Celtics introduce Kelly Olynyk, Colton Iverson

Two draft picks are added to big picture

Celtics draft picks Colton Iverson and Kelly Olynyk are introduced during a team community event in Mattapan.
jim davis/globe staff
Celtics draft picks Colton Iverson and Kelly Olynyk are introduced during a team community event in Mattapan.

Unanswered questions are swirling around the Celtics, a team in tumult that is facing a long and uncertain road ahead.

Even the 7-footers they acquired in the NBA draft — Gonzaga’s Kelly Olynyk and Colorado State’s Colton Iverson — don’t know what kind of team they’re joining.

“Whatever happens, happens,” Olynyk, a first-round pick, said Monday when he and Iverson, a second-round pick, were introduced at a community event in Mattapan.


With no head coach in place, and with their two icons (Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett) soon to be shipped to a division rival, the Celtics can take solace in the fact that they at least attempted to shore up their lack of size through the draft.

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Olynyk, at 234 pounds, averaged 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds in 32 games last season. Iverson, at 255 pounds, averaged 14.2 points and 9.8 rebounds in 35 games last season. Before drafting them, the Celtics had one center on their roster for next season: Fab Melo.

As for Olynyk, who will wear No. 41, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said he believes the long-haired Canadian is more power forward than center, though Olynyk can play center at times.

Ainge added that they want Olynyk, whom they’d like to play at about 260 pounds, to be able to knock down 3-pointers and make passes from the perimeter.

“I don’t see Kelly as a go-to guy in the NBA, but a guy that complements the rest of the guys on the team and makes them all better,” Ainge said.


The Celtics traded up three spots, from No. 16 to No. 13, to acquire Olynyk. They acquired Iverson, who transferred from the University of Minnesota after three seasons, through a trade after Indiana selected him in the second round.

“Colton is a kid that we’ve watched since his freshman year of college at the University of Minnesota,” Ainge said. “We’ve loved his intensity since Day 1 and identified him as someone we needed to keep a real close eye on.”

It’s unclear at this point if Iverson will be with the Celtics next season or if he’ll look to play in Europe instead, even though the Celtics would hold his rights.

“I’m just excited to be here, to put in a lot of hard work,” Iverson said.

Both players, though, are expected to be with the Celtics in Orlando for Summer League, which begins July 7.


The Celtics’ Summer League team will be guided by assistant coach Jay Larranaga, whom the Celtics’ brass are taking a hard look at as their potential next head coach.

But Ainge said there’s no urgency to hire anyone.

“We’re through the draft, we’re all prepared for summer league, we have enough guys in the gym for our players now,” he said. “So, we’ll take our time.”

So what is the team looking for in a head coach?

“There’s coaches with all sorts of different kinds of strengths and weaknesses,” Ainge said. “I think I’m looking at all the different candidates out there that are available, and some guys that are not available, that are working other places that I’ll also consider.”

Ainge repeated that he won’t return to the sideline as a head coach.

Another issue Ainge tried to put to rest is that the team does not currently plan to move All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo.

“The calls are coming in, the calls have not been going out,” Ainge said. “I think that the assumption is that, [given] what we are trying to accomplish, the reports are such that maybe the assumption is that we’ll give away any of our players.

“We have had calls. On Jeff [Green], on Courtney [Lee], on Brandon [Bass], on Rondo, on Jared [Sullinger], on our draft pick, Kelly — there’s been calls for all those guys. And maybe the assumption is we are just changing everybody. But we’re not.”

It’s still the Celtics’ goal to have Rondo, who’s recovering from surgery that repaired a partially torn ACL in his left knee, ready by training camp in the fall.

“Opening day is a goal of his and ours, but there’s no certainty in any of that,” Ainge said. “We think things are going really well, and that’s still a good goal to have.”

Ainge also said the Celtics are not looking to add anyone through free agency.

“As a matter of fact, we have too many players,” Ainge said. “We have logjams at power forward and center and shooting guard. We have a lot of guys potentially, if things continue as they are. I think that our job is to try to clean that up through the summer.”

The Celtics stand to acquire Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Kris Joseph, MarShon Brooks, and Keith Bogans from Brooklyn in that massive deal that won’t become official until after July 12.

But as part of their roster-trimming efforts, the Celtics cut swingman Terrence Williams Sunday. Williams was on a nonguaranteed contract, as are forwards Shavlik Randolph and D.J. White.

But though Ainge said that the calls have been coming in, not out, he did admit that he made a courtesy call to Dwight Howard’s camp to see if the All-Star center would be interested in coming to the Celtics through a sign-and-trade deal.

No surprise, the answer was no.

Baxter Holmes can be reached at Follow him on Twitter at @BaxterHolmes.