The NBA trade deadline is officially over, and the Boston Celtics have made their final moves until the buyout period. President of Basketball Operations Brad Stevens was very busy these past few days. As the team saw two major moves right before the deadline. Although the Celtics did not make a move as extravagant as the Washington Wizards or Philadelphia 76ers. The team was a part of one of the most underrated trades of the day.
Clearing Cap Space
To start, Stevens needed to clear some cap space so that Boston would not be in the penalty of the Luxury Tax. To clear roughly three million in cap space the team traded away recently acquired forward Bol Bol and guard PJ Dozier. Both of them were sent over from Denver in a three-way trade. Both players would have missed most if not all of the rest of the season. It seems that even with their upside of potential bench pieces the team wanted to shed cap space.
Stevens is looking to build a contender in Boston, and with a strong push as of late, he had to make sure every player would be available. Bol and Dozier were sent to the Orlando Magic along with cash considerations and a second-round pick in exchange for a future second-round pick. Inevitably, this move was to clear space and for nothing else, as it seems the team received nothing of value for either player.
The Big Fish
Right after the Magic deal was done, Stevens landed what possibly could have been the most underrated move from today’s trade deadline. Boston traded for San Antonio’s guard Derrick White who averages 14.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game. White is a tremendous defender, as he is averaging nearly one steal and one block on the season. The guard is a perfect fit for Boston, as the team is ranked fourth in defense. Boston since December 26th has been ranked nearly atop of every defensive category. The addition of White is only going to ensure they stay atop of these categories.
While Boston did have to give up forwards Josh Richardson and Romeo Langford along with a first-round pick, the four-year veteran guard is under contract for another four years. Stevens traded for a defensive, and efficient point guard who will be under contract for the coming years at a great value.
Trading for a familiar face
The final move that Stevens made was at 2:59 p.m when he sent guard Dennis Schroder and centers Enes Freedom and Bruno Fernando to the Houston Rockets in exchange for a former Celtic center. Daniel Theis is back in green, as the defensive center landed in Boston. This final move may have seemed like an overpay for just a backup center. Giving it a deeper look, the Celtics were trying to open multiple roster spots for the upcoming buyout market.
The Buy Out Market
The team after the trade deadline wrapped up now have five roster spots that can be utilized in signing players that could be bought out by their current teams. A few big names that could see a buyout in the coming week are guards Goran Dragic who was recently traded to the San Antonio Spurs. Gary Harris of the Denver Nuggets and Kent Bazemore of the Los Angeles Lakers are also great candidates.
Schroder might get bought out by the Rockets after the trade. However, the team is not allowed to sign the guard until free agency due to buyout restrictions. Dragic would be a great veteran and playmaking piece to add to this team. Boston is in desperate need of a playmaker on the bench and Dragic has championship-caliber decision-making. Players such as Harris and Bazemore would be the valuable end of the bench players that could play a role if starters went out with injuries or rest.
The team currently only has three big men on the roster. Starters Al Horford and Robert Williams, and newly acquired Theis. Although Grant Williams can play a small-ball five, his ability to actually guard a center is abysmal. Williams is better off guarding the perimeter, or players who love to cut baseline. The team could look into a possible buyout in Philadelphia. As newly acquired big man Paul Millsap may be looking for a new team.
Millsap would be a great filler on the bench with veteran experience and already strong chemistry with former teammate Horford. Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Lakers could be of high interest as fillers for the bench. Along with Brooklyn Nets center Andre Drummond. But the fans want one of the spots used for guard Isaiah Thomas, who could bring back fond memories of the gritty 2016 Celtics.
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