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What Does Juancho Hernangomez Bring To The Boston Celtics?

By News Creatives Authors , in Business , at September 3, 2021

The Celtics’ busy offseason continued Friday, as Boston reportedly traded Kris Dunn, Carsen Edwards and a 2026 second-round pick swap to the Memphis Grizzlies for 6-foot-9 forward Juancho Hernangomez, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Dunn was recently acquired alongside Bruno Fernando in a three-team deal that sent Tristan Thompson from Boston to Sacramento. Despite his durability issues, the Dunn’s defensive versatility potentially served as a nice addition to Ime Udoka’s roster. The crowded backcourt, however, likely would have made minutes hard to come by for Dunn as well as Edwards, who has not panned into the player Boston envisioned when it drafted him in 2019. The Purdue product played 68 games over his two seasons in Boston, averaging 3.6 points on just 30.2% shooting from deep.

This move helps the Celtics’ roster crunch with less than one month until training camp, bringing their player total down to 15. Slimming down the backcourt depth chart was inevitable, but adding Hernangomez to the frontcourt while doing so is a quality transaction by Stevens. There wasn’t much playing time for Dunn and Edwards, however, Hernangomez should be a useful depth piece for Boston this season.

After getting drafted 15th overall by the Nuggets in the 2016, Hernangomez played three full seasons in Denver before getting traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2020 campaign. In late August, he was traded alongside Jarrett Culver to Memphis in exchange for Patrick Beverley — now, less than 10 days later, he is on his way to Boston.

Hernangomez is set to make roughly $7 million this season and has a non-guaranteed $7.4 million lined up in 2022-23. That non-guarantee next year allows Boston to keep some flexibility moving forward, something the front office has mentioned quite a bit so far this summer. He had a tough shooting season in 2020-21, posting a 32.7% clip from 3 over 52 games. If he can up his career 3-point rate of 35.1%, he could make a push for some regular minutes on Boston’s roster. Regardless, Hernangomez can space the floor, which is a valuable thing to have coming off the bench.

All-in-all, this is a good deal for Boston. Personally, I’m disappointed that Dunn was moved because of his defensive prowess, but that is just my inability to remove bias as a Providence College alum. The Celtics freed up space in a crowded area of their roster, while simultaneously adding a stretch big with a non-guarantee next year to the roster. Instead of simply dumping salary, Stevens was able to get some value in return, which Boston fans should be happy with. Training camp begins on September 28, and the roster looks more concrete than it did yesterday.

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