The Celtics' best move this offseason was the one they didn't make – Boston.com
In order to complete a successful rebuild, a franchise needs to show patience and make wise choices with its assets. To date, Danny Ainge has demonstrated the ability to do both since he elected to deal away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett in favor of rebooting the Celtics in the summer of 2013.
It’s hard to make a negative case against any of Ainge’s major rebuilding moves so far. He received an historic haul for Pierce and Garnett from the Brooklyn Nets. He garnered solid returns for Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green before the stock of both players dropped in their new destinations.
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Ainge has also leveraged trade exceptions into useful rotation players like Tyler Zeller without having to sacrifice assets, and he’s used that salary cap flexibility to accumulate a hefty stockpile of future draft picks from trade partners as seen below.
Until this point, the Celtics have hardly dipped into that treasure chest of picks. Boston gave up a protected first-round selection (via Cleveland) to land Isaiah Thomas from Phoenix, but the remainder of those picks have either been used in the draft or maintained for the future.
Even though the Celtics’ cupboard remains mostly full now, Ainge nearly used a notable chunk of the team’s assets on draft night. Boston was reportedly attempting to move up to the No. 9 spot in order to draft former Duke small forward Justise Winslow. Chris Forsberg of ESPNBoston reported last month that the Celtics were offering four first-round picks and a pair of second-round picks for the opportunity to land Winslow, but the Hornets turned down those overtures to select Wisconsin big man Frank Kaminsky.
That reported offer came back into the spotlight this week, as Zach Lowe of Grantland reported additional specifics about Boston’s monster offer on which Charlotte passed. The pieces included the 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, according to sources familiar with the talks. Two more second-round picks may have been included in the offer, as well.
While many have openly questioned why Michael Jordan and the Hornets would turn down a monster offer, few have questioned Ainge’s willingness to put so many assets on the table in …Read More