The Boston Celtics decluttered their roster, trimmed to 15 players, and added at a position of need on Friday by agreeing to send Carsen Edwards, Kris Dunn, and a 2026 second-round pick to the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for 25-year-old power forward Juancho Hernangomez.
Boston pruned an overstocked guard position while adding a stretch 4 that gives them another option beyond Grant Williams and Jabari Parker as bench options at the power forward spot.
Dunn, acquired from Atlanta in the Tristan Thompson swap earlier this summer, became expendable after the Celtics sign Dennis Schroder. Edwards, the 33rd pick in the 2019 draft, shot 30.2 percent beyond the 3-point arc in 68 games over two seasons and never developed into a reliable scoring presence off the bench.
Hernangomez is set to earn $6.9 million this season and his $7.4 million salary for the 2022-23 season is non-guaranteed (trigger date is June 30, 2022).
The 6-foot-9 Hernangomez, the 15th pick in the 2016 draft, has shot 35.1 percent beyond the 3-point arc for his career though that dipped to 32.7 percent last year with the Timberwolves. He’s averaged 5.7 points and 3.5 rebounds over 16.4 minutes per game over five NBA seasons.
Hernangomez isn’t necessarily a better option than Williams or Parker but he’s more likely to play than either Edwards or Dunn. Hernangomez has started 57 of his 257 career games and, when healthy, has been a serviceable yet streaky player.
The non-guaranteed final season on his deal makes Hernangomez a possible trade asset in constructing deals as teams can easily shed his salary after the season. Vacation-loathing Brad Stevens still has assets to tinker with the roster but, after a busy summer, has balanced the roster if no other moves are made before the start of the 2021-22 season.
If nothing else, the Celtics fill the movie star void that has existed since Kyrie Irving’s departure. Hernangomez is set to co-star in an upcoming Adam Sandler basketball movie for Netflix.