BOSTON (CBS) — The dust has settled on a riveting 2017 NBA Draft, and the Boston Celtics can now turn their attention to free agency and the trade market.
Boston added a gifted scorer to their roster with the third overall pick in Duke’s Jayson Tatum, but now the fun really begins. Celtics president of basketball ops. Danny Ainge joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Friday, and though the team did have some talks about trading away that No. 3 pick, he said nothing was close.
“It’s like trading in the stock markets, it’s non-stop on the phone,” Ainge said of the frantic nature of draft day. “In reality, we were never close to trading the No. 3 pick. Of course conversations existed, but we were never close to doing that.”
Ainge said he wasn’t close to trading for Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler, who ended up going to the Minnesota Timberwolves for guards Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine along with the No. 7 pick (used to draft Arizona forward Lauri Markkanen), and all of that Kristaps Porzingis chatter was just a wild rumor.
“I don’t believe that New York was genuinely going to move him and that was pretty evident in a very quick conversation,” said Ainge.
Though no trades came to fruition on Thursday night, it sounds like Ainge is gearing up for a busy summer once again.
“Who knows what is going to happen. We had plans last July that we weren’t able to get, but we were able to get Al Horford. This summer we have a lot of cap space and plans A through C or D. But who knows what will happen. We will be very busy and very active,” he said.
Ainge said the team has some shuffling to do in order to accomplish what they want to in free agency, so expect a trade or two to clear out some cap space off of the roster. And while he wouldn’t give it up in that rumored deal for Porzingis, Ainge said next year’s Brooklyn Nets pick could be included in a swap this summer.
“Nothing is untouchable,” he said.