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Perhaps Amir is celebrating for more reasons than we knew at the time.
For a short while, "Trader" Danny Ainge's reputation took a bit of a hit after news leaked out he tried to trade SIX draft picks to get the Charlotte Hornet's ninth pick in 2015.


The apple of Danny's eye, Justice Winslow, was still available, and Ainge was hell-bent on getting his guy. Thankfully, the deal wasn't appealing to Michael Jordan and company, with the Hornets passing on the offer to select Frank Kaminsky instead, who has had a decent amount of success with the team since. Ainge was later, by his own admission, happy the deal didn't go through (Per ESPN's Chris Forsberg):

"Maybe we were going too hard at it ... there was a time when I thought, ‘Woah, 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 the best."

Winslow, on the other hand, has shown flashes of promise after being drafted by the Miami Heat tenth that draft, but has mostly had an underwhelming start to date slowed by his season-ending injury early this year, with Winslow only playing 18 games this season. Ainge also made an offer to the Heat, reportedly the same as that of the Hornets.


Now that the Boston Celtics have secured the top seed, some of the details of those deals are beginning to surface. The Miami Sun Sentinel's Ira Winderman reported that, in fact, the current pick swap held by the Celts - which gives the the number-one overall selection - was not in fact part of the package offered to the Heat. Of course, without having a source alert to what was in both packages (probably only a small part of only the Boston front office is truly aware of each deal's details for certain), there's no way to know beyond a doubt. But, the fact that each offer had four first-round picks and two seconds and were made first to Charlotte and then to Miami for the same player suggests they were in fact the same package.


Of course, this is now old news, with selections of Terry Rozier, R.J. Hunter, Jordan Mickey and Marcus Thornton having been made. Had all these picks been packaged together along with the picks which would become Guerschon Yabusele and Ante Zizic in the following year's draft been offered, it's understandable that these two teams might have passed given the sheer lack of knowledge most teams had about these players. If these picks were indeed the package, the rejection was more than likely a blessing in disguise, though we may never know for certain. For now, at least, Rozier alone has proven the better player (admittedly, by a slim margin), and Yabusele and Zizic hold much promise. Jordan Mickey might work out as well given more time, while Thornton and Hunter have moved on. Several years from now we may look back wistfully should Winslow flower into the player Ainge thought he'd become, but for now, it's looking like Danny dodged a bullet.


For more articles on CelticsLife about the NBA Draft, click here. For more by Justinclick here.



Photo via Winslow Townson AP
Data via Basketball-reference.com
Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justin Quinn 5/21/2017 12:23:00 PM Edit
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