has a Raptor-clad Earl facing the Celtics.

    While an excellent shot-blocker in college, Acie Earl was not a very good basketball player at Iowa. He was tall though, so the Celtics selected him with the 19th pick of the 1993 draft.

    Hey, maybe he could be a decent center! Nope.

    Earl was awful in his two seasons with the Celtics before the Raptors thankfully selected him in the expansion draft.

    Acie Earl lasted just four seasons in the NBA.

    By the way, a cat named Sam Cassel was still on the board.

    Grade: F

1994, Eric Montross

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    30 Mar 1995:  Center Eric Montross of the Boston Celetics waits at the free-throw line during the Celtics 100-82 loss to the Chicago Bulls at the United Center in Chicago, Illinios. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel/ALLSPORT
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Okay, it's a pretty weak draft. Abdelnaby and Earl are crap, and we still need a center. Let's take the slowest guy in the draft!

    The Celtics used the ninth pick of the 1994 draft to select Eric Montross out of UNC. He wasn't pathetic in his two seasons with the Green, and he was parlayed into two number one picks in a trade with Dallas.

    On the strength of the fact that one of those picks became Antoine Walker, I'll be nice to Montross-ity.

    Grade: C

1997, Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer

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    21 Nov 1997:  Guard Chauncey Billups of the Boston Celtics (right) in action against forward Jayson Williams of the New Jersey Nets during a game at the Fleet Center in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Celtics won the game 101-93. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Squir
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    This one isn't so much about the players selected, but the decisions made after the fact.

    We all know the Chauncey Billups, drafted with the third pick in 1997, didn't immediately show the leadership qualities he went on to display with the Detroit Pistons and Denver Nuggets, but Rick Pitino had a very short leash on the kid.

    Billups was traded halfway through his first season for a player that used to be Kenny Anderson. Clearly a desperation, "win now" move.

    With the sixth pick, Pitino selected one of this former UK players Ron Mercer. Mercer was actually fairly productive in his two seasons with the Celtics before Pitino the Genius traded him away for Eric Williams, a player the Celtics had actually drafted in 1995 before giving him away to the Nuggets for two second-round picks after two pretty solid years.

    One bright side of selecting Mercer instead of Tracy McGrady (still on the board) was that, with McGrady in hand, it is unlikely that Pitino would have selected Paul Pierce the following year.

    The rampant stupidity involved in dealing with these two players damns this draft.

    Grade: D

2000, Jerome Moiso

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    12 Dec 1998:  Forward/center Jerome Moiso #0 of the UCLA Bruins looks on during the game against the UNLV Runnin'' Rebels at Pauley Pavillion in Westwood, California. UCLA defeated UNLV 72-67. Mandatory Credit: Todd Warshaw  /Allsport
    Todd Warshaw/Getty Images

    Who is Jerome Moiso, you ask?

    I have no freakin' idea. Apparently, he was a 6'10" forward out of UCLA.

    The Celtics, for no known reason, used the eleventh pick of the 2000 draft on this kid. He did absolutely nothing in his one year with the Celts, before being traded to the 76ers for a conditional first-round pick in 2003.

    Moiso was out of the league within five years.

    Some of the notable names available at the time of his selection include Hedo Turkolgu and Etan Thomas.

    Grade: F

The Entire 2001 Fiasco

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    27 Jun 2001: Joe Johnson of Arkansas is greeted by NBA Commissioner Davd Stern after being picked 10th in the NBA Draft by the Boston Celtics at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello/ALLSPORT NOTE TO USER: It is expressly unde
    Al Bello/Getty Images

    The 2001 draft was simply nauseating.

    Yes, that is Joe Johnson you see with the Celtics hat shaking the hand of David Stern. Boston selected Joe with the 10th pick of the draft. I was pleased. Then he was shipped off to Phoenix after just 48 games with the Celtics. Why? Slick Rick needed to obtain another UK player, this time Tony Delk.

    Yep, Joe Johnson for Tony Delk. Gotta love it.

    The Celtics weren't done yet.

    With the eleventh pick, they selected Kedrick Brown out of Okaloosa-Walton Community College. Never mind that Troy Murphy, Richard Jefferson, Zach Randolph and Tony Parker were still on the board. Nope, we gotta get this kid from Okaloosa!

    Brown did nothing at all in his season and a half in Boston before being dumped off on Cleveland in a trade for Ricky Davis. Yuck!

    Finally, just to make sure everyone in Boston lost their lunch, the 21st pick was used on Joseph Forte, a too-small shooting guard with no defensive abilities at all.

    Forte was predictably terrible during his one year in Boston before being shipped off to Seattle as part of the trade for the legendary Celtic Vin Baker. Oh, my bad. Baker was terrible and washed up before getting to Boston.

    Grade: A Huge F

2003, Troy Bell and Dahntay Jones

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    ANN ARBOR, MI - DECEMBER 1:  Guard Troy Bell #2 of the Boston College Eagles dribbles the ball against guard Avery Queen #1 of the Michigan Wolverines during the game at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor, Michigan on December 1, 2001.  Boston College defeated Mi
    Danny Moloshok/Getty Images

    Tough to argue with the net result here, as both players were immediately shipped out in a draft-night trade with the Grizzlies for Marcus Banks and Kendrick Perkins, but still...

    Troy Bell was taken with the 16th pick of the draft. There might have been a person or two in Boston happy that the team had selected a local product (Bell played at BC), but it made no sense from a hoops perspective. A wonderful college player, Bell never projected as a pro.

    Bell played exactly four games in the NBA before washing out. That suggests that the selection might have been unwise.

    Dahntay Jones, a Dukie, was taken with the twentieth pick. Jones has been able to stick around the NBA for a while (he averaged 10 points per game in 2009 with the Pacers), but this was another highly suspect pick.

    Kendrick Perkins obviously worked out pretty well for the Celtics, but, given that he was the 27th pick of the same draft, why not just select him at 16? Maybe even use that 20th pick on someone like Boris Diaw, Travis Outlaw or Leandro Barbosa. All were still available.

    Maybe Marcus Banks was the true target of the draft night deal in the first place? Who knows.

    Grade: C, as in "Circuitous," the method used to obtain Perkins.

2005, Gerald Green

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    LAS VEGAS - FEBRUARY 17:  Gerald Green of the Boston Celtics smiles during the Sprite Slam Dunk Competition during NBA All-Star Weekend on February 17, 2007 at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agree
    Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

    Gerald Green was selected with the 18th pick of the 2005 draft. There usually isn't going to be a ton of value when you pick that low in the draft, and 2005 was no exception.

    About the only player of note still on the board when the Celtics made this pick was David Lee, and 29 other teams passed on him.

    After two mediocre seasons, Green was included in the trade with Minnesota for Kevin Garnett. He currently plays in Russia.

    The Celtics probably should have just dealt away this pick before the draft.

    Green's biggest value could be as an object lesson to 18-year-old kids who think they're ready for the NBA just because they can jump over a building in a single bound.

    Grade: F

2006, Randy Foye

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    CHICAGO - JANUARY 15: Randy Foye #15 of the Washington Wizards lays on the floor after turning over the ball against the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on January 15, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Wizards 121-119 in double overtime
    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Randy Foye was selected with the seventh pick in the 2006 draft. The Celtics were actually picking this for Portland, as they had reached an agreement to obtain Sebastian Telfair for the pick.

    I was seriously questioning Danny Ainge's intelligence by this time.

    Foye would have been bad enough if selected with the intent of keeping him, but using him to obtain Telfair was sheer lunacy.

    Telfair played one forgettable season with the Celtics before being included in the 2007 trade for Kevin Garnett that convinced me that Ainge was a genius.

    Other notable players on the board at the time included Rudy Gay, Ronnie Brewer, and Rajon Rondo.

    Grade: F

Good Times!

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    BOSTON - JUNE 10:  (L-R) Ray Allen #20, Paul Pierce #34 and Kevin Garnett #5 of the Boston Celltics react against the Los Angeles Lakers during Game Four of the 2010 NBA Finals on June 10, 2010 at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User exp
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Turns out that the 18 or so years of horrid picks (give or take a gem here and there) were all part of a master plan by the genuine genius Danny Ainge.

    Well before he even retired from playing, Danny had the wheels of this plan in motion. How he got the Celtics brass to hire the criminally inept Rick Pitino as Supreme Overlord of the Celtics, I'll never know.

    It all came to a head when the fifth pick of the 2007 draft, plus Delonte West, were sent to Seattle for Ray Allen. Then Al Jefferson and everyone whose name Ainge could remember were sent to Minnesota for Garnett.

    Boom! Happy days are here again.

    I love it when a plan comes together.


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