Juan Hernangomez

Celtics Notes: Bol, Hernangomez, Richardson, Hayward

Bol Bol might not play for the Celtics this season, but the newly-acquired power forward could have a future with the team, writes Souichi Terada of MassLive. The three-team trade that sent Bol and PJ Dozier from Denver to Boston was finalized today just before coach Ime Udoka’s pre-game meeting with reporters, giving him a chance to discuss how the organization views Bol.

“He’s an intriguing young player,” Udoka said. “I’ve seen him quite a bit at Oregon before he got hurt there playing with Payton (Pritchard). Know about him, intriguing guy who can do a lot of things obviously and he’s a guy that’s a restricted free agent, so we can retain his rights and get a good look at him over the next few months.”

The Nuggets were seeking a taker for the 7’2″ Bol, who seemed headed to Detroit last week before the Pistons reneged on a trade due to medical reasons. Bol had surgery on his right foot Tuesday and is expected to miss eight-to-12 weeks weeks, so the best-case scenario would have him return during the final month of the regular season.

There’s more from Boston:

  • The Celtics parted with Juancho Hernangomez in the trade, mainly for financial reasons as the team tries to get below the luxury tax threshold. Although Hernangomez wasn’t able to earn a spot in the rotation after being acquired in an offseason deal, Udoka said he handled the situation professionally, Terada adds. “I love his approach, the work he continued to put in and him being professional in cheering on the guys,” Udoka said. “I think it’s a tough situation and one of the toughest as coaches is finding minutes for everybody and honestly, it was … nothing that he didn’t do.”
  • Brad Stevens will approach his first trade deadline as president of basketball operations with several team-friendly contracts that should be easy to move, notes Mark Murphy of The Boston Herald. With the Celtics expected to be among the most active teams at the deadline, there may be some uneasiness in the locker room over the next three weeks, but Josh Richardson tells his younger teammates that it’s nothing to worry about. “I’ve been traded a few times, so you just kind of learn how to live with it at that point,” he said. “It might be scary for some guys who have never been through it, but for us veterans who have been moved we know it’s a business and just try to keep the other guys engaged on what’s important and that’s winning games.”
  • With tonight marking his first game in Boston since signing with the Hornets, Gordon Hayward talks to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated about his memories of the city and why he decided to move on.

Bryn Forbes Traded To Nuggets In Three-Team Deal

JANUARY 19: The trade is official, according to a tweet from the Nuggets. As we relayed earlier today, the 2028 second-round pick acquired by the Spurs is top-33 protected, and San Antonio also received cash from both Boston ($2.15MM) and Denver ($200K).


JANUARY 18: Shooting guard Bryn Forbes is headed from the Spurs to the Nuggets as the headliner of a three-team deal that also involves the Celtics, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Forbes will once again join a playoff team, while Boston power forward Juancho Hernangomez and Denver’s 2028 second-round pick are heading to San Antonio. Two injured players, Nuggets power forward Bol Bol and guard PJ Dozier, will be sent to the Celtics.

As Woj details, the Nuggets, who at 22-20 are currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference, had been looking to acquire a wing to improve their bench scoring. Forbes, averaging 9.1 PPG on .432/.417/.898 shooting, fits the bill. The Nuggets had been linked to the veteran sharpshooter as a trade target as recently as yesterday.

Denver has been hit hard by injuries this season, so moving a pair of players who are expected to be sidelined for most or all of the season will help improve the team’s depth and will open up a spot on the team’s 15-man roster. A report over a week ago stated that the Nuggets were expected to add free agent center DeMarcus Cousins on a 10-day contract. That deal has yet to materialize, but Mike Singer of the Denver Post tweets that there’s still mutual interest between the two sides.

The Nuggets tried to trade Bol to the Pistons last week, only to see the deal rescinded when he failed his team physical. Bol subsequently went under the knife for a foot surgery this week and is expected to miss at least eight-to-12 weeks of game action. Dozier will be out for the rest of the 2021/22 NBA season as he continues to recover from a surgery of his own to repair a torn ACL.

Wojnarowski reports that, at least at present, the Celtics intend to retain both Dozier and Bol through this season’s trade deadline. Bol could return by March or April and the C’s would have both players’ Bird rights in the offseason — Bol will be eligible for restricted free agency and Dozier will be unrestricted. Those plans could change if Boston needs to open up a roster spot in the coming weeks or months.

Hernangomez failed to crack the 23-22 Celtics’ rotation this season, averaging 1.1 PPG and 1.4 RPG across 5.3 MPG in just 18 contests. As Woj writes, by getting off Hernangomez’s $7MM salary and taking back Bol ($2.2MM) and Dozier ($1.9MM), Boston gets that much closer to ducking the NBA’s punitive luxury tax.

The Celtics won’t need to waive a player to accommodate their one-for-two trade, since they already had an open spot on their 15-man roster.

San Antonio’s decision to acquire a future draft pick and Hernangomez’s pseudo-expiring contract (next season’s salary is non-guaranteed) in exchange for Forbes, a role player on the 2021 championship-winning Bucks, could signal that the team has accepted it should be in asset-accrual mode in the weeks leading up to the league’s trade deadline.

The return for Forbes is modest, but that’s not a major surprise. While he’s a terrific shooter, Forbes is limited on the defensive end and he’ll be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. He also fell out of Milwaukee’s rotation during the NBA Finals last spring.

Celtics Rumors: J. Green, Schröder, Nesmith, J. Smith, Hernangomez

The Celtics have expressed interest in reacquiring forward Jeff Green, Michael Scotto said on the latest episode of the HoopsHype Podcast. Green was a Celtic from 2010-15 and was coached by Brad Stevens from 2013-15. Stevens is now Boston’s president of basketball operations.

It’s unclear how motivated the Nuggets would be to trade Green after signing him in free agency this past offseason. He has started 24 games and averaged 24.7 minutes per contest in Denver this season while playing primarily at power forward and center. Still, the Nuggets have other options at power forward – including Aaron Gordon, JaMychal Green, and Zeke Nnaji – and are reportedly in the market for a backup center with more size, so it’s possible Jeff Green could be had.

Here are a few more notes on the Celtics:

  • In addition to reiterating that Boston would be open to moving Dennis Schröder, Scotto said on the HoopsHype Podcast that he’s heard Aaron Nesmith is also available. Nesmith, 2020’s No. 14 overall pick, had a decent rookie year but has seen his playing time and production decline this season.
  • The Celtics have made several trade calls out of due diligence, including inquiring on Suns center Jalen Smith, according to Scotto. Smith had his third-year option for 2022/23 turned down by Phoenix, so he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, but whichever team has his Bird rights won’t be able to offer a starting salary higher than $4,670,160, the amount of that declined option.
  • Scotto suggests Oklahoma City is a team to watch if and when the Celtics look to trade Juan Hernangomez to sneak below the luxury tax line. The Thunder are more than $20MM below the NBA’s minimum salary floor, so any team looking to dump a contract will likely call them first.

Celtics Notes: Tatum, Brown, Nesmith, Hernangomez

Jaylen Brown said over the weekend that he wants to continue playing alongside Jayson Tatum with the Celtics, and now Tatum has echoed those sentiments, writes Souichi Terada of MassLive. Brown and Tatum are among the best young duos in the league, combining to score 49.7 PPG over the first half of the season. However, Boston’s record is around .500 for the second straight year and there’s been some outcry from fans and the media to trade one of them.

“We both want to be here and both want to figure it out,” Tatum said. “There’s not many players in the league like JB. The grass ain’t always greener and we’ve had some great stretches. And I think this year hasn’t been what we expected, but I think in the long run it will be good for us.”

Tatum said he talked with Brown about their fit together after the Celtics let a big lead get away in a loss to the Knicks last week. Losing big leads has been a recurring problem in Boston, and Tatum admitted that the players are still adjusting in their first season under coach Ime Udoka.

“We have to figure some things, but I think the most important thing is we both want it extremely bad,” Tatum said. “We want to try to figure it out together. So for us, it’s just being on the same page I think is extremely important, just knowing that we have each other’s back and we are going to give it all we got to try to figure this out.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • The Celtics should concentrate on building around their two stars, rather than trying to split them up, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated states in a mailbag column. Mannix doesn’t see any players currently on the trade market who would represent equal value for either Brown or Tatum.
  • Aaron Nesmith welcomed his trip to the G League after being out of action for so long, per Taylor Snow of NBA.com. The second-year small forward spent time in the health and safety protocols, and his only appearance since December 22 was six minutes in Saturday’s game. “It’s just fun to be able to play the game of basketball no matter where it is,” Nesmith said after returning from the G League assignment. “Just being able to go out there and play freely and just kind of get back into a rhythm a little bit, it’s always fun and always a good experience.”
  • Juancho Hernangomez will be an offseason target for Real Madrid, according to Antigoni Zachari of EuroHoops. His $6.6MM contract for next season is non-guaranteed until June 30, so he’s a candidate to be cut before then.

COVID-19 Updates: Celtics, Lakers, Raptors

Celtics reserve point guard Dennis Schröder has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and will not play in today’s Christmas game against the Bucks, the team has announced (Twitter link). He joins eight other Celtics in the protocols.

In a more positive twist, Juancho Hernangómez, Jabari Parker, and Brodric Thomas have exited the league’s COVID-19 protocols and are available for today’s game, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic (via Twitter). Guards Marcus Smart, who has been dealing with a hip injury, and Romeo Langford, who has missed time due to an Achilles injury, are also available. Boston center Al Horford is out of the league’s coronavirus protocols but is still working on his conditioning and has been ruled out for the contest.

Here are more COVID-19 protocol updates from around the NBA:

  • Lakers guards Avery Bradley and Malik Monk have left the league’s COVID-19 protocols and will be able to suit up today for Los Angeles against the Nets, per Bill Oram of The Athletic (Twitter link).
  • Raptors players Khem Birch, Isaac Bonga, and Justin Champagnie have entered the league’s COVID-19 protocols, though Dalano Banton has apparently exited, per Josh Lewenberg of TSN (Twitter link). A total of 10 Toronto players are now in the protocols. Toronto’s previously-scheduled game on Wednesday, against the Bulls, was canceled as a result of the Raptors not having enough players available. The team’s next game is scheduled for tomorrow against the Cavaliers. Lewenberg adds (via Twitter) that Raptors rookie shooting guard David Johnson (calf) and veteran point guard Goran Dragic (personal) also continue to be unavailable.
  • Keep track of all the NBA players within the league’s health and safety protocols on our tracker here.

COVID-19 Updates: Hawks, Blazers, Celtics, Bucks, Nets

Wesley Iwundu, who just signed a 10-day contract with the Hawks on Thursday, has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, per Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link). Iwundu played 23 minutes in the Hawks’ 98-96 victory over the Sixers Thursday night, scoring two points and grabbing five rebounds. ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets that the Hawks will need to sign another replacement player to replace Iwundu — himself a replacement player.

Hawks big man Onyeka Okongwu, who made his season debut last week, has entered the protocols as well, Sarah K. Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. In three games this season (22.3 MPG), Okongwu is averaging 10.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 2.0 BPG. The Hawks now have nine players in the protocols.

Here are a few more COVID-related updates:

  • Backup point guard Dennis Smith Jr. and two-way rookie Trendon Watford have entered the protocols for the Trail Blazers and the rest of the team will now be re-tested, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (via Twitter). DSJ and Watford are the only players currently in the protocols for the Blazers.
  • The Celtics have four new players entering the protocols: C.J. Miles, Justin Jackson, Aaron Nesmith, and Bruno Fernando, tweets Jared Weiss of The Athletic. However, Al Horford, Juan Hernangomez, Jabari Parker, and Brodric Thomas, who’ve all been in the protocols, are listed as questionable for Saturday’s game against Milwaukee, so they could be exiting the protocols soon. Until those four are cleared, the Celtics will have 12 players in the COVID-19 protocols — the largest outbreak in the NBA.
  • In addition to Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bobby Portis has exited the protocols for the Bucks, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweets. Like Horford and the other Celtics, Donte DiVincenzo, who’s also been in the protocols, is listed as questionable to make his season debut Saturday.
  • Meanwhile, Bruce Brown and James Johnson have exited the protocols for the Nets, but seven others, including star Kevin Durant, remain in the protocols for their game Saturday against the Lakers, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter).
  • Warriors rookie Moses Moody has entered the protocols, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic (Twitter link). Golden State now has four players in the protocols.

Celtics’ Hernangomez, Lakers’ Nunn Enter Protocols

The list of players in the NBA’s health and safety protocols continues to grow. Celtics forward Juan Hernangomez and Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn are the two latest players to enter the protocols, according to their respective teams.

Hernangomez is the fourth Celtic currently in the health and safety protocols, while Nunn is the fifth Laker. By our count, there are now more than 50 NBA players in the protocols, though that number is changing constantly.

Hernangomez looked like a candidate to play an increased role with Jabari Parker, Grant Williams, and Al Horford unavailable in the frontcourt, so Boston’s rotation will be impacted by his absence.

Los Angeles won’t have to make any changes as a result of Nunn’s status — he has yet to play at all this season due to a knee injury.

If Hernangomez and Nunn have tested positive for COVID-19, they’ll remain in the protocols for 10 days or until they register two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

Celtics Notes: Brown, Udoka, Schröder, Hernangomez

The Celtics dealt with lots of turmoil last season: injuries, a short turnaround from the Orlando bubble, and COVID-19 outbreaks affecting several players, including star Jayson Tatum. The team is hoping to turn the page entering training camp, and Jaylen Brown appears optimistic, particularly about new head coach Ime Udoka.

“I’m completely bought in,” Brown said of Udoka. “I’m looking forward to this season and being an extension of him on the court.” (Twitter link via Keith Smith of Spotrac).

President of basketball operations Brad Stevens, the former head coach, says that Brown has been cleared by the team’s doctors after recovering from wrist surgery, and will be a full participant in practice, per Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Udoka participated in media day virtually through Zoom, instead of in person, because the first-year head coach is in the last day of quarantine after contracting a breakthrough case of COVID-19, per ESPN News Services. Udoka is fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, according to team spokesperson Christian Megliola. He’s expected to join the team tomorrow for the start of training camp.

There’s more from Boston:

  • Dennis Schröder mentioned yesterday that Tatum and Brown both called to recruit him to the Celtics, but they weren’t the only ones. He told reporters today that Stevens, Udoka, and former Hawks teammate Al Horford called him as well, adding, “I know Al Horford will have the locker room under control.” (Twitter link via Keith Smith of Spotrac).
  • Schröder also consulted with Thunder general manager Sam Presti prior to signing with Boston, and Presti endorsed the Celtics organization, per Smith (Twitter link).
  • Juan Hernangomez, who dislocated his left shoulder over the summer in an exhibition game prior to the Olympics, says the shoulder is 100 percent now, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Grizzlies Trade Hernangomez To Celtics For Dunn, Edwards, Pick Swap

SEPTEMBER 15: The trade is now complete, according to press releases from the Grizzlies and Celtics.

The Grizzlies, who completed another trade since agreeing to this one, officially waived Marc Gasol in order to create room on the roster to finalize this deal.


SEPTEMBER 3: The Grizzlies and Celtics have agreed to a trade that will send forward Juan Hernangomez to Boston, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). Sources tell Wojnarowski that the deal will send Kris Dunn, Carsen Edwards, and a 2026 second-round pick swap to Memphis.

The trade can’t be completed until September 15, when the aggregation restriction on Dunn lifts, according to Wojnarowski (Twitter link). Dunn was traded from Atlanta to Boston on August 7.

By trading two players for one, the Celtics will clear a minor roster crunch. The team had been carrying 16 players, including 15 on fully guaranteed deals. This move will give the team the flexibility to keep Jabari Parker on its regular-season roster or leave its 15th spot open to start the season. Dunn, acquired last month, wasn’t in the team’s plans, and Edwards hadn’t evolved into a reliable rotation player since being selected 33rd overall in the 2019 draft.

Hernangomez, meanwhile, will give Boston another frontcourt option. The 25-year-old stretch four had a mediocre year in 2020/21, averaging 7.2 PPG and 3.9 RPG on .435/.327/.619 shooting in 52 games (17.3 MPG). However, he has flashed some potential in the past, making 35.9% of his career three-pointers prior to last season.

As for the Grizzlies, they appeared to be moving closer to setting a 15-man regular season roster last week when they bought out Rajon Rondo, but this deal has them heading in the other direction once again. When it’s complete, Memphis will have a full 20-man roster, with 18 players on fully guaranteed standard contracts.

While it’s possible Dunn or Edwards is in the Grizzlies’ plans for 2021/22, that’s probably not a safe assumption, given the way Memphis has been moving on from recently-acquired players in recent weeks (Hernangomez, Rondo, and Patrick Beverley). As John Hollinger of The Athletic tweets, this trade saves Memphis a tiny bit of money and earns the team a 2026 second-round pick swap — those small gains may have been all the motivation the Grizzlies needed to pull the trigger.

The Grizzlies have traded away their own 2026 second-round pick, but control the rights to either Indiana’s or Miami’s pick (whichever is most favorable). The swap with Boston will likely allow them to trade that pick for the Celtics’ 2026 second-rounder if they so choose.

Hernangomez, Dunn, and Edwards are essentially all on expiring contracts. Hernangomez has a non-guaranteed salary for 2022/23, Edwards has a team option, and Dunn will be an unrestricted free agent.

No team has completed more trades this offseason than the Grizzlies — this will be their sixth deal since the regular season ended. It will be the Celtics’ fifth offseason trade.

Atlantic Notes: Dragic, Christian, Hernangomez, Jordan

The Raptors and Goran Dragic have not engaged in buyout talks, according to ESPN’s Jordan Schultz (Twitter link), who says a report stating the point guard is on track to sign with the Mavericks is inaccurate. Dragic, who was acquired in the sign-and-trade with Miami that sent Kyle Lowry to the Heat, still has trade value, which gives Toronto less incentive to explore a possible buyout.

We have more from the Atlantic Division:

  • The Celtics have hired Jarell Christian as the head coach of their G League affiliate in Maine, according to HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto. Clevis Murray was the first to report that Christian was expected to fill that position (Twitter link). Christian, 35, has been in the Wizards’ organization since 2019. He spent one season as head coach of the Capital City Go-Go, Washington’s NBA G League affiliate, before becoming an assistant coach last season.
  • The pending acquisition of Juan Hernangomez by the Celtics from the Grizzlies is a low-risk move, Jay King of The Athletic writes. Boston gave up two guards who probably wouldn’t have been in the rotation and the pick swap wasn’t a huge sweetener, King continues. Hernangomez could help them space the floor with his perimeter shooting and if he doesn’t pan out, his 2022/23 salary of $7.4MM can be cast off, since it’s not guaranteed.
  • By trading DeAndre Jordan rather than waiving him and using the stretch provision over five years, the Nets made a wise financial move, as Bobby Marks of ESPN’s explains (Twitter link). The agreed-upon trade with the Pistons allows Brooklyn to avoid have dead money on the cap, which is essential for a luxury tax team. They also shed his salary over the next two seasons and acquired players on smaller contracts, which will reduce their tax liability in the short run.