Boston Celtics Trade Grades: Assessing the team’s Trade Deadline moves

Boston Celtics guard Josh Richardson (8) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics guard Josh Richardson (8) Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /
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Boston Celtics
Derrick White #4 of the San Antonio Spurs (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

Boston Celtics second trade of the day:

A couple of days ago, I explained how the Celtics could look to sell high on Josh Richardson at the deadline, and that’s exactly what they did here. With a solid three-and-d playstyle, along with a team friendly deal, the C’s were able to build a package around Richardson for San Antonio Spurs guard Derrick White. Richardson was one of the Celtics best players off the bench, but they added a valuable piece in White who could end up being a big part of the team’s future.

White has developed into a starter for the Spurs over the past few years, and he presents a clear upgrade over Dennis Schroder off the bench (more on that later on). White is averaging 14.4 points per game this season while shooting 42.6 percent from the field. White is a solid defender at the guard position while also showing some improved playmaking abilities this season, as he’s averaging a career high 5.6 assists per game.

White is a solid addition, there’s no question about it. The issue is that this is a bit of a steep price for a guy who is essentially going to become the sixth man of this team. Richardson was a key part of the bench, so losing him off the bat hurts. Romeo Langford was given ample time to pan out but never did, so cutting ties with him here doesn’t feel like a massive loss.

The issue is the draft picks. The Celtics gave up their first rounder in the upcoming draft, and they are taking a bit of a risk in doing so. They are banking on a successful finish to the season, which will help make the value of that pick lower. The better the Celtics play, the better this deal looks. The 2028 first round pick swap could be problematic down the line, but if things pan out with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, that shouldn’t be an issue.

Some will complain that this deal is a bit of an overpay, and while it may be, this is the first sign we have seen from the front office that they are intent on making things work with Tatum and Brown leading the way. They identified White as a target, and while losing the draft picks could come back to bite, Stevens made sure he did what it took to get his guy. And if he’s doing that at the Trade Deadline, chances are he will do it over the upcoming offseason too. Grade: A-