Report: Hornets turned down 6-pick package from Celtics for No. 9 spot
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When Michael Jordan falls, he falls hard.
The Charlotte Hornets owner was said to be a huge fan of Frank Kaminsky entering Thursday's draft, and while the pick was called a "collaborative" effort, it's little surprise Jordan's choice won out. Kaminsky was ultimately selected by the Hornets with the No. 9 pick, infusing some shooting and playmaking into the team's frontcourt.
While the pick is entirely justifiable - Kaminsky was originally pegged as a mid-first-rounder, but No. 9 was within his expected range - the opportunity cost of selecting the Naismith Player of the Year may have been enormous.
The Hornets turned down a package of six picks for the No. 9 selection, according to a report from Chris Forsberg of ESPN. The Boston Celtics were eager to leverage their enormous war chest of draft assets to land in the top 10 with the intention of drafting Justise Winslow, who unexpectedly slid to the Miami Heat at No. 10.
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). But the Hornets could not be swayed and turned down multiple offers to select Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky.
The Celtics were understandably disappointed they couldn't get their guy, instead landing four players who stand to make far less of an impact than Winslow.
"Maybe we were going too hard at it," Celtics general manager Danny Ainge said Friday. "There was a time when I thought, 'Whoa, 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."
Along with the Nos. 16, 28, 33, and 45 picks on Thursday, the Celtics own several additional future first-round picks, including unprotected 2016 and 2018 picks from the Brooklyn Nets.
While it's unclear exactly what package the Hornets passed on - and it's worth keeping in mind that there are some diminishing returns with a bevy of picks, as the Celtics demonstrated - it's obvious they really, really love Kaminsky.
"It's very hard to put into words," Kaminsky said Friday. "I idolized Michael Jordan growing up in Chicago. So cool I get to play for him and hopefully learn a lot."
Unfortunately for Jordan, now Kaminsky has to steal his girl.
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