The Celtics reportedly made big changes to Nikola Vucevic, Aaron Gordon, an all too familiar story in Boston.


If there’s one thing you can count on in a world after the NBA trade deadline, it’s a report stating that the Boston Celtics were is to close to get someone great. How close varies from case to case, but the Celtics are somewhere in the buzz surrounding nearly every star on the cusp of a relocation. Paul George. Jimmy Butler. Kawhi Leonard. Anthony Davis was once the great plan. There was talk of James Harden. In the end, the price was always too high or the time was not right.

The latest targets were Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon, whom Boston reportedly took big changes to acquire from Orlando before Thursday’s deadline. Instead, Vucevic ended up in Chicago and Gordon in Denver. The Celtics got Evan Fournier. It’s unfair to call a guy who averages 20 points a game on 40 percent from 3-pointers a consolation prize, but that’s what Fournier feels in the shadow of what were apparently bigger chances.

From Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe:

According to league sources, in addition to their well-documented courtship with Aaron Gordon, the Celtics were finalists for Magic All-Star center Nikola Vucevic, including several first-round picks as part of their package. Orlando eventually sent Vucevic to the Bulls in exchange for Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr. and two first-round picks.

The Celtics also offered a first-round pick and a young player to Orlando in exchange for Gordon, sources said, and were prepared to increase that loot, but the Magic accepted Denver’s offer, which included Gary Harris Jr., RJ. Hampton and a first-round pick, before Boston had a chance.

It’s always the same story when Boston falls short on these deals. Either the timing wasn’t right or the price was too high, which by the way is a perfectly reasonable explanation, one that applies to all teams futilely chasing a player. Boston traded Kyrie Irving, as you may recall. And some of these deals that have passed would have to include Jaylen Brown or Jayson Tatum, and I think we can all agree that sticking with those two has proven prudent.

In the end, just a one-team package ends up closing the deal, and with Vucevic, it’s easy to understand why Orlando would prefer a pair of first-round picks from Chicago over the same Boston deal – the Bulls, even with Vucevic added. . And despite Boston’s misleading pedestrian record, they seem like a worse team than the Celtics, and therefore their draft picks are projected higher.

Who knows what else Boston might have offered to turn the deal in his favor. A third first-round pick would have been too much, but perhaps Orlando would have been more interested in Robert Williams than Wendell Carter Jr., or Marcus Smart over Otto Porter. A team can always increase its bid, but there is a point of diminishing returns. Boston getting to that point with Vucevic is fine.

As for Gordon, what will really irritate Boston fans is this idea that Danny Ainge was “prepared to add” to his initial offer before the Magic accepted Denver’s offer and never returned to the table. Read between the lines, and it’s quite possible the Magic were tired of Ainge trying to squeeze every last penny in hopes he could have his cake and eat it too.

It’s potentially what it cost the Celtics Myles Turner this offseason, when it was reported that Gordon Hayward wanted to go to Indiana, which he allegedly was willing to send Turner and Doug McDermott back to Boston. Ainge played hard. Besides Turner, he wanted Victor Oladipo or TJ Warren instead of McDermott.

Close, but without cigar. The deal never came. The Celtics missed out on Turner, a Defensive Player of the Year candidate who would have been, and still would be, a perfect piece in their puzzle, and Hayward opened Charlotte’s mind. Instead of Turner, Boston received a $ 28 million trade exception from the Hayward settlement, two-thirds of which they used Thursday to sign … Fournier.

Consolation Prize.

And here we are with the Celtics still wishing for a big impact after trading Daniel Theis to the Bulls and we just need in Vucevic. According to a report from the Boston Globe, Boston plans to go after Andre Drummond now that his purchase with the Cavs is complete. Don’t expect Boston to catch Drummond. The Lakers and Knicks are expected to go after him as well. The Lakers are, well, the Lakers, and the Knicks, who are $ 13.5 million under the current salary cap, according to CTG, can offer much more money than Boston, which is over the cap and can only offer the biennial exception. which is approximately $ 3.6 million, according to the Globe.



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