Celtics The Usenet draft does not have an official second round.   What we do is let the teams that do not have a first round pick have a say in the draft.  The third of the "second round' goes to the Boston Celtics (who traded their first round pick to Cleveland.  In the real draft, the Celtics have the 55th pick. Their GM is  Ellie Cutler, who selects:

Chris Herren, PG, 6'2", Fresno State

Boston Celtics - 1999

Rick Pitino is right on schedule. He promised the Cs would make the playoffs in the 3rd year of his tenure. This being year two, the Cs were off the hook and out of the running, though they came on strong towards the end (some of that, interestingly, with Walker and Anderson sidelined). Pitino says it was the lack of training camp and poor conditioning. Some fans agree, others blame Pitino, Walker, and/or Anderson. The team needs to show more of its passing side, not the one-on-one that Walker is so fond of, nor the walk it up and stand around dribbling that Anderson brought to the court this year.

After the debacle of ML Carr’s last season as coach and missing out on Tim Duncan, things have gone better for the Cs. Recent drafts have produced Walker, Mercer, and Paul Pierce -- not a bad core of young players. Trader Rick Pitino, ever quick with the trigger, has shipped in and out: Chris Mills, John Thomas, Dee Brown, Chauncey Billups, Andrew DeClerq, and Travis Knight.

Biggest Plus

Paul Pierce. When the Kansas forward was still on the board at #10, we gave thanks to the long lost leprechaun. Pierce turned out to be better than anyone expected, and emerged as both the go-to guy and the untouchable roster member. He brought basketball intuition second to none. He can rebound, steal, shoot outside, drive, and is cool on the court. He needs to toughen up some. Other big plus was the Potapenko trade, giving the Cs a legit center. The collective bargaining agreement delivered us Antoine Walker for 71 mil., instead of arguing with him about a 100 mil. contract. And, the Cs built a new state-of-the art training facility (decorated by Tom Heinsohn's wife).

Biggest Minus

Rick Pitino: The bloom is off the rose. Pitino did not coach well. Did not get the best out of his crew. Did not properly meld Walker, Mercer, and Pierce. Did not motivate Kenny Anderson. Too vocal and autocratic for the NBA. Was also booed by local fans and media. He’s promised that the Cs will make the playoffs next season. Kenny Anderson left too many players open and waving in vain for the ball. That's got to change - either with Anderson, or if he can't change his style, without him. We need someone who can look and pass downcourt as the first option. Anderson is lobbying to stick with the team and has hired a personal trainer for the summer.

Biggest Minus that is Probably a Plus in Disguise

Antoine Walker's season. Walker stunk up the joint badly and often. The home crowd booed him for his poor shot selection and ball-hogging. He rivaled Chris Dudley from the free-throw line. This after a summer where Walker declared himself a seasoned all-star and above volunteer training camps. He did, however, play well with Pierce (when Mercer wasn't on the floor). He toned down his 'tude on the court and learned how to keep his mouth shut. He still played out of position, overmatched at the 4. This was all perhaps a blessing in disguise as it brought Antoine a much-needed reality check about his place in the NBA. Still a force of nature on the court. Still remains to be seen if he can mature his game, or if he will always be too self-centered to win. He needs help in the form of a big PF, which Popeye Jones (IR) was supposed to provide.


No shortage of players here. Pervis Ellison (ankle surgery) and Popeye Jones (left knee surgery) spent the whole year on the IR. Greg Minor (right hip fracture) ended the season on the injured list.Toine, Mercer, and Pierce were also out for awhile. The one that hurt the most was Popeye Jones, who was supposed to provide rebounds, a PF presence, and maturity. It's a tossup whether his knee will heal enough to get him back to his great old rebounding self.


A PF and rebounder. A point guard who will pass it quickly up the floor.

Current roster

  • Kenny Anderson (12.1 ppg, 5.7 apg)
  • Ron Mercer (17.0 ppg)
  • Paul Pierce (16.5 ppg, 1.71 spg, 6.4 rpg)
  • Antoine Walker (18.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg)
  • Vitaly Potapenko (10.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg
  • Dana Barros (9.3 ppg, 4.2 apg, 23.1 mpg)
  • Damon Jones (5.8 ppg - FA , should be resigned)
  • Greg Minor (4.9 ppg)
  • Walter McCarty (5.7 ppg
  • Tony Battie (6.7 ppg, 1.42 bpg
  • Eric Riley (2.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 9.6 mpg -- FA, should be resigned)
  • Bruce Bowen (FA - goodbye!)
  • Dwayne Schintzius/Pervis Ellison/Popeye Jones



Vitaly Potapenko. V is a real center. He's got the beef to hold his own (I saw him take out Bison Dele and Jerome Williams with one fell swoop), and is an above-average shooter and passer. He needs to work on his hands and rebounding, but is a better lane-clogger than they've had in a long time. Plus he's young and likes to work out. His teammates appreciate his presence on the court. Other centers hanging around were Pervis Ellison (hah), Dwayne Schintzius (helpful very occasionally.), and Eric Riley, who I like a lot and wanted to see get more time. Riley has on-court smarts and size and we should sign him as a backup C. Then there's C/F Tony Battie. Money may keep the Cs from signing him up, but I wish they would. It's very cool to have a pogo-stick shot blocker on the roster. Give him a few more years to fill out, and we'll wish we had kept him. He’ll be as good as Theo Ratliffe, and maybe more than a poor man’s Camby. The question is can we pay both Battie and Mercer. My money is on Battie.


Battie, Walker. Battie isn't filled out enough at this stage to hold ground with the Oakleys and Malones, but he's fast, tall, and a great shot blocker. Can shoot the ball, too. After that, we're very thin. Antoine is really a SF and gets abused on a regular basis by the league PFs. Popeye Jones is still a question mark because of his knee injury. Pitino is looking for more talent at this position. And/or a veteran. Lorenzen Wright, Anthony Mason, PJ Brown, Rasheed Wallace, and even Lawrence Funderburke have been mentioned.


Pierce, McCarty, Minor. Gee, Antoine's real position is already filled with the Cs best player, and that's Paul Pierce. I love Pierce - this kid is beyond the real deal. He's a true go-to guy who can come through in the clutch and doesn't do dumb things under pressure. Great body, smart rebounder, nose for the ball and for doing the right thing. Never looks like a chicken with his head cut off - unlike Walker, McCarty, and most other rookies do on occasion. He and Antoine play well together -- ‘Toine juices him up and Paul calms Antoine down. People talk of moving Pierce to the off guard, but he’s really an SF through and through. Greg Minor made nice strides, and is also valuable because he can play guard. His late season hip injury tuned out to be serious, and may keep him from being traded. No one knows why McCarty got the highly-paid extension he did. Doesn't show any skills except for running around (see above) and hitting an occasional 3. Nice kid though, with lots of energy off the bench.


Mercer, Minor, Bruce Bowen: What a luxury to have Mercer here. I wrote two years ago (when they drafted Ron) that the Cs had no one here besides Minor and Barros. Now people (me included) are talking about trading this kid! His contract is up next summer, and if we don't trade him we run the risk of Master P pulling a Gugliotta on us and skipping Mercer out of town with nothing in return. Ron is a solid shooter, but hasn't extended his range to the 3 - a must for a guard in the NBA. He has height and speed and good hands. But, he may be more valuable to the Cs in trade. On the other hand, it's not like we have anyone waiting in the wings to take his place. Bowen is not even worth a mention, no matter how much Pitino gushes about his defense. Folks think Pierce can move to 2 - I think it would lose something in the translation.


Anderson, Barros, Damon Jones: If Anderson doesn't change his game, he should catch the next train out of North Station, if we could find a taker (and we're always looking hopefully at the Clippers). Just a misfit with Pitino. The team played better when he was out injured. He slowed things down too much. Missed a lot of cutting players. Was it conditioning? I don't think so. Pitino even benched him for his attitude. The good news is that he has stated that he really wants to stay with the team and has hired a personal trainer, so maybe he’s getting serious. Barros is a great backup. Besides being a 3-pt threat, he's a great athlete, mature, and can play both guard positions. Don't forget how he played in Philly. Damon Jones was a late season pickup from the CBA (leading scorer there) who showed he can move the ball up quickly, has an outlet pass, can see the floor, and maybe has a decent shot.


Will be an interesting summer. We could use a big PF, and won't get one in the draft. Mercer is being shopped, and Anderson is part of the package. Pierce is the only untouchable (well, if the Spurs called…). Penny Hardaway, Rodney Rogers, Lorenzen Wright, PJ Brown, Rasheed Wallace, Jamal Mashburn, Tony Delk, Derek Anderson, and assorted draft picks have all been mentioned in trades. Of course everyone assumes Pitino will listen to any trade for a Kentucky player.

Other rumors are Mercer and/or Anderson in two- or 3-way trade for a high draft pick. I don’t think Penny Hardaway wants to come to Boston, and couldn’t see him holding up under Pitino anyway. I'd take Wright, Wallace, or Anderson. Rogers may be available cheap and bring some scoring to the second unit.

Best case

Summer conditioning and fall training camp whups everyone into shape. Kenny Anderson has renewed energy and hustle. Antoine is humbled by the boobirds of '99 and works to elevate his game and play team ball. Mercer develops a 3-point shot. We make the playoffs next year.

Worst case

We're stuck w/Anderson and his contract, and he rides the pine while Dana and Damon run the floor. Mercer and Pierce continue to clash on court. Antoine stinks again.


Chris Herren, PG, Fresno State

We have the 55th pick (37th was optioned by Vancouver). Pitino has said he doesn’t want to get any younger, but if he drafts one of the many seniors available in the second round, he could actually up the average age of the team. Who they take depends on what happens in tradesville -- in particular if they ship Mercer and/or Anderson in exchange for a big man. They’ll probably take either the BPA or some Euro no-name. At #55, we could take: Rickey Moore from Uconn -- super defender, smart player, tough, and could really develop his offense if given the chance. Rico Hill -- would add good shooting and rebounding to the backcourt. Melvin Levett -- athleticism and D in the backcourt. Michael Ruffin one wide and tough dude under the basket. Wayne Turner -- a local kid schooled at Kentucky who can lead the floor and play D (and hopefully become a star pupil of the Cs shooting coach).

If Pitino ends up trading for a higher pick, they would look at Ron Artest, the young center Radojevic, or Chris Herren. I believe Herren's off-court problems are history, he’s one tough hombre, and would really drive the backcourt. I we *really* traded up, I want Andre Miller, who reminds me of Dennis Johnson.

Craig Simpson - Usenet Draft Commissioner

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