The Boston Celtics made a hard push to move up in Thursday’s NBA draft before coming up empty.
While the Celtics’ interest in the Nos. 3 and 9 picks was widely reported, word came out one day later that they might have been eyeing the No. 4 slot, as well.
League sources told ESPN.com on Friday that the Celtics and Knicks discussed a trade that would have sent C’s forward Jared Sullinger and multiple draft picks to New York in exchange for the fourth overall selection.
The Knicks ultimately stayed put and drafted Latvian big man Kristaps Porizingis, but Phil Jackson’s club did swing two trades later in the night, acquiring Notre Dame guard Jerian Grant from the Washington Wizards and Spanish big Guillermo Hernangomez from the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Celtics, meanwhile, failed in their attempts to move up in the draft. They ended using each of their four picks (two in the first round, two in the second) despite Danny Ainge’s stated desire not to do so.
Ainge said after the draft the cost of trading up simply was “way too high.”
“We tried,” the Celtics’ president of basketball operations said. “It just didn’t happen. 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.”
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images
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