Theis gave up $3MM+ as a result of that decision, since the bonus would’ve been worth 15% of the amount of guaranteed money left on his contract. At the time of the trade, the big man was still owed $20MM+ in guaranteed money over the next two-and-a-half seasons.
It’s unclear if Boston would’ve moved forward with the acquisition of Theis if he hadn’t been willing to waive his trade kicker. The Celtics will be able to fill out their 15-man roster while remaining slightly under the luxury tax, but those efforts would’ve been complicated if they’d had to account for a higher cap hit for Theis due to his trade bonus.
Here’s more on the C’s:
- Steve Bulpett of Heavy.com hears that the Lakers were offering the Celtics “a couple of second-round picks and some minimum contracts” for Dennis Schröder before Boston sent him to Houston in a package for Theis. Los Angeles would’ve had to trade three minimum-salary players to match Schröder’s salary.
- Brian Robb of MassLive.com evaluates the Celtics’ decision to trade for Theis rather than accepting the rumored Lakers offer, which he speculates might’ve included expendable veterans like DeAndre Jordan, Kent Bazemore, and Wayne Ellington. As Robb writes, president of basketball operations Brad Stevens was looking for help in both the present and future, making Theis a better fit than those Lakers vets. Stevens also valued roster flexibility, per Robb — completing a one-for-three trade instead of a three-for-one deal would’ve meant the Celtics came out of the deadline with just one open roster spot instead of five.
- The Celtics have already filled two of their five roster openings, and Stevens talked after the deadline about using one or two more of those open spots on young players, with an eye toward the future, as Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston relays. “We’ve got to look at a couple of young prospects that we can hopefully develop and make part of our long-term future and can find a great niche and fit within our team,” Stevens said. “I think a great example of that is a place like Miami that’s done that really well. They’ve found guys that other people passed on or missed on and have created a team that has really, really good players making a lot of money, and really, really good players that are just starting out in their career, but have found the perfect fit.”
- The Celtics decided not to use their $17MM+ Evan Fournier trade exception to absorb Derrick White‘s incoming salary last Thursday, according to Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. If they’d gone that route, the Celtics could’ve created a new $11.6MM trade exception (using Josh Richardson‘s outgoing salary), which wouldn’t have expired until the 2023 trade deadline. Instead, the team opted to keep the bigger exception, which will expire during the 2022 offseason.