After a busy trade deadline that saw the Boston Celtics move a compilation of seven players across three total trades, the C’s are left with a handful of roster vacancies. On February 11, they took a few steps towards filling those. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Boston is signing two familiar faces, big man Luke Kornet and forward Sam Hauser, for the remainder of the season.
Per Celtics Blog’s Keith Smith, the moves only technically fill one open roster spot as Hauser was already manning a two-way slot. The addition of Hauser and Kornet bump their roster up to 12 players on standard contracts for Friday’s night game against the Denver Nuggets. Both players are expected to be available to play.
Boston had five open roster spots following the deadline frenzy from Thursday.
Brad Stevens Gushes Over Derrick White
While the Celtics saw three new players added via trade at the deadline, the acquisition of Derrick White was clearly the most notable. A 27-year-old combo guard, White is in the midst of his second consecutive season averaging 14-plus points per game and has proven to be a menace at times on the defensive end during his tenure in San Antonio.
During a video conference call on February 11, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens delved into what drew the Celtics to White, while also revealing that the team has kept tabs on the veteran guard for quite some time.
We’ve thought for years that Derrick was a really good fit with our best players. He is an excellent defender. He just makes the right play on offense over and over and over. He’s a guy that only cares about winning, that will do all of the little things, as you can see in some of his stats, defensively, with regard to willingness to put his body on the line, activity, shot challenges, all of those things. And on offense, just by making simple plays and doesn’t need to do anything to be on the highlights to really, really impact winning.
We felt really fortunate to be able to get a guy like that on a long contract that we think is, again, you know, a perfect fit for our best players.
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Stevens Talks Theis’ Return
Hauser and Kornet aren’t the only recent additions with previous ties to the organization. At the last minute before the deadline cutoff, the Cs swung a trade with the Houston Rockets to bring big man Daniel Theis back to Beantown. In return, Boston sent Dennis Schroder, Enes Freedom and Bruno Fernando to Houston. Per Wojnarowski, the Rockets plan to waive Freedom and could potentially look to buy out Fernando.
“The Theis move came about really late,” Stevens said. “Initially, we had talked to them a couple times over the past few days, but that came about very late. We did not think that there was going to be anything there and, in the last 20 minutes or so, that materializes as the whole move.”
Stevens added, “Theis knows how to make our best players better. That’s the best thing he does is he has a great feel for making others around him better. He’s got a savvy for the game.”
In 42 games (37 starts), with the Celtics a season ago, Theis averaged what was at the time a career-best 9.5 points per game on 55.2% shooting from the field and 34.7% from 3-point range.