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The 2006 NBA Draft was somewhat of an exciting one for Danny Ainge because this would be the first time in three years that he'd have a lottery pick inside the top ten. After going 33-49 in 2005-06, the Boston Celtics had a 53% chance at getting the number one overall pick, a 66% chance to get the second overall pick, and a 70% chance of getting the third overall pick. Unfortunately, they were beaten out by the Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks, and Charlotte Bobcats for each respective pick. Instead Ainge would end up settling for the seventh pick but that's better than nothing considering the franchise's state at the time. With all that said, let's take a look at how this draft panned out in our next edition of the Draft Series.

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Draft: 2006
Picks: (1)7

(1)7. Randy Foye, PG/SG Villanova

The 7th overall pick was the lone selection the Cs had in the '06 draft and with it, they decided to select Villanova guard, Randy Foye. 

Going into the draft, Foye was actually a pretty highly coveted player due to his ability to score at will. In his senior season at Villanova, Foye averaged 20.5 points per game on a decent 41% shooting from the floor and 35% from long range. 

After the 2005-06 season it was apparent that the Celtics needed a little help at the two guard position. Paul Pierce lead the team in scoring with 26.8 per game which was an overwhelming 7.1 points more than Ricky Davis, who was second in scoring. Despite Boston's two main shooting guards, Davis and Wally Szczerbiak, each pouring in over 17 points per night, they were riddled with injuries for most of the season, combining for 74 games played between the two of them. Besides that pair, Doc Rivers had Tony Allen and Gerald Green at his disposal. But Allen was never much of a scorer and Green was an unproven rookie who couldn't be counted on to deliver big scoring performances on a nightly basis. Thus, the need for Foye. 

However, Randy Foye never got to put on a Celtics uniform because his draft rights were traded to the Portland Trailblazers. With Foye went Raef LaFrentz and Dan Dickau and, in exchange, the Celtics received Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff, and a 2008 second-round draft pick. At that point in time, this wasn't seen as that bad of a deal. Sebastian Telfair, who the Blazers took 13th overall in 2004, was a highly coveted point guard coming into the NBA straight out of high school. Unfortunately, Telfair didn't burst onto the scene as many teams expected him to. He only averaged 8.1 points per game in his first two seasons with Portland. Hoping he would turn it around with two years of NBA experience under his belt, Danny Ainge decided to take a risk on him. Dumping Foye and his scoring prowess. 

Summary

Taking Randy Foye was by no means a mistake. As I said before, going into this draft he was labeled a scorer and with good reason. Throughout his seven-year career he's only averaged below 10.0 points per game once and, to be fair, the only season he didn't reach the 10.0 benchmark he averaged 9.8 a night. Sure he's played for four different teams in those seven years but I think that if he had remained a Celtic he would've been a great option for Doc Rivers to go to.

But perhaps the most impressive aspect of this draft were the trades that Ainge pulled off on draft night. Ainge traded his team's 2007 first-round draft pick to the Phoenix Suns for the draft rights to Rajon Rondo, Brian Grant and cash considerations. While Brian Grant didn't mean much at all in terms of this deal, the extra cash is helpful and it also doesn't hurt to net the future face of your franchise by giving up just a single draft pick, even if it is in the first round. Call me crazy but I think four All-Star selections, two assist crowns, two All-Defensive First Team selections, one steals crown, and one NBA championship is worth a future first round selection. 

In addition to Rondo, Ainge traded for the draft rights to Leon Powe. In order to obtain Powe, Ainge had to give up another 2007 pick but this one was a second-rounder. The Cal product was a very serviceable big man in Boston, never averaging less than 13 points and 10 rebounds per 36 minutes. 

Even though Danny Ainge traded Randy Foye away for a package that turned out to be unworthy compensation, he made up for it with his draft night swaps. He may not have drafted them but he walked away with his soon-to-be franchise point guard, Rajon Rondo, and a big man, Leon Powe, that coincidentally had his best season in the 2007-08 title year. If he could do it again, I think Ainge would still make both of those trades but instead of trading Foye he would either keep him or pass him up to draft Rudy Gay, who was selected 8th right after Foye. 

Grade: B+

 


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