The Celtics could have acquired Justise Winslow without giving up picks

Celtics fans will see Justise Winslow dunking in Boston . . . a few times a year when the Heat are in town.
When Justise Winslow shockingly slid down the draft board, Danny Ainge and the Celtics thought they had their guy. The great Woj tweeted (ahead of real-time, if that is possible) as the Bobcats were on the clock for the ninth pick. If you were following him, you may have felt mounting excitement . . .

. . . followed by great disappointment:

The Hornets were so infatuated with Kaminsky that they left Winslow, who some believed to be the most versatile player in the draft (ranked as high as no. 4 in mocks), on the board. Naturally, you're left wondering what the Celtics offered to get the ninth spot. According to several reports, Boston offered a boatload.

Jimmy Toscano reported that the Celtics offered 4 picks (at least 3 of them 1st-round) for No. 9, and other reports indicate that Boston offered even MORE than what Toscano says.'s Chris Forsberg writes that the Celtics offered as many as 6 (!!!) draft picks to nab Winslow:

The Celtics made a strong final push to multiple teams in spots 4-9 on draft day. It culminated with an all-in effort in attempt to get Charlotte to deliver the No. 9 pick with Boston lusting for Duke forward Justise Winslow (the same player it coveted while trying to shuffle higher).

According to sources, the Celtics' final offer to the Hornets was a package featuring as many as six draft picks, including four potential first-round selections (a combination of picks from this draft and in the future).

Hmmm Charlotte . . . Kaminsky is greater than 6 draft picks? Celtics fans were hoping for fireworks from GM Danny Ainge, but it's hard to fault his efforts.

Still, I am greatly disappointed. About a month ago I wrote about how the Celtics should have opted for a more pragmatic, tank-friendly approach. By doing so and missing playoffs, Boston could have had the 9th pick, which obviously remained unknown at the time. Well, now we can better quantify that pick.

Of course, hindsight is 20/20, but let's revisit the exact options I posed:

Option A: Make the playoffs with a fun over-achieving group and inevitably get thrashed by Cleveland. Earn the No. 16 pick and a strong shot at a guy like Bobby Portis.

Option B: Miss the playoffs after a boring, perhaps dreadful season. Earn a small chance at a phenomenal pick, but more likely end up in the 8-11 range with a chance at guys like Stanley Johnson, Trey Lyles, or Willie Cauley-Stein.

It turns out Cauley-Stein and Johnson were gone. But guess who was there at No. 9 that I would never have imagined? Justise Winslow, who could be donning a green jersey without the expense of six picks or even a SINGLE pick.

Instead however, we got our teeth kicked in by Cleveland, and the Celtics will now have the pleasure of seeing Winslow in Boston twice a year wearing a Heat jersey.


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