Celtics Give J.R. a Shot

In the unfamiliar (but welcome) position of having the last pick in each of the two rounds of the NBA draft last night, Danny Ainge made his two picks and dealt for a third, grabbing New Mexico guard J.R. Giddens in the first round trading for Kansas forward Bill Walker in the second round, and taking Semih Erden, a 7-1 project from Turkey with the final pick in the draft.

Julian Benbow says that Giddens was on Ainge’s short list for a while. Mark Murphy has the Celtics hoping that Giddens has moved on from some incidents in his past which showed him to be immature. Steve Bulpett says that Giddens is someone who can fill a need for the Celtics with his athleticism. Kevin McNamara says that Giddens is a pick to improve the team now, not just in the future. Bill Doyle has rebounding as one of Giddens’ strengths…both on and off the court. Jim Fenton has the Celtics believing that Giddens has put his troubles behind him.

Dan Shaughnessy looks back a year ago, to when Ainge’s moves were roundly mocked and criticized – by Shaughnessy himself. Bill Burt says that last night’s draft was another winner for Ainge, who capped the championship season by adding more talent to the roster. Bill Simmons has his annual draft diary for the first round last night.

Murphy’s notebook has Ainge staying busy in the second round once again. Burt’s notebook has Giddens’ happy to be a Celtic. Fenton’s notebook has the Celtics grabbing a potential lottery pick in Walker.

Red Sox

Amalie Benjamin has a minor league notebook, which looks at consistency being the message preached to the young pitchers in the organization. Steven Krasner has a look at the current status of a number of the Red Sox young pitchers. Alex Speier also looks to the minors, with a focus on Single-A power hitter Josh Reddick. Michael Silverman says that Theo Epstein has created his scouting and player development machine – but he has also created a future GM machine in the process.

Speier looks at the Sox position after finishing half of their schedule. He also looks at how it compares to recent seasons. Art Martone looks at the second half schedule, which presents many more days off than the past few years. Paul Doyle says that the Red Sox are in a different spot halfway through this season.

Joe Haggerty has Dustin Pedroia breaking himself out of his recent slump. Krasner looks at how J.D. Drew has picked up his game since David Ortiz has been sidelined. Ron Chimelis says that Manny Ramirez’s availability to play the outfield this weekend in Houston is unknown. Silverman’s notebook says that Kevin Cash’s home run on Wednesday night was a bonus.

Misc.

Robert Lee says that the fire to compete still burns in Tedy Bruschi.

David Scott reports that Laura Behnke of NECN and CSN is taking a job out in the Bay Area for San Francisco’s KNTV (NBC11). He also looks at Will Leitch’s departure from Deadspin and a few other items. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell has a look at ABC broadcaster Allen Bestwick about this weekend’s races in New Hampshire and growing up a sports fan in New England.

Kevin Paul Dupont has Bruins defenseman Dennis Wideman filing for arbitration.