BOSTON (CBS) — Danny Ainge’s decision to trade the No. 1 overall pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft will be talked about for a long time. He is now forever tied to guard Markelle Fultz, whom the 76ers will almost certainly select first overall.
No matter how you feel about Fultz or the return that Ainge got on the trade, it’s undoubtedly a major gamble for the Celtics president of basketball ops.
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones and Nick Cattles have been vocal about the Celtics’ plans to trade the pick, which began to materialize publicly over the weekend, and gave their initial reactions to the trade on Monday night after the deal became official.
Jones had been saying since the trade rumors started that the Celtics better be getting multiple assets in addition to trading down from No. 1. In light of Ainge only getting a single future first-rounder (with protections against No. 1) and no other assets, Jones feels the Celtics simply didn’t get enough to make it worth passing on Fultz.
“I thought they needed to get multiple assets back, at least three, maybe a player, something along those lines. So I’m just being consistent,” said Jones. “I’m not hating on the trade because I hate everything. I said this on Friday. I said I need more. It turns out Danny got even less than what we thought he was going to get on Friday.
“Right now I wish they were picking at one on Thursday night. And I wish if they weren’t going to pick at one they would have gotten a bigger haul. … This isn’t enough compared to where we were at late last week.”
Cattles disagreed, citing reports and comments from Ainge that the 76ers’ offer was the best one on the table and that the rest of the NBA simply isn’t “enamored” with Fultz like most draft experts have been.
“This was not a situation where you had a Tim Duncan or a LeBron James [at No. 1],” said Cattles. “And Ainge mentioned [Monday], he said ‘Listen, this was the best deal we were offered by a wide margin.'”
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