Celtics

Were Boston’s Deadline Moves Good Enough?

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Heading into this year’s NBA Trade Deadline, Celtics fans were hoping their team would make a big splash. This year’s team has had its issues, and they find themselves at an unfamiliar spot, sitting at 8th in the East on the March 25th deadline.

With Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Co., Boston is too good to be an 8 seed.

Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge had many trade pieces to use, but did not make the big move fans wanted. Many wanted Aaron Gordon or Nikola Vucevic to wear the green and white, but the C’s went another route and selected a different Orlando Magic player in Evan Fournier.

Additionally, Boston shipped Daniel Theis and Javonte Green in a three-team deal that brought Mo Wagner and Luke Kornet to the Celtics. Ainge added size to the roster by trading for the two big men. The more intriguing piece of that trade is Wagner, who was selected with the 25th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

Let’s take a deeper look into both these trades and what they mean for Boston.

EVAN FOURNIER

Boston receives: G/F Evan Fournier

Orlando receives: G Jeff Teague, two 2nd-round picks

Despite not winning the Gordon or Vucevic sweepstakes, Evan was a good target for Boston. The 28-year-old is in the midst of a career year, averaging 19.7 points per game while shooting 38.8% from beyond the arc. The deal for the C’s give them a veteran spark that can be interchanged with Marcus Smart depending on whether they are oriented on going with offense or defense.

Boston acquired Fournier with the hope of adding another scorer to their repertoire.  From Orlando’s perspective, they add to their draft-pick stockpile. Although Fournier can become a free agent next season, his contributions will be more than the disappointing Teague.

The Magic released Teague after the deal, who has now reportedly signed with the Milwaukee Bucks. With that, Boston easily won this trade and made a substantial improvement at a very low cost.

GRADE: A-

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MO WAGNER/LUKE KORNET

With minutes remaining before the deadline expired, Ainge made another deal. He sent the aforementioned Theis and Green to Chicago in a three-team deal with the Bulls and Wizards. Shipping Theis allows Brad Stevens to elevate Robert Williams III to the starting five. Timelord has been deserving of a spot in the starting five, bringing energy and defense down low.

Getting rid of Theis was not the best move, but he may have left after this season when he becomes a free agent. Knowing his potential market, Ainge would rather get something for him instead of letting him walk. He was the best player in this deal, and they could have potentially gotten more for him.

Losing Javonte Green takes a rotation player off the roster, but it is not a big loss. But bringing in Mo Wagner may be an overlooked acquisition. The 23-year-old fits the timeline of the Celtics’ core while he has a team-friendly contract.

Similar to the Jeff Teague situation, Kornet may end up being released. This was not a necessary trade for Boston, but they are taking a chance on Wagner while saving money and getting a return for Theis.

GRADE: B-

FINAL THOUGHTS

Looking at this team post-trade deadline, they did not make the necessary moves to put them into contender status. Although they got better, Ainge ended up getting wants and not needs. The Fournier trade was great, especially if he re-signs in the offseason. On the other hand, the return for Theis seemed questionable.

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