Was the Celtics offer to the Hornets really a "Godfather" offer?
If it really was a "Godfather" offer that would be Ainge and Stevens next to Winslow
It's been 4 days since the Celtics 2015 draft. After Danny Ainge said he was confident in moving up in the draft and then was not able to Celtics fans were disappointed. When Ainge then surprised draft watchers by picking another guard, Terry Rozier, at #16 (considerably above is predicted spot), fans were livid. Single ticket holders booed at the team's draft party.
Quickly Ainge and the Celtics PR team put out the anger flames by stating that it was the stupid Hornets to blame for the Celtics missing out on Justise Winslow. It "got out" that the Celtics allegedly offered a whopping four 1st rounders to move up in the draft. Once that info leaked, many irate fans did a 180 and said they couldn't blame Danny for not offering more. That if anything he had offered too much. Ainge said the same himself.
Ainge said he tried to trade for one of picks 4-10.
7 GM's agreed that Ainge wasn't offering enough.
The problem with this narrative is that depending on what picks the Celtics offered, four first rounders could still be seen as underwhelming. The Knicks preferred Porzingis over those 4 picks. The Magic preferred Hezonja over those 4 picks. Same with the Kings, Nuggets, Pistons, Hornets and Heat with Cauley-Stein, Mudiay, Johnson, Kaminsky, and Winslow respectively. So either Danny Ainge is calling all their GM's idiots or maybe just maybe his four picks weren't worth a top 10 pick.
Now I've previously stated that Frank Kaminsky isn't worth four 1st rounders and that the Hornets were fools (MJ should have either drafted Winslow or taken the 4 firsts). But my guess is that all the other teams made the right call in passing on Ainge's offer (with the possible exception of the Kings who took WCS too early). Put it this way, if the Celtics had the number 10 pick and Winslow dropped to them, would you have traded him for four later first rounders?
You always take quality over quantity in NBA trades. In the KG for Al Jefferson trade do you think the fact the the Wolves also received two Celtics 1st rounders, Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair and Theo Ratliff's expiring contract (back when expiring contract held value) meant much? It didn't. Even though Ainge gave the Wolves 7 assets in that trade, they all combined were worth parting with to get KG. Similarly the quantity of middling assets that Ainge offered the Hornets and the rest of the lottery teams last Thursday wasn't worth parting with a top 10 pick. So no I'm not sure that Ainge offered too much. And I'm pretty confident he didn't offer enough, because if it really was a "Godfather" offer the Celtics would be the team introducing Winslow and not the Heat. Remember that 7 teams turned down Ainge's offer.
So how can four first rounders not be worth one. Well let's look at the givens, 16 and 28. Let's say that combined they equal maybe 13 ( a three spot jump). Now we're down to pick #13 and two future picks. If those two picks are Dallas' protected 1st next season and the Memphis pick from the Jeff Green trade they aren't worth more than #28 was in this draft. They are like throwing Gerald Green and Ryan Gomes into the KG trade. Not really needle moving worthy. Combined what might those picks (Dallas' and Memphis') be worth? Let's be optimistic and say pick #14. Now would you trade a top 5 player like Winslow for picks 13 and 14? That never happens.
Vito Corleone offered more than 16, 28 and two other less valuable firsts (Likely Dallas' and Memphis')
For the same reason that Pat Riley would have been a fool to trade Winslow for a handful of crappy 1st rounders, Ainge was foolish to not offer more to move up. I keep hearing about this great fleecing of the Nets and how we're going to score all these high lottery picks from them, but I don't see it. The Nets are a playoff team and since they get no benefit from tanking I can't seem them being that bad for the next few years. They will re-sign Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young and be mediocre while we own their picks.
There is always the possibility that Lopez gets injured and despite their best efforts they fail to make the playoffs and end up with a top 5 pick. That's the best case scenario for the Celtics. But you had a top 5 player right there for the taking last Thursday night. No one wants your 16 and 28 picks. Or those Dallas and Memphis picks. They want the Nets pick and the Celtics own unprotected picks. If you really wanted to get the deal done you would have offered something good.
Reports are Ainge did not offer a Nets pick. And if he did and we still didn't get Winslow? Well that would be even more depressing. That would mean that even our Nets picks hold no value. So we have no players that other teams want, we can't get sit-downs with the top free agents, and we don't even have any picks to trade for potential stars.
Technically Ainge has yet to draft an all-star
in 13 drafts, but I count Rondo as his pick
The fact of the matter is Winslow was there for the taking and despite the spin you received from Ainge the day after the draft the Celtics didn't go all-in on trading up. They made a mediocre quantity for quality offer. 7 teams all decided the same thing, that it was an underwhelming offer. So while Celtics bloggers and reporters seem to all have come around and now say that Danny did all he could, I question if he did.
All first rounders aren't equal. Four of them don't necessarily equal a top 10 pick (especially when you have a dropping talent). The year when Paul Pierce dropped to the Celtics, if Pitino had traded the pick for four future crappy firsts would you have been pleased that he took that "Godfather" offer. Not saying that Winslow is Pierce, but comparing it to a top 5 player dropping. No amount of crappy first rounders will get you a top 5 player. Or at least 7 teams let it be known that four won't. For a more recent example Morey in Houston had a bunch of 1st rounders in 2012. He tried relentlessly to move up in the draft (He was after Drummond who slid to #9). Morey was unable to move up as picks 12, 16, and 18 didn't hold the value to trade up for a top prospect. Houston settled for Jeremy lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones. You think the Pistons would prefer Drummond or those 3? Quality over quantity.
To many Celtics writers, bloggers, and fans Danny Ainge can do no wrong. And while the only all-star he has ever drafted is Rajon Rondo (and that was 9 years ago via a trade with his old Phoenix front office), Ainge is always referred to as an amazing drafter. Again I don't care that he can find role players in the 2nd round. Or that he can draft decent player like Bradley, Sully, or Olynyk. Draft a star please. He blew a good chance last Thursday. His offer wasn't a "Godfather" offer. It was Green, Gomes, Telfair, and Ratliff.
p.s. I'm sure that Ainge publicly mocking other front office's for not taking his offer is really going to help his reputation dealing with other teams.