The Hornets liked Frank Kaminsky.
We know that because they drafted Kaminsky No. 9 over Justise Winslow, who slipped the Heat at No. 10.
But just how much did Charlotte like Kaminsky?
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 that could have featured as many as six draft picks, including four potential first-round selections (a combination of picks from this draft and in the future). But the Hornets could not be swayed and turned down multiple offers to select Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky.
Meeting with reporters in the aftermath of the draft, Ainge hinted at his team’s dogged pursuit. “Maybe we were going too hard at it,” he said. “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.”
That seems like an insane offer.
We don’t know exactly which picks the Celtics offered and with what protections – they have so many – but that seems like a lot. It was probably a lot.
I wonder whether the Pistons, who drafted Stanley Johnson No. 8, had the same offer from Boston. Getting Winslow at No. 9 would have been slightly more appealing to the Celtics, because he’s paid less, but that’s a minimal difference.
I like Winslow plenty, but I think Ainge might have come out ahead.
The Hornets, though? Without knowing more about the picks, I can’t say with certainty they were wrong. But unless Kaminsky excels, their fans are going to spend years wondering just how good that package was.