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Wyc Grousbeck: Celtics will ‘like the guy we get’

Wyc Grousbeck believes the Celtics can get their hands on something valuable on draft day.file/REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk

Wyc Grousbeck is confident.

The Celtics co-owner believes that even though his team didn't get a lucky ping-pong ball bounce in Tuesday night's draft lottery, this year's crop of prospects is deep enough that the Celtics will still be able to grab a high-caliber player with the No. 6 overall pick in the June 26 draft.

"Danny [Ainge] likes a bunch of guys in this draft," Grousbeck told the Globe. "Our pick is going to put us in that range. Danny is going to like the guy we get. In other words, Danny likes six guys in this draft — well, he likes more than six — but we'll be all right.


"We've done this before, and 6 and 17 isn't a bad way to start rebuilding."

The Celtics also have the 17th pick in the draft, acquired from the Brooklyn Nets as part of last summer's blockbuster deal.

But hold on a second. Grousbeck said that Ainge, the Celtics president of basketball operations, "will like the guy they get."

Does that mean the Celtics plan on using that No. 6 pick as opposed to trading it — say, as part of a package . . . perhaps to Minnesota for Kevin Love?

"I'm assuming for now we'll keep it," Grousbeck said. "I'm sure the phone will ring a thousand times between now and draft day, and that's the fun of it.

"I've been looking forward to June for a while, and I told Brad Stevens the other day, 'Coach, June is going to be a defining moment in your career.' It's going to be an amazing month, so let's see what happens.

"It'll be interesting, whether or not anything happens. It will be interesting."

The question is whether the Celtics would take the best player available or draft for position. It's a classic query that all professional sports teams are faced with in any draft.


"I'm not doing the drafting," Grousbeck said. "Danny does the drafting and he does a great job of it. I'll be there cheering, and if there are any trades to be made on draft day, that's when we start talking. But Danny and his team are one of the best drafters in the league."

Like Grousbeck, co-owner Steve Pagliuca, who represented the Celtics on stage at the draft, is optimistic about the No. 6 pick, even if he was disappointed the pick wasn't higher.

"The problem with this is, the fans are so into it, the support in Boston, every single fan I talked to guaranteed me we were going to get the first pick," Pagliuca said. "So I started believing it myself, even though the numbers said it was a 1 out of 10 shot.

"We got things from all over the world, we got boxes of Lucky Charms, and roosters from Portugal, and all sorts of things to give us that luck.

"Look, I think the sixth pick will be a great pick. You have to look at the glass half-empty/the glass half-full. The glass half-full, which is the important part, is there's going to be a really great player here at 6 and we think there will be a good player at 17 as well."

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Ainge and members of the Celtics personnel staff are in Los Angeles for draft workouts this week. Ainge said they will start hosting individual workouts in Boston in early June.


League sources say that the draft's top three prospects — Duke's Jabari Parker and Kansas's Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid — are likely to do individual workouts only for the teams with the top three picks — Cleveland, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia.

Regardless, Ainge said the Celtics' list isn't narrowed because of where they're picking.

"That's not up to me," Ainge said. "We'd like to get everybody in, but that's up to the agents, and they control a lot of the draft workout stuff.

"We haven't addressed the issue of the No. 6 pick and draft workouts yet, and we probably won't start until later. But we do have players coming in sooner that we've already scheduled for workouts."

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Because he was in the lottery drawing room, Celtics president Rich Gotham was one of about 30 people who learned the results about an hour before everyone else.

In that room, Gotham found himself seated next to Los Angeles Lakers vice president of public relations John Black.

"It was kind of interesting going through that with the Lakers — two teams that are not generally here, aren't supposed to be here," Gotham said. "We had the same experience and we're both like, 'We're never doing that again.'

"One and only time to visit for the lottery, hopefully.

"We generally haven't done it through the lottery, and we generally haven't done it through free agency. We've done it through drafting well, whatever our position is, and building a team and making acquisitions when the time is right to make acquisitions. That'll be our game plan moving forward.


"I think the good news this year is we're going to get a good player. It's a deep draft. Danny and his guys will do what they always do, and that's pick the right guy.

"And we'll go forward and do it the old-fashioned Celtics way — roll up the sleeves and put the brains to work and figure out what we did back in '07, which is planned up after a lottery where we didn't get a break then, either."

Baxter Holmes can be reached at baxter.holmes@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @BaxterHolmes.