Kris Dunn’s inevitable exit from Boston is upon us. Readily engulfed in trade speculation since arriving in town as part of the Tristan Thompson trade, the Celtics have agreed to ship both Dunn and fellow guard Carsen Edwards to the Memphis Grizzlies, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. In exchange, Boston will receive forward Juancho Hernangomez. The deal also includes a swap of 2026 second-round picks.
Wojnarowski adds that the trade cannot be formally completed until September 15th, “when Dunn and Edwards’ contracts are allowed to be aggregated in the trade.” When finalized, the move will get the Celtics down to the allotted 15-player maximum.
Hernangomez was dealt to Memphis earlier this offseason after a reported falling out with the Minnesota Timberwolves. According to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski, the team’s front office blocked him from playing for Spain in the Tokyo Olympics.
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What the Celtics are Getting
Hernangomez, who checks in at 6-foot-9-inches and 214 pounds, has appeared in 257 games over his five-year NBA tenure. He owns a career average of 5.7 points and 3.5 rebounds, while shooting 35.1% from beyond the arc. The 25-year-old native Spaniard was originally drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the 15th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.
His most promising play came following an in-season trade in 2019-20, when he was shipped to the Timberwolves after a nearly four-year run in Denver. He went on to play 14 games with the Timberwolves, averaging 29.4 minutes per game — 10 minutes greater than any previous average over his career. With added looks, Hernangomez averaged career bests in essentially every major statistical category, including points (12.9), rebounds (7.3) and assists (1.3). He also knocked down a personal-best 42.0% from 3-point range.
While those numbers provide promise, it was in a vastly abbreviated sample size. In reality, Hernangomez will likely serve as a quality depth piece with upside as a floor-spacer. Look for him to compete with the likes of Bruno Fernando, Grant Williams, Jabari Parker and Sam Hauser for the remaining minutes behind Robert Williams, Al Horford and Enes Kanter in the frontcourt.
Celtics Reworked Backcourt Made Edwards, Dunn Expendable
Edwards entered the league in 2019 as a second-round pick, acquired by the Celtics in a draft-day trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. The former No. 33 overall pick has split time between the NBA and the G League over the past two seasons. In 68 games with the Celtics, the former Jerry West award recipient averaged 3.6 points and 0.6 assists in 9.2 minutes per game.
As for Dunn, the former top-five pick was acquired back in a pre-draft, three-team trade that also yielded Boston the services of the aforementioned big man Bruno Fernando. The writing had been on the wall from the jump that the 27-year-old would likely never don the green and white. That became ever more obvious following the additions of both Josh Richardson and Dennis Schroder to the backcourt.
Dunn appeared in just four games for the Atlanta Hawks last season due to a leg injury. His most productive campaign came back in 2017 when he averaged 13.4 points and 6.0 assists per game with the Chicago Bulls. He followed that up with another fairly positive showing, averaging 11.3 points and 6.0 assists per game in 2018. However, he’s since struggled with injuries, appearing in just 55 games since 2019, while seeing a severe drop-off in output, averaging just 6.9 points and 3.2 assists over that span.
The Celtics’ backcourt will look vastly different come opening night against the New York Knicks. Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, Boston’s starting backcourt for the latter end of last year, will be suiting up for the opposition on October 20th in Madison Square Garden. Replacing the departed duo will likely be a three-man rotation headed by Schroder, Dunn and incumbent starting point guard, Marcus Smart.