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Friday, June 22, 2018

Celtics doctors said not to draft Greg Oden or Brandon Roy

Greg Oden

The Boston Celtics have become known for taking risks in the draft on players with medical questions, but that doesn’t mean they’ll take just anyone.

According to Austin Ainge, the son of Celtics president Danny Ainge and team director of player personnel, the Celtics’ medical staff told the team not to draft Greg Oden or Brandon Roy. Both players have had knee problems that shortened/ruined their careers. Oden has only played in 105 career games since being drafted in 2007, while Roy had five really good seasons, missed a year, attempted a comeback, and then retired for good.

Even though the Celtics had no plans to draft either player (they had to contemplate the decision since they were in the lottery both years), they still have taken risks by drafting players like Jared Sullinger and Avery Bradley, both of whom had medical concerns.

So why is this story now relevant? Because of Joel Embiid.

Embiid is expected to miss several months after undergoing surgery on his foot for the same condition that ruined Yao Ming and Bill Walton’s careers. The Celtics are picking fifth in the draft and could look to Embiid, but after reading some of Ainge’s comments, it sounds like Boston won’t be taking that risk with the damaged goods.

“€œFoot and back, those are not good body parts to injure,” Ainge said Saturday via WEEI. “We try to focus on the long-term health more than the short-term when you’re dealing with draft picks,” he added. “Free agency, it might be a little different. But when you’re drafting kids that are 19, 20, 21, it’s usually best to think: ‘Two years, five years down the road, will it be a concern?’ Those are the ones we usually try to avoid.”

I wouldn’t want any piece of Embiid either, if I were them. Why take a guy who you already know has a lot of problems? The only place I’d take a guy who is damaged goods like that is probably 18th or lower, and that’s only if I don’t see someone who could probably help my team. You just know that this will be an issue moving forward. Why mess with it if you don’t have to?

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