The Boston Celtics traded two second round picks to the Memphis Grizzlies for Xavier Tillman. The Michigan State alum strengthens Boston’s bench, something that Brad Stevens was looking to do before Thursday’s deadline. Boston will send Lamar Stevens and two second round picks to Memphis.
The Celtics are sending a 2027 second via Atlanta and a 2030 second via Dallas to the Grizzlies, sources tell ESPN. Boston gets Tillman, a young, versatile frontcourt player who gives them some depth for a championship run. https://t.co/29KABsBums— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 7, 2024
Tillman comes in and is immediately one of Boston’s best defenders. Although only 6’7, Tillman will allow Joe Mazzulla to use different frontcourt lineups without losing any defensive output.
Tillman can really defend. EPM ranks him in the 99th percentile among all defenders. He hasn’t played well offensively this season but could be more effective with additional talent around him. Should give the Celtics a different frontcourt club in their bag. https://t.co/Iaf9Sfkbr0— Jay King (@ByJayKing) February 7, 2024
With the injury crisis in Memphis, people have speculated that the Grizzlies would be open to moving some pieces. Tillman hasn’t produced on the offensive end, but in Boston, he won’t be looked at as a scorer. This season he’s averaging 6 points on 40.8% shooting and 41.9% from the free throw line.
With Stevens being part of the deal, the Celtics still have the full $6.2 million TPE they created from the Grant Williams sign-and-trade.
With Lamar Stevens headed to the Memphis, the math changes on the Xavier Tillman deal for Boston:— Keith Smith (@KeithSmithNBA) February 7, 2024
-Celtics will use Lamar Stevens as salary-matching for Tillman. (And they'll create a comically small, and unusable TPE for Stevens.)
-Celtics will still have the full Grant…
The acquisition of Tillman gives Boston much-needed frontcourt help and brings more variety to how the Celtics defend. Tillman is averaging 1.2 steals and 1 block in 20.6 minutes per game.
Here is some defense that Tillman will bring to Boston: