Underperforming Celtics Look to Improve Roster at Trade Deadline

Matthew Willar '22, Contributing Writer

The 2021 NBA Tradeline marked the movement of numerous different players to new teams, and the Boston Celtics were not out of the picture last Thursday. Up until the 3 pm deadline, the Celtics were continuing to make moves to improve their roster. 


Starting at 11:00 on Thursday, the Celtics acquired shooting guard Evan Fournier from the Orlando Magic in exchange for two second-round draft picks. The Celtics also sent Jeff Teague to the Magic. Fournier has been in the league since 2012 and played for the Magic for 7 seasons. This season, he is averaging a career-high of 19.7 points per game off 46.1% shooting, and 2.8 three-pointers made a game off 38.8% three-point shooting. This was a great trade for the Celtics as they have been lacking in offense this year. Kemba Walker hasn’t been playing at the highest level, which has left a lot of the weight on the hands of all-stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. The addition of Evan Fournier to the Celtics should help the Celtics improve their record, which is currently a .500 record of 23-23. Fournier is expected to make his debut with the Celtics this week.  


It looked as if the addition of Evan Fournier to the Celtics was all Danny Ainge was going to pull at the trade deadline, but at 3:10 pm on Thursday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Celtics were sending their starting center Daniel Theis to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Moritz Wagner and Luke Kornet. The trade also included Javonte Green heading to Chicago. Celtics fans weren’t thrilled to hear this news, as Daniel Theis has been the best big man for the Celtics this season, but the trade gives the Celtics more money to spend in the offseason as Wagner and Kornet make smaller salaries than Theis. 


The addition of Wagner is probably the better addition for the Celtics, especially as they traded away their starting center in exchange for him. Wagner, who was traded to the Chicago Bulls earlier in the day from the Washington Wizards, is averaging 7.1 points per game off nearly 50% shooting, which almost matches Daniel Theis who averaged 7.2 points per game for the Celtics off 55% shooting. Wagner made his debut for the Celtics on Friday in their game vs the Milwaukee Bucks, where he scored 3 points in the Celtics win over the Bucks. He scored 2 points in the Celtics win over the Thunder on Saturday. 


The addition of Kornet is a good addition for the Celtics. Standing at 7 foot 2, Luke Kornet is now the second tallest player on the Celtics behind Tako Fall. Kornet, who is also coming from the Chicago Bulls, averaged just 2 points per game, but his most notable stat is 2 pointers shooting percentage which is a career-high for him at 75%. Kornet made his debut for the Celtics on Saturday in their game vs the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he scored 8 points, with 6 of those points being from three-pointers. 


The Celtics were in need of a trade, as they have been underachieving this season. In order for the Celtics to get back onto the list of contenders, they need to prove that these new additions to the roster are beneficial to the team’s successes. The Celtics have 7 straight home games coming up, and they will be allowing fans in tonight for the first time since March of 2020. It should be a very interesting rest of the season for the Celtics.