Celtics Trade Starter to Bulls, Land 23-Year-Old Big in 3-Team Trade: Report

Tristan Thompson calls out Celtics defense

Getty Kemba Walker #8 of the Boston Celtics celebrates with Tristan Thompson #13 and Daniel Theis #27 after scoring against the Atlanta Hawks.

The Boston Celtics continue to reshuffle their roster. Hours removed from acquiring Evan Fournier in a deal with the Orlando Magic, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that the team is now dealing starting big man Daniel Theis to the Chicago Bulls. The deal is reportedly part of a three-team trade that also includes the Washington Wizards, per Radio.com’s Ryan McDonough.

Here are the full details of the trade:

  • Boston Celtics receive:
    • Mo Wagner
    • Luke Kornet
  • Washington Wizards receive: 
    • Daniel Gafford
    • Chandler Hutchinson
  • Chicago Bulls receive: 
    • Daniel Theis
    • Javonte Green
    • Troy Brown
    • $1.3M (via BOS)
    • $250K (via WAS)

In other news, after chatter of former All-Star Jeff Teague being shipped to Chicago in this package, he’s since been added to the aforementioned Fournier deal. Teague’s stay in Orlando isn’t expected to last long. Josh Robbins and Jared Weiss of The Athletic have reported that Teague has been informed by the Magic that he doesn’t need to report as the team plans to waive him.

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Theis Trade Puts Boston Back Under the Luxury Tax

Trading for Fournier (averaging a career-high 19.7 points) gave Boston a sudden influx of scoring. However, he was acquired using the team’s traded-player exception, so his $17.45 million salary also put the Cs over the luxury tax, which would have meant financial and personnel penalties from the league after the season.

That has since changed, as the Theis trade puts them back under the luxury tax, per MassLive’s Brian Robb. Wagner’s $2.1 million salary for 2020-21 checks in $2.9 million cheaper than Theis’ $5 million price tag.

Theis was enjoying a career season with Boston this year. In 42 games (37 starts), the 28-year-old has averaged a career-best 9.5 points per game on 55.2% shooting from the field and 34.7% from 3-point range.

After netting a total of just five starts over his first 129 games with the Celtics, Theis carved out a significant role in the team’s rotation over the past two seasons. Since 2019, he has averaged 9.4 ppg, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game, all while starting in all but six of his 107 games.

Theis now heads to Chicago where he’ll go from teaming up with Tristan Thompson in Boston’s two-man big lineup to working alongside the Bulls’ newly acquired All-Star, center Nikola Vucevic.

What Wagner Brings to the Celtics

Wagner was originally part of a separate trade earlier this afternoon that was set to ship him from Washington to Chicago. The 23-year-old was part of a four-player trade that sent both him and Troy Brown to the Bulls in exchange for Daniel Gafford and Chandler Hutchinson.

Now headed to Boston, the third-year pro and his 6-foot-11-inch, 245-pound frame will settle into the Celtics’ rotation of bigs alongside Thompson and the ever-developing Robert Williams — who is likely headed for a bump in minutes with Theis on move.

Over his two seasons in Washington as well as his one season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Wagner has appeared in 113 career games, averaging 6.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game. Thihs season has been one of his more prolific to date, as the Michigan product is currently averaging 7.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 50.8% from the field.


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