Report: Michael Jordan Helped Scuttle Hornets, Celtics Draft-Day Trade – NESN.com
The Boston Celtics have said plenty of nice things about their 2015 NBA draft picks, and Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter and Jordan Mickey all had their moments in summer league. But it’s no secret the Celtics were reportedly willing to give up at least one of those picks in a draft-night trade.
Now, Grantland’s Zach Lowe provides further details on the trade that would have sent four first-round picks (and potentially two more second-rounders) to the Charlotte Hornets for the right to draft Duke swingman Justise Winslow. Although Charlotte shopped that No. 9 pick prior to the draft in a package with big man Noah Vonleh hoping to move up, the front office — led by Hornets chairman Michael Jordan — preferred to take Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky over the large collection of picks the Celtics offered for the pick.
“Some members of Charlotte’s front office liked the Boston deal, but Michael Jordan, the team’s owner and ultimate decision-maker, preferred Kaminsky to a pile of first-rounders outside the lottery, per several sources,” Lowe writes. “That’s justifiable, if you think your guy at No. 9 has a chance at stardom. The talent gap between No. 9 and No. 15 is real; just ask Boston how it felt to squeeze into the playoffs, get demolished by a Cavs team in chill mode, and watch Justise Winslow fall right where it could have picked had it won three fewer games.
“But Kaminsky is not a star, and the players Charlotte could have grabbed with those four picks will almost certainly produce more combined over their careers than Kaminsky.”
Given that last caveat, Celtics fans might therefore consider it a good thing the Hornets rejected the deal. Yet Boston president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and the front office were apparently enamored with Winslow, who might have been a better fit on a Celtics roster lacking a traditional starting two-guard than the players the eventually selected.
Jordan has had his missteps as an executive before — Kwame Brown, anyone? — and knowing he might have turned down a load of picks for a nice, but hardly franchise-altering, player like Kaminsky might at least give some Hornets fans pause.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images
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