It's been a while since I posted my analysis of the Boston Celtics' 2003 and 2004 NBA Drafts. However, as promised, I will continue to breakdown each draft that Danny Ainge has been responsible for (2003-2012) since joining the Celtics' front office. Next on the list is the 2005 draft so let's get to it. 

Draft: 2004
Picks: (1)18, (2)50, (2)53

(1)18. Gerald Green, SG/SF Gulf Shores Academy

With the 18th pick in the 2005 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics selected athletic wingman, Gerald Green. Despite the fact Green was declaring for the draft straight out of high school, he was considered to be a high-risk, high-reward player. Some experts even went as far as comparing him to former All-Star guard, Tracy McGrady. 

In his senior year at GSA, Green averaged eye-popping numbers. He poured in 33 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, dished out 7 helpers, and turned away 3 shots per game. As a result the 6-7 forward was named a McDonald's All-American. Green's All-American experience was certainly one to remember. He walked away with a first place trophy in the slam-dunk contest as well as bragging rights for leading all players in points in the exhibition game, dropping 24. With Green proving he was a stud when it came to scoring the basketball on a national level, the McGrady comparisons seemed increasingly accurate. 

Green's rookie season was somewhat disappointing, appearing in just 32 games, he averaged 5.4 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 0.6 assists per game. Of course he produced those numbers in just 11.7 minutes per night so it's not like he had too much time to do much of anything. However, the very next season Doc Rivers doubled Green's minutes, sending him onto the parquet for an even 22.0 minutes per game. With twice the amount of minutes, Green produced literally twice as many points and rebounds per contest. Unfortunately, the youngster had seen his last days as a Celtic by the end of that year, 2006-07.

Even though Gerald Green showed a vast improvement from his rookie to sophomore season, Boston just didn't see him in their plans for the future. Green was a part of the package that Ainge sent to Minnesota in exchange for Kevin Garnett. If you're Ainge what do you do? Sit on a guy with a high ceiling that might never pan out or take a sure fire hall of famer? Exactly. 

(2)50. Ryan Gomes, SF/PF Providence College

After taking Gerald Green, Danny Ainge had to wait his turn for a while since his next pick didn't come until late in the second round. But once the Cs went on the clock Ainge looked over his options and ultimately drafted another small forward, Ryan Gomes. 

Gomes was a four-year player at Providence College and a very solid one at that. Throughout his career as a Friar he never averaged less than 30 minutes per game, never shot lower than 50% from the field, never grabbed less than 8 rebounds per game, and never had less than 1.5 steals per game. Of course, being a four-year player, Ainge figured that Gomes had both the experience and talent to come into Boston and immediately make an impact. Luckily, Ainge was right.

In his rookie year, Ryan Gomes appeared in 61 games, including 33 starts. For the season, Gomes averaged 7.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, and shot 49% from the floor in just 22 minutes per night. Considering he was a late second round draft pick, Gomes put together an impressive rookie campaign and surprised/impressed a lot of people along the way. But most importantly he impressed his head coach, Doc Rivers. In fact Gomes was playing at such a high-level that on January 26th, 2006 the Celtics agreed to a multiplayer deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The reason for the trade? Freeing up roster space so that their rapidly improving rookie could receive more playing time on a nightly basis. 

Shortly thereafter, Kendrick Perkins went down with an injury. The loss of Perk forced Rivers to insert one of his bench players into the starting line-up and Gomes got the nod. Now you'd think thrusting a first year player into your starting line-up on such short notice would rattle him a little bit but it had the exact opposite effect on Gomes. He went on to score at least 10 points in 21 of his starts and he also recorded 7 double-doubles within that same span. As a result, Ryan Gomes had solidified his spot in the Celtics' starting five. Perkins eventually returned but Gomes remained a starter for the rest of the season. 

As you can imagine, the Celtics rookie was booming with confidence and he carried that over into the start of his sophomore season. Gomes started things off with a bang, recording his first career triple double (10 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists) against the Charlotte Bobcats on November 8th. The excellent play of Gomes continued throughout the season until he went down with an ankle injury in early March. He never really got back to 100% throughout the remainder of 2006-07 but, nonetheless, he achieved marks of 12.1 points, 5.6 rebounds, and a 47% field goal percentage in a little over 30 minutes per contest. 

Unfortunately, Ryan Gomes didn't exactly go out with a bang due to his ailing ankle. Like Gerald Green, the 06-07 season was his last in Boston. 

(2)53. Orien Greene, PG/SG Louisiana-Lafayette 

Going into the 2005-06 season, the Celtics were figuring that they would have to start Delonte West at the point guard position. West is a very offensive minded guard so drafting a guy like Orien Greene, who thrived defensively, was meant to offset West. 

Although his role wasn't definite at the time, Greene started his rookie season as the primary back-up for Delonte West, competing with both Dan Dickau and Marcus Banks for playing time. But fortunately for Greene, Dickau suffered a season-ending injury and Banks was shipped off to Minnesota in the deal that was made to get Gomes more minutes. Thus, Orien Greene became the sole back-up for the Celtics' starting point guard. 

Despite a cemented role, Greene never really made a name for himself and he also failed to show he was worth the Defensive Player of the Year award he received in his senior year of college, averaging just 1.0 steal per game in his rookie year. And to make matters worse, the Celtics suspended him for one game after he was charged with driving his sports car way too fast on a side street just outside of Boston. Ultimately, he would finish the season averaging just 3.2 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.6 assists in a little over 15 minutes per. On June 30th of 2006 the Celtics notified Greene that they would be waiving him. 


For the second time in three years, Danny Ainge botched most of these picks. He missed out on two future stars in David Lee, who was selected 30th, and Monta Ellis, who was selected 40th. Both of these players could have been taken at number 18 instead of Gerald Green. Not to mention a bunch of solid role players went after Green was chosen. Guys like Nate Robinson (21), Jarrett Jack (22), Ian Mahinmi (28), Ersan Ilyasova (36), and Lou Williams (45) were all taken after the Celtics had already used their first round pick. Sure, you can't blame Ainge for Green being a bust but each of the players I just listed were easily worth the 18th overall pick. But like I said, how could he have known?

As for Ryan Gomes and Orien Greene, I honestly really liked the selection of Gomes with the 50th pick. He was extremely productive for a young guy on bad teams in his first two years and, had he never been traded, he would still be a valuable asset to have on our current bench. Greene on the other hand was an awful, awful mistake. If the Celtics wanted a player that would bring more of a defensive presence, they could have taken Marcin Gortat (57). Obtaining a defensive point guard probably could have been done during the regular season either via trade or free agency. 

Bottom line is that this was a pretty bad draft for the Celtics but somehow it ended up paying off. Boston got solid production out of Ryan Gomes throughout his two years in Celtic green and Gerald Green's potential alone was enough to make him a legitimate part of the package Ainge put together for Minnesota. 

So despite just one of our three picks in the 2005 draft making a serviceable impact with the team, two of the three pieces helped the Celtics acquire Kevin Garnett while the last of the three was only a burden for one season. To me, that's enough to prevent this draft from being an utter failure but it's not enough to make it a success either. 

Grade: C-


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