The Celtics stayed busy up until the very last minute of Thursday's trade deadline, making some small moves to fill out the rest of the rotation.
After completing a deal with the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday for Xavier Tillman, Boston continued to add depth to their roster.
With hopes of adding another defensive-minded player to the back end of their rotation, the Celtics agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers for 21-year-old guard Jaden Springer in exchange for a second-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Philadelphia will receive the more favorable second-round pick between the Bulls and Pelicans in the 2024 NBA Draft.
As the former 28th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, Springer doesn't bring a lot offensively, scoring only four points per game and shooting only 21.6% from 3. However, he brings more on the defensive end, finishing with 1.5 steals per game (0.8 steals on the season) in his last ten games in an expanded role.
The move also signals he could remain on the team past this season, as he could return for the 2024-25 season if the team accepts his club option. Then in the summer of 2025, Springer will be a restricted free agent, where Boston can re-sign him using his Bird rights. As an affordable, young developmental guard, the addition could help the Celtics down the road considering their financial situation.
Acquiring Springer wasn't the only move Boston pulled off at the buzzer, however. Hoping to open up another roster spot, the team elected to trade Dalano Banton to the Portland Trail Blazers in return for a heavily protected future second-round pick. Banton, who was signed in the offseason, failed to find a role in Boston, averaging only 2.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in 7.1 minutes of play.
With the Celtics' acquisitions of Springer and Tillman, the rotation seems set for the remainder of the season. Having a vacant roster spot, the expectation is that Boston will be active in the buyout market over the next couple of weeks to possibly fill it. Following their blockbuster moves this past offseason, the Celtics hope their minor deals made at the deadline added enough depth for their title run.
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