The Boston Celtics goal this offseason was to acquire a star. During the NBA Draft, Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge was trying to trade up, but a deal never happened. He was in deep talks with the Charlotte Hornets over the #9 pick when somehow Justise Winslow was left on the board, but Michael Jordan shut down the Celtics offer. Grantland’s Zach Lowe has more on the proposal.
The Celtics offered four first-round picks for the chance to move up from no. 16 to no. 9: that 16th pick, no. 15 (acquired in a prearranged contingency deal with the Hawks), one unprotected future Brooklyn pick, and a future first-rounder from either the Grizzlies or Timberwolves, per sources familiar with the talks.
What is Michael Jordan thinking? I can’t believe he said no to this trade. The worst part is, he drafted Frank Kaminsky over Justise Winslow. Does Jordan realize he traded for three-point shooting big man Spencer Hawes this offseason? I would be outraged if I was a Hornets fan. Now Justise Winslow is in the Hornets’ division.
So lets look at the picks that would’ve affected the 2015 NBA Draft. Since 2015 was a deep draft, there was talent on the board at no. 16. Charlotte could’ve taken Bobby Portis or Sam Dekker, who I believe will have better NBA careers then Kaminsky. With Atlanta’s #15 pick on a prearranged contingency deal, the Hornets could’ve acquired both.
Now we look at the unprotected Brooklyn Nets pick. The Brooklyn Nets are terrible. They are loaded with injury prone players and don’t have a talented point guard on the roster. The Nets don’t look like they will be making the playoffs in the future, and don’t have draft picks to make up for it. If they are this terrible, there is potential the Nets pick is higher than #9. There is more value with this unprotected Nets pick anyone not named Al Jefferson on the Hornets roster.
Finally, the Celtics own a 2018 Memphis Grizzlies first-round pick and a top 12 protected 2016 Minnesota Timberwolves first-round pick. If next years Timberwolves pick is in the top 12, the pick is two second rounders in 2016-17. Only one of these would’ve been going to Charlotte. With players like Al Jefferson, Nicolas Batum, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist nearing the end of their contracts, having a future draft pick never hurts.
This offer was much larger than I was expecting. Four first round picks including a Nets pick is an insane offer. At the end of the draft, Danny Ainge said,
“Maybe we were going too hard at it. There was a time when I thought, ‘Whoa, this is getting a little out of control.’ We’re putting a lot of eggs in one young player’s basket. So I’m not frustrated. In the long run, maybe it’ll be (for) the best.”
After reading the proposal, I think the trade not happening is for the best. The Celtics are still in a good position to compete with their current roster. The Celtics have faith in 2015 draft pick Terry Rozier just like the Hornets have faith in Frank Kaminsky. Frank Kaminsky better be a star, or Michael Jordan is going to look like the worst General Manager in the NBA.