During the 2015 NBA Draft, the Boston Celtics desperately wanted to move up. Armed with plenty of draft capital over the course of the next few drafts, Danny Ainge and the Celtics reportedly tried to move up into the top 10. Their target in that class? Duke's Justise Winslow.
One of the teams that the Celtics engaged in trade talks with was the Charlotte Hornets. The Hornets had the No. 9 pick and per Chris Forsberg (then with ESPN, now with NBC Sports Boston), the Celtics offered as many as six draft picks and four first-round picks to move up and get Winslow.
The Hornets declined. Instead, they took Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky. And four years later, they are likely regretting that decision.
Per Rod Boone of The Athletic, the Hornets are choosing not to extend a qualifying offer to Kaminsky after four seasons with the team.
Per a league source, #Hornets don't plan on extending a qualifying offer to Frank Kaminsky, which will make him an unrestricted free agent. Hornets don't have much cap space and currently have a logjam on their frontline after last week's draft.— Rod Boone (@rodboone) June 27, 2019
Kaminsky's departure does have a minor effect on the Hornets' cap space, but the team has only $5 million in practical cap space without Kaminsky, and that's without re-signing either Kemba Walker or Jeremy Lamb. So, it's still going to be hard for Charlotte to bring back Walker and improve the team around him.
And that's a positive for the Celtics, who are rumored to be the frontrunners for Walker's services at the moment.
During his time in Charlotte, Kaminsky averaged 9.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. He only has shot 42 percent (35 from behind the arc) during his career.
The player the Celtics would have picked, Winslow, has averaged 12.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.3 assists while shooting 43 percent from the field (37 from 3-point range) while playing with the Miami Heat. He has been solid, but his talent still pales in comparison to some of the other assets that that Celtics were able to unearth with their treasure trove of assets, including Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
Safe to say, it's definitely a good thing for Boston that the Celtics-Hornets deal didn't end up coming to fruition.
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