In some ways the Celtics tried to build the Spurs model in years past. The KG, Ray, and Pierce Celtics were blessed that Rondo was a great point guard as they began to age during their run. He prolonged their careers in some ways. That was a Spurs like move by Danny in 2006. A Spurs move before the Celtics were an elite team actually. Rondo was a later pick in the first round that Danny had to trade for. He saw something that many didn't see in Rondo during that draft, including the Suns who drafted Rondo.
Ainge's drafting wasn't great in the elite years from 2008-2012, but I think it's too early to tell the actual results. Sullinger was a risk that paid off, so far at least from the 2012 draft. Bradley was another solid move by Danny. Pressey was undrafted, and a low key move that could pay off years from now, or sooner than later. It also helps that your coach is Pop, and that you have a hall of fame big man that hasn't allowed father time to take him yet.
Every single team wants the Spurs model, but the Spurs have been loyal, and Danny has not been. The Spurs are rare, and I don't know if anyone will be able to recreate that. I say create your own way, who says the Spurs way is the only way? Who says the Heat way is the only way? At the end of the day, just build the right team, and do it in the ways you can. Danny knows what it takes to build a title team. It takes the right kind of players, and the right coach.
"I think San Antonio was a good model this year, they had two or three deep at every position and that’s obviously a goal," said Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge. "Easier said than done."
"We always say that, ‘Need is a poor evaluator,’" said Ainge. "And we will try to get the best player we can, and if it gets really really close and we can’t decide between guys, sometimes you take the need. But especially when you’re drafting with the 6th pick, we’ll probably go with the best player."
A move that shows the Spurs basketball smarts is the deal that sent George Hill to Indiana for Leonard. The Pacers are killing themselves right now. Leonard is a guy who could have played against James in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Spurs have made great moves, and they've brought in some key guys like Diaw. They motivated him to get his act together, or they knew how to reach Diaw.
I believe the Celtics need to build their model. Take from the Spurs, but also do what you know best. Ainge is one of the best in the NBA at his job. I trust him and I don't. But I do know he can build a contender.