The NBA trade deadline has passed and the Boston Celtics made two small, yet impactful moves.
The Celtics have had a disappointing start with a record of 24-25 and are the 8th seed in the East. This remarkably average start is very underwhelming for a Celtics team that has gone to the Eastern Conference Finals in three out of the last four years. With two bonafide all-stars in Jayson Tatum and a breakout season from Jaylen Brown, their struggles are somewhat surprising.
Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge has historically been hesitant to shell out his assets at the trade deadline. This season, there was overwhelming pressure to make a trade to fix the problems the Celtics have faced. However, there was no player on the trade block who would have immediately made the Celtics the title favorites. They were linked with many of the big-name players such as Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon but ended up with some other players.
The first trade the Celtics made was to acquire Evan Fournier for Jeff Teague and two second-round picks. This was a great trade for the Celtics because they were able to get a 20-point scorer for almost nothing. Teague is not too much of a loss as he lost most of his minutes to the rookie Payton Pritchard anyways.
The other trade that the Celtics made sent Daniel Theis and Javonte Green to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Moe Wagner from the Wizards and Luke Kornet from the Bulls. This move was primarily financial as it brought the Celtics back under the luxury tax after the Evan Fournier trade. Another positive from this trade is that up-and-coming center Robert Williams III will receive more minutes. He has been putting up amazing stat lines in very limited playing time, so hopefully, this could bring an opportunity for Williams to blossom.
The Celtics did not make very exciting moves yet, these moves will not necessarily bring the Celtics back into contention. Although, these trades give the Celtics a sense of direction for the rest of the season and beyond. They will focus on developing their young core while surrounding them with quality veterans who will help them compete.
Photo: Sam Quinn