Boston Celtics landing near-star more impactful than Kevin Durant, James Harden, Ben Simmons trades

Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers
Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Boston Celtics landing Derrick White was a more impactful trade deadline addition than the Brooklyn Nets swapping James Harden for Ben Simmons and the Phoenix Suns drawing Kevin Durant from Kings County according to ESPN's Zach Lowe (subscription required).

Lowe grouped in the New York Knicks adding former Jalen Brunson Villanova teammate Josh Hart to the conversation.

"A lot of trade-related focus in the media and within teams coalesces around two sorts of deals: superstar megatrades, and sinking teams unloading quality veterans," Lowe prefaced before saying, "In 2022, Boston's deal for White was a footnote beneath the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers swapping James Harden and Ben Simmons. Several other smaller trades made and not made at that same deadline emerged as critical pivot points for teams -- including the Pacers.

"A year later, another deal made from the wreckage of the Nets -- the Phoenix Suns acquiring Kevin Durant-- buried analysis of the New York Knicksflipping one of their first-round picks to thePortland Trail BlazersforJosh Hart," Lowe added.

"The White and Hart deals -- plus the concurrent journey of Caris LeVert in and out of Indiana -- are a reminder that between those extreme trade types, there is a huge middle-ground of smaller deals that can redefine teams that nail them."

Derrick White playing like a star for the Boston Celtics

The Houdini tries to be responsible about the "star" label with White, but he's continuing to ascend past the "near-star" label during the 2024 postseason.

White has had two star performances in the Eastern Conference Finals -- though he was definitely repping the No. 9 as a Rajon Rondo-type in Game 1 when Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Jrue Holiday played like a legit Big Three -- and had stat-sheet-stuffing games against the Miami Heat and Cleveland Cavaliers.

While he's not as indispensable as either Tatum or Brown, White is proving to be conducive to winning during the 2024 postseason. Brad Stevens has indicated a yearning to re-sign him, so a title would clinch his return.

This Eastern Conference Playoffs run may not since a Tyrese Haliburton injury may make this series another snake-bitten cakewalk for the C's opposition.