Final update: Looks like we now have specifics on the final deal:
Details of the Celtics/Wizards/Bulls deal, per league sources:— Ryan McDonough (@McDNBA) March 25, 2021
Wizards get D. Gafford, C. Hutchinson
Celtics get L. Kornet, M. Wagner
Bulls get D. Theis, J. Green, T. Brown Jr. , $1.3m (from BOS) $250k (from WAS)
Updated at 3:33 PM: Looks like this trade is going to be a little bigger than we thought, according to CelticsBlog’s Keith Smith:
Sounds like Jeff Teague may also be involved as well.— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) March 25, 2021
Celtics getting under the tax and opening up roster spots for the buyout market. https://t.co/xtk10cJCL4
Boston clearly has a leg up on the buyout market, but this also allows younger guys to get opportunities. LaMarcus Aldridge is a name to keep an eye on as he just completed a buyout with the San Antonio Spurs. Andre Drummond was linked to the Celtics earlier this week. If neither of those options sign, this at least opens up more playing time for the younger players on the roster.
UPDATED at 3:21 PM: We now have the accompanying Woj Bomb:
Mo Wagner goes to the Celtics, per sources. https://t.co/TPrzW9WqEd— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 25, 2021
The Boston Celtics are working on a deadline to trade to off-load Daniel Theis for Mo Wagner, according to K.C. Johnson.
The Bulls are in talks to trade Mo Wagner to the Celtics for Daniel Theis, per sources. Working it to deadline. Not official yet.— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) March 25, 2021
Mo Wagner was just acquired earlier this afternoon in a trade with Washington.
This trade might be a hard pill to swallow given everything Theis has done for the Celtics since his rookie season in 2017-18, but it makes sense. Theis has an expiring $5M contract as he’ll head into free agency this summer. He’ll likely command a price that will go beyond what Boston is willing to pay to keep him, especially after trading for Evan Fournier earlier today. Brian Robb of Mass Live detailed the financial benefits of a trade like this for a clear talent downgrade:
Celtics trading Daniel Theis to Bulls for Mo Wagner will take them back under luxury tax. Would also land them a draft asset.— Brian Robb (@BrianTRobb) March 25, 2021
Trading for Evan Fournier put Boston into the luxury tax, and given Boston’s position in the standings, it was obvious that Boston would do something else to rectify that. In 3.5 seasons with the Celtics, Daniel Theis averaged 7.2 points, 5.2 rebounds and shot 55.2% from the field. Last year, he was a pleasant surprise as Boston’s starting center on a team that out-performed expectations in a run to the Eastern Conference Finals. This year, he’s averaging a career-high 9.5 points in 24.5 minutes.
He’ll be going to a Chicago team that’s making a strong run to relevancy after earlier making a trade for Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic (the move that opened the floodgates that led to the Evan Fournier trade).
Moritz Wagner is a 6-11 big who is averaging 7.1 points and 2.9 rebounds while shooting 50.8% from the field. This is his third season in the league after playing for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Washington Wizards. This move opens up more frontcourt minutes for Robert Williams and Tristan Thompson to share center minutes between the two of them without the double-big lineup. It also opens opportunities up for Mo Wagner and Grant Williams as well as three-wing lineups for Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Evan Fournier.
More to come because the deal hasn’t been finalized yet.