Wednesday , Jun , 22 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Boston Celtics 2005 Draft Preview

(Sports Network) – Boston had a solid draft last year, as Danny Ainge, the
head of basketball operations, selected forward Al Jefferson and guards Tony
Allen and Delonte West with the team’s three first-round picks.

Allen, Jefferson and West all showed during their rookie season’s that they
could be productive players for the Celtics for many years to come.

All-Star Paul Pierce is still Boston’s best player. The 6-6 guard played all
82 regular-season games and averaged a team-high 21.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and
4.2 assists. The Celtics re-acquired forward Antoine Walker, who is scheduled
to become an unrestricted free agent, at the trade deadline. Walker is a
decent second scoring option to Pierce, if he re-signs with Boston.

Ricky Davis had an excellent season for the Celtics, as he averaged 16 points
while playing in all Boston’s games. He gives the club scoring off the bench
and has proven to be a key part of the team’s future.

Under first year head coach Doc Rivers, the Celtics finished the 2004-05
season with a 45-37 record, which was good enough to earn them the Atlantic
Division crown and the third seed in the East. However, Boston fell in seven
games to the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the postseason.

Veteran point guard Gary Payton can also become an unrestricted free agent. He
will most likely try and find a team out West that can use his talents.

Boston is in a tough spot in this year’s draft. With the 18th overall pick,
the Celtics will look to pick the best available player. However, don’t be
shocked if Boston tries to move up in the draft with Mark Blount or Raef
LaFrentz as the bait.

Key Player(s): Tony Allen (Guard), Mark Blount (Center/Forward), Ricky Davis
(Guard), Al Jefferson (Forward), Raef LaFrentz (Center/Forward), Gary Payton
(Guard), Paul Pierce (Guard), Antoine Walker (Forward), Delonte West (Guard).

Team Needs: Point guard and a strong rebounding forward.

Draft picks: 1st round (18th overall), 2nd round (50th overall), 2nd round
(53rd overall)