I think as Celtics fans we mostly fall in one of two camps.
- The team is doing great things and we will be title contenders this/next year.
- The team is awful, Ainge and Brad should be fired plus we have to trade everyone.
It doesn’t matter if we went 0-82, 82-0, 41-41 or anywhere inbetween. MOST Celtics fan will fall into one of those two categories. Both people are annoying, so as a sensible fan who thinks this team has potential but still holds them accountable allow me to breakdown yesterdays deadline.
First, Evan Fournier. Fournier is averaging a career high 19.7 ppg on 14 shots a night shooting about 46% from the field and 38.8% from three. A solid shooter and adds some strong offensive depth to a team who, as we know, can get pretty stagnant on offense on a nightly basis. He has missed some time this season with a back and groin injury but nothing super serious.
The Celtics Traded; Jeff Teague and two second round picks. Thanks to the Hayward TPE, they didn’t have to add more players to the deal to make the money work. I’ve seen a lot of people upset about the use of the TPE in this trade so let me try to clear some things up. Assuming I have the correct information. The Hayward TPE wasn’t all used, Ainge has $20m (roughly) to work with if he used it all in season and $28m (roughly) if he uses it this offseason. Aquiring Fournier leaves the Celtics with about $13m to use this offseason of Haywards TPE. So, not all is lost. Now, for the people mad that this is a rental because this is Fourniers last year. He is 28 and will most likely be looking for a new contract in the $20m+ range this offseason. The Celtics are not going to pay him that money. BUT he can become another TPE for next year, assuming some key things happen this offseason. I know that isn’t the best news but you can’t be mad we used some of the TPE on Fournier and also say the potential $20m TPE he can create for the team doesn’t matter. You can not have it both ways.
Seeing a lot of "whatever" about Evan Fournier from some Celtics fans.
19.7 PPG on 46/39/80 splits isn't whatever.
No it's not ideal that he's an expiring contract, but this trade helps Boston's rotation a lot.
— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) March 25, 2021
Trade two. The Celtics are sending Theis, Green and $1.3m to the Bulls for Mo Wagner and Luke Kornet. Kornet is most likely going to get cut to make a roster spot for a buyout guy like Drummond, Aldridge, etc. so don’t worry too much about him. This deal comes down to four players. Theis, Wagner, Timelord and Thompson. The Celtics traded Theis so they could get under the hard cap and not get fined at the end of the year. They were over the hard cap because of Thompson. Now, I’m not sure if the Celtics chose Thompson over Theis or if Theis is who the Bulls requested. What I do know is Timelord has been playing well and getting better this year so he most likely becomes the full time starting Center now. Thompsons minutes will stay about the same as when Theis started games and I have to assume Wagner will get some of Williams’ old minutes. Wagner is bigger, 5 years younger and has similarish numbers that Theis has this year while playing less minutes. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you, Theis is better. Point, blank, period. The dropoff isn’t THAT significant though, especially if you think Williams can be the starter for this team, which I do.
They missed out on Aaron Gordon and you can be upset about that but you also have to recognize there are some players that we would not have. Which you might be okay with but Ainge wasn’t. What you can’t do is talk about Ainge “missing out” on Oladipo or Vucivic. The only team that would’ve traded for Oladipo is Miami and that is why they got a dirt cheap price for him. Oladipo is a free agent and will almost certainly be signing with Miami this offseason regardless of what team he got traded to. So, you can’t be mad about getting Fournier as a rental but wish Danny traded for Oladipo. Don’t be a hypocrit. Vucivic, I was actually very shocked he got moved. The Magic got a decent haul for him so don’t fix your lips to say you wish Danny got him. Yes, I wish an all star center was on this team as well but I wasn’t willing to trade two firsts, Smart, one of the three bigs we had at the time and probably Nesmith. We need to understand not every deal is available for every team.
Otto Porter Jr.
Wendell Carter Jr.
2021 1st-round pick
2023 1st-round pick
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) March 25, 2021
I’d give the Celtics a C+ for this deadline. This is the first time since IT (that I can remember) that Ainge did something somewhat meaningful at the deadline and the team is better. Fournier will help this team down the stretch and you get him from Jeff Teague and two picks who never would’ve seen the court. There are still major problems on this team. Hopefully adding Fournier and starting Timelord fix some of them.
A few guys I want us looking out for during the buyout market.
Andre Drummond is a lock to go to the Lakers, forget about him. Lamarcus Aldridge is taking meetings but will most likely be signing with the Heat. Boogie Cousins, there was a rumor he was interested in joining the Celtics but I don’t see it happening and don’t really think that rumor was true in the first place. Personally, I love Boogie and wanted him on the team years ago when he was a King but I don’t see it happening plus he doesn’t add enough to the team to make it worth it. We need to keep an eye on two people. Otto Porter and Jabari Parker. Two big wings who can score. You don’t need to worry about their price, almost all buy out guys get signed for the minimum and both of these guys will make this team better. Give them all of Grants minutes and take some here and there from Wagner and Thompson.
Coaching wise, Brad needs to be better but we also need to understand he is genuinely a top 10 coach. Firing him might help or it could break a team that is already crumbling. I do want him to use Nesmith more and in late game situations going ISO with Tatum isn’t gonna work everytime. Some actual coaching needs to happen down the stretch.