Celtics reportedly offered multiple 1st-round picks for Paul George
Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge has been widely ridiculed for seemingly refusing to part with draft picks and acquire difference-making players on the trade market. Many pushed them to trade for Jimmy Butler and Paul George, but both players went elsewhere. Butler is now with Minnesota, and George has been dealt to Oklahoma City.
After George was acquired by the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis — a weak haul in the eyes of many –some wondered how the Celtics didn’t beat the offer. Well, if what ESPN’s Jeff Goodman is reporting is true, then Ainge did beat the offers.
Goodman says that the Celtics made trade offers to the Pacers on two occasions that appeared to be even better than what Indy eventually received for George.
At the trade deadline, Boston reportedly offered the Brooklyn Nets 2017 pick (which turned into the No. 1 overall pick) and three first-rounders for George. At that point, the Pacers had not been informed that George was planning to leave and sign with the Lakers after next season, which is why they probably did not make the trade.
On draft night last week, Boston reportedly offered three first-round picks (not the Brooklyn or Lakers/Kings pick) and two starters, including Jae Crowder.
Given that that offer seems to be so much better than what Indy received for George, we can only think of two possible explanations for why the trade did not happen. One possibility is that Boston’s offer was contingent upon George committing to the Celtics long-term rather than leaving after one season. The other is that maybe Indiana did not want to trade George to another team in the same conference.
Whatever the case, this information seems to be leaking in a face-saving attempt by the Celtics.