It Took Just One Trade to Shape the Celtics’ Future


After seven years together, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown have made it to the mountaintop.

The star duo finally achieved what many thought may never happen for them, sealing an eighteenth banner for the Boston Celtics— their first since 2008.

Although 2008 was sixteen years ago, and no members of that team remain on the Celtics current roster, it may have been the primary cause for the 2024 championship.

What Happened?

In 2013, a mere five years after the Celtics’ last championship, the team made a blockbuster move with the Brooklyn Nets.

The Celtics traded their two cornerstones, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce, along with Jason Terry, D.J. White and a pair of 2017 picks for Keith Bogans, MarShon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, Gerald Wallace and four first-round picks in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018. 

The Selections


With the first draft pick in the deal in 2014, the Celtics drafted James Young, a guard from Kentucky.

Young never turned into the star many (Bill Simmons) thought he would, but Celtics fans always held hope that the next game might be the game where he becomes the star he was destined to be.


With the second draft pick in the deal in 2016, the Celtics selected a 6-foot-6 guard/forward out of California.

Although projected in many mock drafts to go around the seventh spot, the Celtics took Jaylen Brown at pick No. 3. Brown was booed on draft night, as many Celtics fans wanted the team to draft Kris Dunn, a point guard out of Providence. 


In 2017, the Celtics landed the number one overall pick.

The team proceeded to trade the pick in a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers, a deal where they acquired the number three pick in the draft and a 2019 first-round pick that belonged to the Sacramento Kings (we’ll get into that one later), for pick No. 1. With the third pick in the draft, the Celtics selected a 6-foot-8 forward out of Duke.

Jayson Tatum.

Later that summer, the Celtics moved the final Brooklyn Nets pick they received in the deal to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kyrie Irving. The pick later would turn into Alabama guard Collin Sexton.


Two years later, the Celtics would make their final draft pick of the trade, using the Sacramento Kings selection that they had received in their deal with the 76ers.

With the 14th overall pick, the Celtics selected Indiana shooting guard Romeo Langford. Langford never blossomed into the player many thought he would be, and at the trade deadline of the 2021-22 season the Celtics moved him. In a deal with the San Antonio Spurs, the Celtics acquired guard Derrick White for Langford, Josh Richardson, a 2022 first-round pick and a 2028 first-round pick swap. 

Present Day

As of now, the Celtics hold onto three players from the famed deal: Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Derrick White.

A three-time All-Star, one-time All-NBA, and Eastern Conference and NBA Finals MVP, Brown has turned into a star for the Celtics. 

Tatum has blossomed into a superstar for the Celtics, reaching the All-NBA Team four times, with three being on the first team. He is now a five-time All-Star, with an Eastern Conference Finals and All-Star Game MVP to his name.

Although he was not selected through one of the Brooklyn Nets draft picks, White was the result of the picks. After the Celtics’ deal with the 76ers, the team was able to use an extra first that got them White down the line. White has steadily improved each season with the Celtics, having his best in ’23-24 where he averaged 15 points per game, while having the most blocks by a guard during the season. 

Although Pierce and Garnett were not able to do it on the court, they indirectly helped bring Banner 18 to Boston.

The Boston Celtics are NBA Champions once again! The team will hope that the trade will continue to be the gift that keeps on giving, bringing in Banner 19.

About Owen O'Connor

Boston, MA

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