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Danny Ainge nearly passed on Jayson Tatum to trade for Paul George

USA Today

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Article Summary:

The Duke product very nearly went elsewhere so Ainge could assemble a package in the hopes of dealing for now-Los Angeles Clipper Paul George instead, but by Tatum’s second workout, the Celtics president had changed his mind.

– Adam Kaufman June 30, 2017

The Celtics had had plenty of players in for draft interviews that spring – some, like Tatum and eventual top pick Markelle Fultz, more than once.

“We just felt that Jayson had a chance to be a very, very good player that would fit well into our culture,” offered Ainge.

– Chad Ryan June 15, 2019

And while there’s no guarantee that the Pacers would have gone for whatever players Ainge had drafted, it seems likely that even if they had, the team’s championship window wouldn’t be any further open this season, and certainly not for as many in the future.

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