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Doc Rivers Talks About JaJuan Johnson


Last night, CelticsHub was in attendance at Celtics headquarters on Causeway Street, as Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge spoke to the media at length about former Purdue teammates and the newest Celtics JaJuan Johnson and E’Twaun Moore. Here’s Doc’s talking on his newest 6-10 big man:

On the pick: “I like it a lot. Big Ten Player Of The Year. He can shoot. Athletic. We didn’t think he would be there and he was.”

On his skills: “Pick and pop player. He’s a terrific shooter for his size and extremely athletic. He rebounded very well in college so we are hoping that translates over. We’ve proven we can get bigs shots. So if we can get him shoots, hopefully he can make them.

On his defense: “He comes from a great program and he’s a high character kid so that can’t hurt. He can play with a team and fit in and be a winner while still playing well, so that’s always important.

On his maturity: “That can’t hurt. A lot of kids are coming out early. A lot of the seniors that do get drafted tend to start out better. He’s a four-year player but we still like his upside. I hate to label people, like Chris Bosh or Horace Grant but we’ll see.”

On his size and potential: “He doesn’t need to put on weight, he needs to get stronger, which usually involves weight. I’m not concerned about that right now.” He still has some growth. He has to get stronger. He has to learn the NBA way but he learned an NBA system offensively, so he should fit that well. He’s a confident shooter and watching him in the workouts, he knows where his shoots come from, he doesn’t stray from his spots, and that tells you he’s mature enough to understand who he is and how he plays, which is a plus.”

On draft moves and interest in other players: “No consideration to keep MarShon [Brooks]. There was a lot of interest in Reggie Jackson. The three guys we wanted, Reggie went right in front of us, and then there was guy who went right behind us, who thinks pretty much like us, so that was that.”It came right after it. We get the picks five minutes before they say it, so we knew Jackson was off the board. We had to make sure the guy we wanted would still be there if we moved down, and he was, so we moved down.”

Will he work out before lockout? “It’s tough for him to work out. His agent is going to say no, but if we can we will. We may bring in a bunch of undrafted players without him, but we’re bored so we need to do something. We’re not sure what we are going to be allowed to do.”

Will he help now? “Yesterday, we didn’t think he would be there. He slipped to us, who knows why but he did. I think you have to put him on the floor. I can’t tell you if he is going to help or not. I think he is going to be an NBA player and a good one. It may take him some time or it may not.

On offseason: “It’s a big offseason for us. We want to win it. We want to win it again, and we need help. We need to go out and get players and we need to make moves to do that or find a way to sign them. We just don’t know.

On his size and defense: “He adds length and he’s a shotblocker. I don’t know how quick his feet are yet since I haven’t had him show on a lot of pick and rolls. Hopefully I’ll know by next week. Same body type as Kevin Garnett. At the same time in their lives, he’s probably a better shooter than Kevin. There’s a lot of upside things with him.”

Draft for position? “He’s the player we liked the best. It came down to a guard and a big man. It didn’t come down to any position, just the best player.”

Learn from KG? “Kevin’s a great teacher, he’s the best teacher I ever coached. If you don’t listen the first time, he’ll never teach you ever again. We warn guys of that; some guys follow, some haven’t.

  • Mike

    What I would like to know is why Ainge seems to be stockpilling 2nd round picks (Cle, Sac, now NJ).

    • Dan

      So we can draft a ton of guys that we'll never play and then trade mid-season to make room for washed up veterans.

      • Jim

        Or we can use them to move up a couple of places in the first round and get who we really want.

      • dtla la

        You mean our Hall of Famers?

        Have some goddamn respect.

  • johnschaffer

    i like our picks for sure ,bye bye baby but you have to rememeber will doc play them??????

  • I_Love_Green

    Don't forget we have the draft rights to Albert Miralles from the 04 draft!

  • kricky

    In hindsight we should have kept either Semi or Chris Johnson, instead of signing late season stiffs like Pavlovic and Murphy (ugggh what a waste).

    But let's give the new guys a chance. Who knows maybe we'll get lucky and one of them will break the rotation and contribute.

    • OKCeltic

      Unless he's signed with someone else, and it's doubtful, Chris Johnson may get another look this off-season.

  • Doc Rivers

    I’m hoping both of our picks will be able to start their career as backups, but when our big three retire or head out of Boston they will continue our tradition of winning.

  • -JP

    Jeff Green will get Baby's minutes. I wish we had signed and traded Baby, so we could get something for him. Not sure who is going to pay him, so he might end up back here, although I hope he doesn't.

    I like the pick, I just hope he listens to KG, and can be taken under his wing.

    • I_Love_Green

      We can still sign and trade Baby…

      And JaJaun said that KG was his favorite player growing up, so I don't think that will be a problem.

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  • Hank Single

    all draft picks are described for their ideal – let's not forget Baby was beyond phenomenal til the end of the season; starting games at center really messed him up. He was arguably our best player for half the year – this guy hasn't done a thing/ Perspective.

    Baby talks a lot of crap, but if we can sign him, we should. He's been better for longer in his time with the Celtics.

  • James

    I like these picks, but I am still trying to figure out why they traded Semi and Luke, they never really got a chance.

  • Big Baby Davis

    Why was Doc so quick to distinguish between getting stronger and putting on weight? Aren't pizza and cannolis the answer to everything?

  • Deb

    I think you should feel lucky we have Doc for the next 4 years. This game is a business–and if I hear the Perk trade one more time, I am going to scream. A week or so before Perk was traded, I looked over at the bench and we had 3–count '3m 3- guys sitting there. We needed to trade Perk.

    We lost this year due to injuries–and Big Baby's indifference–I'm glad with the pick, and hope, under Garnett, Allen, Pierce and Rondo can take them "under their wing" so that when they leave, we can have a new era of Celtics to carry on the torch. Doc is an excellent coach. If you saw on the next to last "The Association" on NBA TV, you will see how he really felt about losing Perk.

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