Danny Ainge: Price To Move Up In NBA Draft’s First Round ‘Way Too High’

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BOSTON — The Celtics didn’t trade up in the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft. It wasn’t for a lack of effort.

“We tried. It just didn’t happen,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Thursday night at the Seaport Hotel. “It all comes down to how good the players are that we have. It doesn’t matter what I say about it. We’ll just wait and see how good they are. We like the guys we have, and I think our fans are going to enjoy them.”

The Celtics had plenty of assets to use in a potential trade for a lottery pick — they entered the draft with two first-round selections (Nos. 16 and 28) and two second-rounders (Nos. 33 and 45). Ultimately, the cost of moving up was “just way too high,” according to Ainge.

“We tried hard to trade up,” Ainge said. “We spent the last couple of weeks trying to move, and really today was the only time we had any indication that we could move up. We were trying.

“At the end of the day, it’s like Red (Auerbach) used to say. Sometimes the best trades you make are the ones you don’t make. Maybe we were going too hard at it, and 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 player’s basket.’

“I’m not frustrated. In the long run, maybe it will be the best.”

Ainge didn’t specify which spot(s) he was trying to move into, but the C’s reportedly were looking at the Charlotte Hornets with pick No. 9. [tweet https://twitter.com/ESPNSteinLine/status/614226217835843584 align=”center”]

Duke swingman Justise Winslow, whom many mock drafts had going in the first five or seven picks, ended up falling all the way to No. 10. The Miami Heat took him at that spot after the Celtics weren’t able to close a deal with Charlotte.

After selecting three guards with his four picks, Ainge will look to the free-agent market over the summer to add frontcourt talent and depth to his roster.

“We’ll finish our roster this summer,” Ainge said. “Obviously there are some holes at the big spots, not so much at guard. Our roster isn’t complete.”

Thumbnail photo via Charles Krupa/Associated Press

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