Celtics news: Danny Ainge on why he traded the Nets pick for Kyrie Irving
Over the last couple of years, Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge has made a concerted effort to stockpile first-round picks in hopes of keeping a bright future ahead of the franchise.
However, Ainge over the summer decided to part ways with the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick as part of the trade that landed them All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers. During a recent interview with CSNNE.com, he finally divulged why he decided to move on from the prized draft selection.
“I think that having signed Al Horford and Gordon Hayward, I feel a responsibility to give them a chance. I think that Brooklyn pick could be very very exciting. I think Cleveland could have a really good pick there, but it’s probably going to be a big man that’s 19 years old that probably needs a couple of years to develop, but Kyrie has proven as a sure thing as a guy that’s 25 and can really really play right now. I think that’s fair for Brad, Gordon, and Al.”
In the offseason, the Celtics had made a strong effort to construct a roster that can compete to win an NBA title that saw them make a few other notable moves prior to the addition of Irving that included acquiring All-Star forward Gordon Hayward. On top of that, if Ainge wanted to pursue a player of Irving’s caliber it would have required them to part ways with one of their Nets’ first-round picks as part of any trade offer.
The possibility of landing Irving was something that the Celtics couldn’t pass up on as he the potential to elevate the team over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East. The 25-year-old has developed into one of the premier players in the league and has a chance to become the face of the franchise for the next several seasons.
The promising prospects with the 2018 first-round pick were not convincing enough for Ainge pass up on the chance to put together a potential title contender with the Celtics’ current roster.