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Christmas Notebook: Zarren’s Draft Proposal, Celtics Enjoy Rare Christmas Break

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all you readers out there. Speaking on behalf of the entire crew here at CelticsHub, we really appreciate your support and want to thank you for reading during the past year. We are approaching our five-year anniversary here at the Hub and couldn’t have done it without you folks. With that said, onto the notebook:

Draft Proposal Author Unveiled

You may have missed in during this past week, but Grantland writer and former CelticsHub writer Zach Lowe always writes awesome things, but he had a great scoop this past week, about a new draft proposal making the rounds to replace the NBA lottery system in hopes of getting rid of any incentive for teams to “tank.” Here’s a short version of the proposal:

Grantland obtained a copy of the proposal, which would eliminate the draft lottery and replace it with a system in which each of the 30 teams would pick in a specific first-round draft slot once — and exactly once — every 30 years. Each team would simply cycle through the 30 draft slots, year by year, in a predetermined order designed so that teams pick in different areas of the draft each year. Teams would know with 100 percent certainty in which draft slots they would pick every year, up to 30 years out from the start of every 30-year cycle. The practice of protecting picks would disappear; there would never be a Harrison Barnes–Golden State situation again, and it wouldn’t require a law degree to track ownership of every traded pick leaguewide.

So the question after this article came out, was who exactly was the author of such a unique proposal. Now, thanks to Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald, we now know who it is and it’s a name that’s probably familiar to most of you. 

Here’s an excerpt of the piece by Bulpett in today’s Herald in which the author’s identity becomes unveiled:

The intriguing and radical new draft proposal released this week through grantland.com is a local product. The system, which uses a formula to have teams picking in each of the 30 positions over a 30-year span, is the creation of Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren.

The plan Zarren devised would, for example, have the team picking first one year choose 30th, 19th, 18th, seventh, sixth, 25th, 23rd, 14th, 11th and second in the next 10 drafts.

“That would make sense to me,” Ainge said. “It would put an onus on management to manage their team and their draft picks. They would be able to just play and not worry about maneuvering to get a draft pick. Every 30 years, you’d have the first draft pick. Every 30 years, you’d have the second pick, and so forth. Look at it this way, you’d be in the top six every five years.”

The rest of the piece is certainly worth reading (both pieces actually) as Danny Ainge shows strong support for the idea, as he speaks out strongly against the idea of tanking. It can be debated all year long whether you think this team SHOULD tank, but you can tell the fact that there is even a debate bothers Ainge. He hates losing, and probably hates the fact losing this season makes SOME sense for the Celtics as far as their future goes. A proposal like this would eliminate that incentive, and though it could create other problems, that would help getting rid of a major issues around the league now in tanking. Kudos to Zarren for coming up with such an innovative idea.

Celtics Get A Rare Break

Can’t remember the last time the Celtics had a Christmas Day off? You have to go back all the way to the first year of the Big 3 era in 2007-08 when the C’s weren’t part of NBA’s showcase Christmas day. Still, that streak is still nothing compared to the amount of years some of this year’s Celtics had been away from their families on Christmas in recent years. In a piece I wrote for CBSBostonSports.com, I talked to Gerald Wallace and Courtney Lee about that:

“I haven’t been home for Christmas since my senior year of high school [in 2000],” the 13-year NBA veteran told a surprised group of reporters earlier this week.

Celtic players, like Wallace, will take advantage of the break to head home and spend quality time with their families.

“Yeah I am [looking forward to it],” Wallace said earlier this week of heading home to Alabama. “It’s going to be exciting. I haven’t been home in awhile so it’s good to see family and friends around the holidays, spend time with my kids and everything. It will be enjoyable.”

Courtney Lee is another Celtic who will relish the chance to take in Christmas with loved ones.

“I haven’t spent Christmas with my family in the last eight years,” Lee noted.

Despite the less than ideal schedule, Lee kept a good perspective about missing out on spending time during the holiday season with those he cares about most.

“It’s tough,” Lee explained, “But as you get older, you start to understand that everybody has jobs they have to do. Part of my job is playing on Christmas or practicing on Christmas. That just comes with the territory. It’ll be good to go back and see them.”

You can check out the full piece at by clicking here
Enjoy the rest of the day, including the blowout home losses by both New York squads everybody! A nice consolation present for the C’s not playing today


  • Ray

    Love the wheel proposal for the draft. My only gripe with it as laid out in Lowe's article is why do we have to wait for all the trade to play out before implementing it. I say start it ASAP (2015, can't change the rules for 2014 now) and let the trades stand with the current protections. Would make the picking your slot part that much more interesting.

    What an underwhelming Christmas Day lineup for the league.