Romeo Langford

Wolves Notes: Harrell, Trade Deadline, Gupta, Simmons, Roster Spot

The Timberwolves wanted to add size to their front line, but the closest they came to making a trade at the deadline was a proposed swap with the Wizards involving Montrezl Harrell, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Harrell could have helped a Minnesota team that has been near the bottom of the league in defensive rebounding all season, but Krawczynski states that there was internal debate about how he would have fit in. He’s only 6’7″ and isn’t a good outside shooter or an outstanding defender, so the Wolves passed on the deal and Harrell wound up in Charlotte.

Minnesota talked to the Celtics about acquiring Marcus Smart, but never made much traction, Krawczynski adds. Boston offered Josh Richardson and Romeo Langford in exchange for Malik Beasley, but the Wolves turned it down, feeling that Beasley’s outside shooting is too valuable to part with.

There’s more from Minnesota:

  • Executive vice president of basketball operations Sachin Gupta had plenty of incentive to make a huge trade by the deadline, but he didn’t feel like the right offer was available, Krawczynski writes in the same piece. Gupta, who took over his position when Gersson Rosas was fired before the start of training camp, could have felt pressure to shake up the roster before the new ownership group decides on his future with the organization. “I could imagine the perception that I would want to put my stamp on things and make a move just for the sake of it. But that’s just not how I operate,” Gupta said. “I’m going to operate from a position of what is best for this franchise, not for me.”
  • The Timberwolves had been mentioned frequently as Ben Simmons suitors since last summer, but the package the Nets got from the Sixers on Thursday is far better than anything Minnesota could have offered, contends Michael Rand of The Star Tribune. The Wolves didn’t have the star that Philadelphia president of basketball operations Daryl Morey was seeking, and they weren’t able to convince a third team to get involved. Rand also suggests that Minnesota may have benefited from keeping its young core together, rather than breaking it up for a shot at Simmons.
  • The Wolves have an open roster spot, but they won’t address it right away, at least not on a permanent basis, tweets Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. Gupta said the team doesn’t expect to fill that spot with more than a 10-day contract until at least March due to luxury tax concerns.

Celtics Trade Richardson, Langford, First-Round Pick To Spurs For Derrick White

10:11pm: The trade is now official, according to a press release from the Celtics. White heads to Boston, while the Spurs acquire Richardson, Langford, the Celtics’ 2022 first-round pick (top-four protected), and the conditional right to swap first-round picks with Boston in 2028.


12:40pm: The Celtics are trading Josh Richardson to the Spurs in a deal for Derrick White, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

Sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter) that the Celtics are including a first-round pick in the trade. That pick will be Boston’s top-four protected 2022 first-rounder, a source tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe (Twitter link).

Himmelsbach tweets that Romeo Langford will also be headed to San Antonio. In addition, the Spurs will have the ability swap 2028 first-round picks with Boston, sources tell ESPN’s Zach Lowe (Twitter link).

White, now in his fifth season, is averaging 14.4 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 5.6 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 0.9 BPG through 49 games (30.3 MPG). The 27-year-old is also one of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders. White’s big weakness is an inconsistent outside shot, shooting just 31.4% from three-point range.

However, he’s a good finisher inside the arc, making 51.9% of his two-pointers and 86.9% of his free throws, both very respectable for a guard. He’s also a heady passer and driver on top of being a premier defender. White’s addition further bolster’s Boston’s third-ranked defense, and the team will become an absolute menace on that end of the court.

White makes $15.2MM this season and is under contract through 2024/25, making him a potentially long-term addition as president Brad Stevens builds the roster around stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Boston currently sits at 30-25 after winning six straight, No. 7 in the East.

As Keith Smith of Spotrac tweets, the Celtics plan to absorb White’s contract into their Evan Fournier traded player exception, which is worth $17.1MM. Doing so will create a new TPE worth $11.2MM for Richardson. Smith notes that could change, pending other moves, but that’s the plan for now. John Hollinger of The Athletic first reported that creating a new TPE for Richardson was a possibility (via Twitter).

San Antonio obtains a stunning array of assets for White. I value him highly and think the Celtics have improved significantly in the short-term, but they gave up an awful lot to get him. The first-round pick this season is almost certain to convey, and depending on how the rest of this season plays out, there’s even a chance it could be a late lottery pick, although Boston has played outstanding basketball since the start of January. The 2028 pick swap could also be very valuable, but that’s far down the line and foolish to speculate about at this juncture.

Richardson, 28, was in his first season with Boston after being acquired via trade in the offseason. The 40th overall pick of the 2015 draft by Miami, Richardson had been a valuable two-way contributor for the Heat before being traded multiple times the past few years, spending the 2019/20 season with the Sixers and last season with the Mavs. He’d been a bit disappointing for both of those clubs, but is performing well this season, averaging 9.7 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 1.5 APG on .443/.397/.859 shooting in a reserve role (44 games, 24.7 MPG).

San Antonio also gets a buy-low candidate in Langford, the 14th overall pick of the 2019 draft. Still just 22, Langford was a highly touted prospect who struggled to break Boston’s rotation. Now in his third season, he’s averaging 4.7 PPG and 2.4 RPG through 44 games (16.5 MPG). As a third-year former first-round pick, Langford is eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer, although it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Spurs take a wait-and-see approach, as they’d still hold his rights as a restricted free agent in the summer of 2023.

Lakers, Wolves, Jazz Eyeing Josh Richardson

The Lakers are the latest team to be linked to Celtics wing Josh Richardson, according to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.

There are conflicting reports on what the Lakers are willing to offer for Richardson. Keith Smith of CelticsBlog.com hears from a source that talks between Los Angeles and Boston went nowhere because the Celtics don’t have much interest in Talen Horton-Tucker and the Lakers weren’t eager to add a draft pick to their trade offer.

However, Brian Robb of MassLive.com reports that L.A. offered Horton-Tucker and a draft pick for Richardson. The details on that pick are unclear, but the Lakers’ first-rounders are tied up for the next few years, so a 2027 pick is the earliest one they could unconditionally offer. A first-rounder may be necessary to entice Boston — Horton-Tucker’s trade value has “significantly cooled” since last season, per Bill Oram and Jovan Buha of The Athletic.

The Timberwolves are another potential suitor for Richardson. Jared Weiss of The Athletic, who previously reported that Minnesota hadn’t shown much interest in a possible deal that would’ve sent Richardson and either Romeo Langford or Aaron Nesmith to the Wolves in exchange for Malik Beasley, says those discussions are once again gaining some momentum.

According to Weiss, the Wolves are “warming up” to the idea of a deal involving Beasley and Richardson, since it seems increasingly unlikely they’ll be able to land an impact player such as Ben Simmons.

However, it’s unclear whether the Wolves and Celtics agree on Beasley’s value. Smith has heard that the C’s want more than just Beasley from Minnesota in a swap for Richardson, due to his past legal issues and the fact that he’s earning a higher salary ($14.5MM) than Richardson ($11.6MM). Adding Langford ($3.8MM) or Nesmith ($3.6MM) would close that salary gap.

Meanwhile, Michael Scotto of HoopsHype says rival executives believe Minnesota wants a first-round pick for Beasley. That seems like an unrealistic asking price, given Beasley’s underwhelming performance this season, but it suggests the Wolves still value him — it’s unclear if they’d be willing to move him for a package like Richardson and Nesmith.

Finally, the Jazz also remain in the hunt for Richardson, according to Robb. A report last week indicated that the veteran swingman is on Utah’s radar.

Any offer from the Jazz would likely have to be centered around Joe Ingles‘ expiring contract and a future first-round pick, says Robb. Given the Celtics’ recent hot streak, that sort of framework may not appeal to the team, since Ingles is out with a torn ACL and wouldn’t be able to contribute this season.

Celtics Rumors: Schröder, Richardson, Smart, Williams

There appears to be “a wave of momentum” toward the Celtics completing a Dennis Schröder trade in advance of the February 10 trade deadline, writes Jared Weiss of The Athletic.

In the latest HoopsHype Podcast, Michael Scotto singled out the Bulls as a team to watch for Schröder, noting that Chicago could use some backcourt help with Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso sidelined.

Both Scotto and Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report mentioned a possible package of Troy Brown Jr. and a second-round pick in exchange for Schröder, with Fischer suggesting that framework has been circulating around the league.

Here’s more on the Celtics:

  • The Celtics explored a possible deal that would’ve sent Josh Richardson and either Romeo Langford or Aaron Nesmith to the Timberwolves in exchange for Malik Beasley, according to Jared Weiss and Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota, right up against the tax and hoping to maintain roster flexibility for bigger deadline moves, wasn’t interested at the time, The Athletic’s duo says.
  • Marcus Smart‘s name has come up recently as a possible target for the Timberwolves, especially if they move Patrick Beverley in another deal, writes Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report. Weiss suggests the Celtics could probably move Smart for an expiring contract and a first-round pick right now if they wanted to, but adds that “there’s a lot more that goes into moving him beyond finding matching value.”
  • Celtics big man Robert Williams is believed to be on the Raptors‘ list of potential targets as they explore the market for a center, per Fischer. According to Weiss, Boston appears to be rebuffing interest in Williams for now, but anyone on the roster outside of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown could theoretically be had.
  • As we relayed earlier this morning, Richardson is considered a possible trade target for Utah.

Celtics Heavily Involved In Trade Discussions

The Celtics have been extremely active in trade talks with the aim of improving the pieces around stars Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, longtime beat writer Steve Bulpett reports in a Heavy.com story.

President of basketball operations Brad Stevens is looking to at least improve the team’s salary cap sheet and free up more playing time for young players such as Payton Pritchard, Aaron Nesmith and Romeo Langford.

The Celtics already made one move this month to improve their salary cap situation and reduce their chances of paying the luxury tax, dealing Juancho Hernangomez and his $7MM salary to San Antonio in a three-team trade.

Boston has been exploring the trade value of Al Horford, who is making $27MM this season and has a partial guarantee of $14.5MM on his $26.5MM contract next season.

Though Bulpett didn’t specify which other players the Celtics are looking to deal, it stands to reason that Dennis Schröder (a free agent again this summer), Josh Richardson and Marcus Smart would have the types of contracts they’d like to move. Richardson’s contract runs through next season and Smart signed a four-year extension last summer.

Another interesting nugget in Bulpett’s report is that Celtics had targeted big man Alperen Sengun if they had kept their first round pick last year. They wound up dealing it to Oklahoma City, which eventually ended up drafting Sengun and trading him to the Rockets. Boston shed Kemba Walker‘s contract in the trade with the Thunder. Sengun is averaging 8.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG and 2.6 APG with Houston in 39 appearances.

Celtics Explore Trading Al Horford

The Celtics are exploring the idea of moving Al Horford, according to Jared Weiss of The Athletic, who says the team is in the market for another center at this year’s trade deadline.

Horford’s trade value will likely be limited. The 35-year-old has been Boston’s starting center this season and is averaging 10.8 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 3.6 APG in 36 games (29.0 MPG), but his .442 FG% is a career low and his 3PT% (.285) has dropped significantly. He’s also earning $27MM, a cap figure that won’t be palatable for some clubs.

As Weiss observes, Horford’s $26.5MM salary for 2022/23 is only partially guaranteed (for $14.5MM), which could appeal to teams looking to move a longer-term contract. Still, it’s hard to imagine Boston getting positive value for the veteran big man.

According to Weiss, the Celtics have been “surprisingly open” to discussing both Horford and Josh Richardson, both of whom were acquired during the 2021 offseason. Dennis Schröder, another offseason addition, has also been repeatedly mentioned as a trade candidate, and Weiss confirms that league sources consider the point guard to be available.

The Celtics are believed to be seeking another impact play-maker to complement Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, says Weiss. However, it may be a challenge to put together a package for such a player without relying heavily on draft assets. Due to their uneven development, former lottery picks like Romeo Langford and Aaron Nesmith don’t have as much trade value as they would have earlier in their careers.

At 23-22, the Celtics are currently the No. 10 seed in the East, hanging onto a play-in spot. Although they’ll likely approach the trade deadline as buyers, it remains to be seen whether the C’s are capable of making any noise in the playoffs. Weiss says multiple people in the locker room have suggested there’s a “lack of desperation” present, with attempts at vocal leadership from players like Brown, Marcus Smart, and Grant Williams sometimes being tuned out.

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.

Eastern Notes: Randle, Middleton, Celtics, Bogdanovic, Bamba

With the Knicks going through rough times, leadership is essential. However, Julius Randle‘s personality doesn’t lend itself to that role, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes. Randle, who was signed to a $106MM+ extension, doesn’t fit the mold of a vocal leader and can occasionally be a loner in the locker room, according to Berman.

We have more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Khris Middleton suffered a hyperextended left knee on Monday but Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer is optimistic the injury isn’t significant, Tim Bontemps of ESPN tweets“We’ll know more (Tuesday), but I think there’s some hope that it’s not serious,” he said. “But you’ve got to weigh it and give it time.”
  • Celtics president Brad Stevens needs to shake up the roster, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer opines. Rather than dealing one of his stars, Stevens needs to improve the supporting cast by moving veterans such as Marcus Smart, Josh Richardson and Al Horford or young players such as Robert Williams and Romeo Langford, according to O’Connor, who adds that shooting and play-making should be the top priorities in any potential deal.
  • Hawks swingman Bogdan Bogdanovic, sidelined since late November by a right ankle sprain, has progressed to individual on-court workouts, Sarah Spencer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets. Bogdanovic underwent an MRI shortly after spraining the ankle and the team at that time said he’d miss at least two weeks of action.
  • Magic center Mohamed Bamba suffered a right ankle sprain on Sunday, Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel reports. It’s unclear how much time Bamba might miss due to the injury, which occurred during the third quarter of the team’s game against the Lakers.

Celtics Pick Up Options On Grant Williams, Romeo Langford

The Celtics have picked up a pair of team options for 2022/23, according to a series of reports from Shams Charania of The Athletic, Jordan Schultz of the Pull Up Podcast, and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (all Twitter links).

Boston exercised its fourth-year option on forward Grant Williams, per Charania and Schultz, as well as its fourth-year option on guard Romeo Langford, per Wojnarowski. Williams is now guaranteed his $4,306,281 salary for the 2022/23 season, while Langford will earn $5,634,257.

Williams, the 22nd overall pick in 2019, has taken on a bigger role for Boston in the early part of this season. He has started two of six games for the team so far and is averaging 9.8 PPG in 22.8 MPG, both career highs. His shooting line so far is a scorching .576/.500/.917.

Langford’s time in Boston since he was selected 14th overall in the 2019 draft has been marred by injuries. The 22-year-old has appeared in just 53 career games, including three of six so far this season, but the Celtics remain high on his potential. He has played a rotation role when healthy this season, averaging 6.0 PPG and 3.0 RPG in 18.7 MPG.

The Celtics also have to officially make decisions on 2022/23 options for Aaron Nesmith and Payton Pritchard by the end of the day. Both are good bets to have their options picked up.

Celtics Notes: Parker, Horford, Langford, Nesmith

Jabari Parker didn’t really explore other options after the Celtics waived him last week, writes Brian Robb of MassLive. Parker was cut loose so the team could avoid paying a $100K guarantee that would have taken effect with the season opener. He re-signed with Boston after clearing waivers and said it’s where he wants to play.

“I just knew (Boston) was the right place to be. I knew that,” Parker said. “This is a winning team and iron sharpens iron, so if anything, I’m going to get better here playing against the guys every day, being around true competitors, and obviously get a chance for me to learn. So this is just a great situation just because I’m just grateful for it and I’m counting my blessings.”

Parker didn’t play in the team’s first three games, but he got a chance Monday night with Al Horford sidelined by injury. He scored 13 points in 17 minutes and made a case for a larger role providing instant offense off the bench. No matter what happens, Parker is happy to get a second chance in Boston after three years of bouncing around the league.

“It’s the journey that I chose, so definitely appreciative of the Celtics organization, just my teammates always being supportive,” he said. “Regardless of anything, I’m around good people, I’m around a great team, and I’m just grateful for the moment.”

There’s more from Boston:

  • Horford has been providing more than just veteran leadership since rejoining the Celtics, notes Justin Leger of NBC Sports Boston. The 35-year-old big man is averaging 14.0 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in his first two games. “I love everything about Al,” Jayson Tatum said. “How he plays the game, how he goes about his duties on a day-to-day basis. He’s a true professional. I’m sure everyone’s going to say the same thing about him. He’s just a great teammate and a great person to be around.”
  • An MRI on Romeo Langford‘s left calf didn’t show any damage, tweets Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Coach Ime Udoka said there’s hope that Langford won’t have to miss much time.
  • Aaron Nesmith is off to a rough start in his second NBA season, going scoreless in his first three games and missing all 10 of his shots, but Udoka told reporters that he hasn’t lost confidence in what Nesmith can do, tweets Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston. “We told him to take his time, slow down, and play like he did in the summer,” Udoka said. “… With Romeo being out, there’s opportunity for him there. So just got to slow down and take the shots that he always has.”