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Celtics trade Josh Richardson to Spurs for Derrick White

San Antonio Spurs v Cleveland Cavaliers

CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 09: Derrick White #4 of the San Antonio Spurs brings the ball up court during the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 09, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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The Celtics got a good player in this trade: Derrick White has been a solid starter with the Spurs for a few seasons now. He’s averaging 14.4 points a game, plays good defense, and while he may not be a great 3-point shooter he plays a high IQ game and stays within himself.

That, however, was not the primary reason the Celtics traded Josh Richardson. It was about the money. Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the trade.

Officially, the Spurs get Richardson, Romeo Langford, and the Celtics’ 2022 first-round pick, which is top-four protected, so it almost certainly conveys this season. The Celtics get White.

Boston moved just under the luxury tax line earlier in the day, with the salary dump trade of P.J. Dozier and Bol Bol to Orlando. This trade moves them even further below the tax line, about $3 million. It’s not just the money saved that benefits teams, the way the system works is the money teams in the tax — Warriors, Nets, Lakers, etc. — pay out is divided among the teams not in the tax. There are no final numbers yet, but teams expect about a $10 million payout for being under the tax line. Boston just picked up a nice chunk of cash.

And White, who is solid. Don’t sleep on that.

The price for this was the Celtics’ first-round pick. While that is top-four protected, right now that pick would be 18th, so let’s say it will convey this season. The Spurs picked up a couple of first-rounders on deadline day, they also acquired the Raptors’ first-rounder helping them get under the tax line.