UPDATE (6:38 p.m.): Tristan Thompson will keep moving west and head to the Sacramento Kings in an expanded three-way deal, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The Atlanta Hawks will receive guard Delon Wright from Sacramento.
ORIGINAL STORY: The 2021 NBA Draft has come and gone, but the Boston Celtics reportedly are still looking to change up the roster.
Friday’s reported move centered around Tristan Thompson.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi, the Celtics traded Thompson to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for point guard Kris Dunn and a second-round pick in 2023. Bruno Fernando also is heading to Boston, per Wojnarowski.
Thompson came to the Celtics on a two-year, $19 million deal last November, but as time passed, it became clear that he wasn’t written into the Celtics’ long-term plans in permanent marker. Various reports suggested the team would trade him and that he wasn’t fitting into the team’s culture, even though both Jaylen Brown and Kemba Walker refuted that rumor.
All that aside, Thompson did end up finishing the season with the Celtics. Thompson’s brief stay in Boston — which came after nine seasons with the Cleveland Cavaliers — concluded with averages of 7.6 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game over 54 contests.
The move clears up a traffic jam at center, where Thompson would have had to compete with Al Horford, Robert Williams and Moses Brown for time on the court. In the return, the Celtics are potentially solving filling a void left by Walker.
In trading Walker to Oklahoma City, the Celtics theoretically left the starting point guard to Marcus Smart, since the alternative was a young rotation of Payton Pritchard, Tremont Waters and Carsen Edwards. Dunn is a reliable option.
A Connecticut native and Providence College product, Dunn has played for three different teams in his five years in the league, with his most productive campaign coming in 2017-18 for the Chicago Bulls. He averaged 13.4 points, 6.0 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game over 52 contests, seeing an average of 29.3 minutes per gameon the floor.
Dunn only played four games this past due to leg injuries.