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Celtics acquire Zoran Dragic from Miami Heat

So the Celtics get the "other" Dragic brother.

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Celtics have acquired guard Zoran Dragic and a second-round pick from the Miami Heat in exchange for a heavily protected second-rounder that they will likely never part with.

Boston picks up another draft pick to add to their collection in exchange for taking on the approximately $1.7 million owed to Dragic this season. Miami's incentive is strictly financial, as it save them a significant chunk of change off of their luxury tax bill.

This trade is the latest example of Danny Ainge extracting value by picking up an asset without actually giving up anything. It's reminiscent of another deal that Ainge pulled off earlier this offseason when he acquired Perry Jones III from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The official announcement that Jae Crowder has been resigned, as well as the David Lee trade, are expected to be completed as soon as this afternoon, which left this as potentially the last chance for the team to operate under the salary cap.

Dragic became expendable for a Heat team desperate to save money and get their roster to the 15 player maximum. Part of the appeal for him playing in Miami was the chance to team with his brother, star point guard Goran Dragic. Miami reportedly checked in with the elder Dragic to make sure that he was fine with his little brother being traded, but apparently it's not a problem for them to be split up. Zoran wants playing time and Goran wants him to get that chance.

The problem is that it seems unlikely he will find much playing time in Boston on a Celtics team that already has plenty of depth in the backcourt. The Celtics get a free look at him in training camp to see he can help them. If not, they will likely eat his salary by cutting him and be satisfied with the free draft pick.

The Celtics are now up to 17 guaranteed contracts, which means they need to trim at least two players from the roster before the season begins. Barring a trade, the team may be forced to swallow a couple of contracts, but it may be worth it if it means getting the chance to see more options up close. If nothing else, it could lead to some interesting camp battles.

It may not be as exciting as a trade for the other Dragic brother would have been, especially if Zoran doesn't even make the team, but it shows Trader Danny's willingness to make moves to assemble as many assets as possible to set himself up for a bigger score later.

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