More details have emerged about the Boston Celtics’ fierce pursuit of Justise Winslow in this year’s NBA Draft.
Shortly after the draft, it was known the Celtics made a strong push for Winslow, offering four first-round picks to the Charlotte Hornets for the No. 9 pick. Tuesday, Grantland’s Zach Lowe reported further specifics.
According to Lowe, the Celtics offered their No. 16 pick, Atlanta’s No. 15 pick (which would have been acquired in “a prearranged contingency deal” with the Hawks), one future unprotected first-rounder from the Brooklyn Nets, and a future first-round pick from either Minnesota or Memphis. Boston owns Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2016, which turns into two second-rounders (2016 and 2017) if it lands anywhere in the top-12, and Memphis’ first-round pick in 2018, which has a bit of protection until 2021.
A few thoughts:
1. Wow. That’s a large offer to move up seven spots into the late lottery. As Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said on draft night, “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.”
Especially given how valuable the unprotected picks from Brooklyn could be, Winslow would have needed to be really good to justify a move like that. The Celtics were stunned not only that the Hornets chose to keep their pick, but that they opted to do so in order to take Frank Kaminsky. On 98.5 The Sports Hub the next day, Ainge said, “Without mentioning names, there are some players that were drafted at certain spots (by teams) that turned down lots of draft picks that I just don’t think was smart on their part.”
2. It would be neat to know what the Celtics would have surrendered for Atlanta’s No. 15 pick. Maybe a player, maybe another package of picks. Either way, it’s another wrinkle to the trade proposal.
3. This sentence from Lowe is incredible: “Taken together, Charlotte has rejected a total of six first-round picks over two drafts to select Kaminsky and (2014 lottery pick Noah) Vonleh.”
Vonleh was moved this summer as part of the Nicolas Batum trade. If Kaminsky doesn’t pan out, the Hornets front office could look really bad. And if Winslow doesn’t pan out, the Celtics front office will know it was really lucky.

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