The Boston Celtics may be the league’s busiest team this offseason, making myriad personnel decisions—from the front office to the roster—that will determine whether the storied franchise has yet another underwhelming season.
First it was supplanting former president of basketball operations Danny Ainge with Brad Stevens after the former stepped down in June. Stevens would then hire 43-year-old former NBA forward Ime Udoka to succeed him as head coach.
Soon thereafter, the decision was made to trade All-Star point guard Kemba Walker and the 16th overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for big men Al Horford and Moses Brown.
After an uneventful draft night that saw them make only one selection (45th overall pick Juhann Begarin), Boston’s efforts to right the ship continued on Friday as they shipped out veteran center Tristan Thompson in a three-team trade that resulted in their acquisitions of point guard Kris Dunn and forward-center Bruno Fernando (in addition to a 2023 second-round pick and $9.2 million trade exception).
Following the move, the Celtics acquired shooting guard Josh Richardson from the Dallas Mavericks, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps.
Richardson, 28-years-old, was once regarded as one of the league’s better 3-and-D wings but has been off of his game during his stints with the Mavs and Philadelphia 76ers.
That said, Richardson still is a consistent tertiary scorer who put up 12.1 points per game last season while playing high-level defense thanks to his combination of athleticism, versatility, gritty play and instincts.
His addition to the Celtics underscores the team’s desire to improve defensively over the offseason after falling out of the top-10 in both defensive rating and opponent’s points per game for the first time since 2016-17, a primary reason why Boston recorded the second-fewest wins (36) of Stevens’ coaching tenure in the 2020-21 season.
[Editor update: The Celtics have traded center Moses Brown to the Mavericks to complete the deal for Richardson, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium.]