Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. In both 2021 and 2022, the Boston Celtics traded away big man Daniel Theis, but any Cs fan knows that we may not have seen the German big man in green for the last time in his career.
The first time Theis was dealt away from the team was under the last regime. Danny Ainge, in one of his last moves as general manager of the Celtics, dealt Theis away for Luke Kornet — who himself has left Boston only to return down the line — and Moritz Wagner, who didn’t last a month on the team before being waived.
The second time came on the first day of free agency this past July when Theis was traded along with Aaron Nesmith, Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts, Juwan Morgan, and a 2023 first-round pick to the Indiana Pacers for Malcolm Brogdon.
Given the current big man problem the Boston Celtics are facing, it feels like Theis can one day find himself back in Beantown if said problem persists. It’ll take another trade to another team or more than a full year to go by from the last trade from Boston for Theis to be an eligible trade candidate for the Celtics front office, but BSS’ Dan Greenberg is already counting down the days until Theis returns:
The Boston Celtics hope to replace Daniel Theis with vet minimum big men
Every time the Boston Celtics trade away Daniel Theis, they find themselves in the same conundrum: relying on a platoon of pivots with varying degrees of experience on their bench to get by.
The last time Theis was dealt, Williams, Tristan Thompson, and Kornet — and eventually, Enes Freedom and Bruno Fernando — were the frontcourt group faced with the challenge. This time around, Blake Griffin, Noah Vonleh, two-way contract holder Mfiondu Kabengele, and Luke Kornet will be answering the call to keep the team competitive down low until starter Robert Williams returns from arthroscopic knee surgery.
With small-ball needing to be relied upon in the first few months of the Joe Mazzulla era, the current big man rotation will have some leeway, but not much.