White, Theis Boston-bound as Celtics solidify roster with pair of trades

February 11, 2022

White, Theis Boston-bound as Celtics solidify roster with pair of trades

The NBA’s trade deadline played out about as wildly as many would have expected, with the Boston Celtics among the league’s more active teams.

In his first deadline since making the move from the sidelines to the front office, Brad Stevens made moves to acquire San Antonio guard Derrick White and Houston big Daniel Theis.

The Celtics will send Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, and a 2022 first-rounder (top-four protected) to San Antonio, as well as the right to swap first-rounders in 2028.

A first-round pick in 2017, White has averaged 14.4 ppg and 5.6 apg in 30.3 mpg this season in San Antonio. White agreed to a four-year, $73-million extension in December of 2020, meaning he will be on the books until at least the end of the 2024-25 season.

The 27-year-old provides Boston with a steady, secondary ball-handling option to play alongside stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, as well as strong perimeter defender. White has never been considered a prolific three-point shooter and his percentages have spiralled exponentially over the past three seasons, hitting them at just a 31.4% clip this season.

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Whilst concerns about his shooting are valid, particularly if he is to spend any time on the floor with Marcus Smart, White’s strengths lie in his perimeter defence and playmaking punch, which Boston should be able to utilise.

The Celtics will also welcome back Daniel Theis, who spent the first three-and-a-half seasons of his career in Boston. Dennis Schröder, Enes Freedom, and Bruno Fernando will be sent to Houston, with Freedom expected to be waived.

The 29-year-old has had a down year with the lowly Rockets, but a diminished role and a return to Boston may invigorate the German-native who, at his best, is a stable, albeit undersized, defensive big with an ability to stretch the floor. Theis has averaged 8.4 ppg and 5.0 rpg in 22.5 mpg for game for the Rockets this season but has not appeared in their past 10 games. Minutes may be difficult to come by behind Al Horford and Robert Williams but Theis remains a solid depth option nonetheless.

Boston currently sit in the seventh spot in the East at 31-25, having won eight of their past 10, and are just a half-game back of Toronto in sixth.

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