Brad Stevens continues to make moves early on in his tenure as President of Basketball Operations of the Boston Celtics.
The Celtics and the Grizzlies have agreed on a deal today, sending Juan Hernangomez to the C’s in exchange for Kris Dunn, Carsen Edwards. There is also a pick swap of 2026 second rounders. Hernangomez and Dunn have both now been traded twice this offseason.
While this move doesn’t really change a whole lot in terms of the overall talent on the Celtics roster, here’s a breakdown on what Hernangomez will bring to the table whether he plays significant minutes or not.
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Hernangomez is what I’d consider to be a prototypical stretch four.
At six-foot-nine and 214 pounds, he clearly has the size of a power forward, but with a solid career three point percentage of 35%, he earns the label of stretch big.
Hernangomez isn’t the best defender or ball-handler which limits his capabilities on the floor, but he has the chance to be a great floor spacer at the power forward position that the roster currently lacks outside of Jayson Tatum.
While he only shot around 33% from downtown last season, going from a not great team in Minnesota to a much quasi-contender in Boston should help him get more open 3-pointers and shoot a higher percentage.
Based on the fact Hernangomez shot 42% from deep in 14 games when the Timberwolves acquired him during the 2019-2020 season, he’s obviously capable of being a good shooter, but just needs his teammates to help get him better looks to boost his percentage.
While I already wrote an article highlighting my projected rotation next year, I feel that Hernangomez could get some minutes as the backup power forward as long as he’s knocking down threes, especially if Ime Udoka decides to consistently run a 10-man rotation.
How does he fit on the books?
The next and final thing I’ll be taking a look at is Hernangomez’s contract.
A theme of this offseason for Brad Stevens has been financial flexibility for next offseason, so it’s important to see how the contract impacts the team down the line.
Continuing with the theme of this offseason, he has two year’s left on his contract, but next year is non-guaranteed, meaning his contract can be cleared next offseason just by releasing him.
Essentially, Stevens has now acquired another player with one year left on his deal that can contribute well to the team this season without hurting the team’s financial flexibility next offseason.
No matter how much Hernangomez contributes this season, I feel that this trade was a solid one, as the Boston Celtics didn’t really give up a whole lot to get a player who fits well into their current roster-building plans.