15 Years as a GM and he's never drafted a superstar... That's pretty wild.
I guess Rondo is the closest thing?
Over that 15 year period, by my count, there have only been about 20 players I would call "superstars" drafted. Up until the Brooklyn picks (that became Brown and Tatum) Danny only had 3 top ten selections and 2 of those were traded away (in 2006 and 2007, the 3rd was Smart).
Given that the C's have only missed the playoffs 3 times during his tenure and the only time he's ever had picks in the top 4, he selected 2 players that appear to have star potential, I don't think it's wild at all.
Agree with your other post too, would grade Ainge a B to A-.
You want bad drafting? Look at Minnesota in the past 2 decades, and Philly (going 50% on top 5 picks, with Okafor and Nerlens Noel). Look at the Kings and the Suns. At least Ainge didn't crap the bed on his top picks.
On the other hand, Ainge is probably not on the level of OKC and the Warriors in the past 10 years. The Nuggets are probably above him too.
I'd argue Ainge does decently, especially in the lottery, getting expected value, in some cases when faced with precarious propositions:
- I recall the Marcus Smart draft was a 2 player draft with Wiggins and Parker, and after that a morass of solid talent. Let's forget the late picks - as someone else mentioned, be realistic, nobody was going to waste a top pick on Jokic (are you kidding!). Ainge was faced with Smart, Randle, Stauskas and Vonleh, and I'd say Randle and Smart is a tossup at this point - and at least he didn't go with Vonleh
- The Tatum draft no doubt was a solid move, again in a precarious position
- The mid-late first round Ainge has missed on Giannis, but Olynk and Jajuan Johnson is about what you'd expect out of a mid-late first rounder
This is another interesting one to take a look at. Is going 50% that bad?
Let's look at the top 6 (since Noel was 6) of the last few drafts. Keep in mind that recent drafts often tend to look better, because players haven't fallen off the cliff or plateaued yet (think of how Tristan Thompson looked even 2 years ago, for example; same with the futures of Parker, MKG, etc).
2017 - Fultz, Ball, Tatum, Jackson, Fox, Isaac. Too early to tell.
2016 - Simmons, Ingram, Brown, Bender, Dunn, Hield. Early again, but Hield and Dunn are a bit underwhelming, Bender hasn't shown much; the others seem good.
2015 - KAT, d'angelo russel, Okafor, Porzingis, Hezonja, cauley stein
2014 - Wiggins, Parker, Embiid, A Gordon, Exum, Smart.
2013 - Bennet, Oladipo, porter, c zeller, Len, Noel
2012 - A Davis, MKG, Beal, Waiters, Thomas Robinson, Lillard
2011 - Irving, Derrick WIlliams, Kanter, Tristan Thompson, Valenciunas, Veseley
2010 - Wall, Turner, Favors, Wesley Johnson, Cousins, Udoh
2009 - Griffin, Thabeet, Harden, Evans, Rubio, Flynn
2008 - Rose, Beasley, Mayo, Westbrook, Love, Gallinari
So 50% or so is about right. It's more about number of chances to hit that being exceptionally good at hitting.