A lot of rumors were flying on draft night, but no deal got done. Wyc told us that nothing was even close but later Danny Ainge corrected him by indicating that some deals were closer than others. But what actually was offered, and what was turned down? I don't think we'll ever know the full details, but some reports have leaked out (likely one-sided reports aimed to pacify fans).
Here's the big one.
The Bulls held advanced discussions with the Celtics centered on Butler and the No. 3 pick, with whom they would've selected Providence guard Kris Dunn, league sources said. Several proposals were exchanged, including one with Jae Crowder and the Celtics' No. 3 and No. 16 picks, league sources said. But the Celtics have a reputation of trying to win trades and kept changing terms, none of which ultimately met the Bulls' liking.
That actually sounds like a pretty fair deal, though I'd hate to lose Jae Crowder. He's just the kind of guy you want next to a player like Jimmy Butler. Ultimately I probably would have done this deal, but I guess Ainge was holding out for a perfect deal. This isn't the first time I've heard of Ainge looking for the home-run deal.
This raises an echo to last February’s trade deadline, when one club said the C’s had made an "insulting" offer. "It makes you wary of doing business with Boston, because you get the feeling they’re always trying to put one over on you," said one source. "I’m sure that’s not always the case, but it can make things hard." We repeat that such comments are coming from a few veteran NBA people who are also quite competitive in their own right. Their statements should thus be viewed in that perspective.
So, what about that Nerlens Noel rumor?
If Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, for example, proposed swapping Boston's No. 3 overall selection for Noel and the Sixers' top-3 protected 2017 Lakers pick (which would be unprotected in '18), as an NBA source heard happened, Colangelo had no choice but to decline. But he still needs to find a way to restore the roster balance.
I'm sure Ainge asked for that package at some point in the negotiations, but I doubt that's where the conversation ended. There were rumors that the Sixers offered Noel, Covington, and picks 24 and 26. Somewhere in that area seems to be about what Noel is worth, but again, neither side was able to agree on a deal that made sense for everyone.
Overall, it sounds like Danny Ainge is developing a not-so-great reputation around the league. I don't know how much of those rumblings are true and how much is simply sour grapes. But at some point it seems like he's going to have to work towards some common ground with another team. Either that or he has to find himself another sucker GM to swindle. Again, take all this with a grain of salt, but it is at least worth keeping an eye on.
The draft is just one window of opportunity too. There's still a lot of offseason left. Teams will try their luck in free agency, and not everyone is going to be happy with what they get there. I can imagine a team or two striking out on their top choices and opting to tank the season with an eye towards a stacked 2017 draft class. Maybe we'll see some more high-end players hit the market then.
There could still be a big trade on the horizon for the Celtics, provided anyone will return Danny's calls.