What experts are saying about the Celtics’ flurry of reported moves

One reporter called Jeff Teague "a very good insurance policy."

Jeff Teague is reportedly joining the Celtics. Mary Schwalm/AP Photo

After losing Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter, and Brad Wanamaker, the Celtics made a series of reported moves to address some key needs.

They reportedly reached agreements with center Tristan Thompson and point guard Jeff Teague and guaranteed the salaries of Daniel Theis and Semi Ojeleye on Saturday, bolstering their frontcourt and adding some depth at guard.

As of Sunday afternoon, it appears the Celtics’ most-likely starting lineup would be Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum, and either Daniel Theis or Thompson, with Teague, Grant Williams, Theis or Thompson, Robert Williams, and potentially rookie Aaron Nesmith coming off the bench.


While president of basketball operations Danny Ainge took some criticism for letting Hayward opt out and join the Hornets for potentially nothing, it now remains to be seen whether or not the Celtics will get something in return via a sign-and-trade.

Ainge quickly responded by reportedly ironing out deals with Thompson and Teague, both of whom are capable and experienced NBA role players.

Here’s what experts are saying about a busy few hours for the Celtics.

Brian Scalabrine was shocked Gordon Hayward got $120 million.

When Hayward reportedly agreed to a four-year, $120 million deal with Charlotte, Celtics analyst Brian Scalabrine was “dumbfounded.”

“I don’t know what to think of the world right now,” Scalabrine said. “I thought we were in an economic crisis (slash) pandemic. How the hell? What is going on in our world?”

Scalabrine said he was hoping Hayward would opt in, and he even advised him to do so. He told Hayward he might end up with $12 million. Scalabrine said one of two people is “really dumb” – either Scalabrine himself or Hornets general manager Mitch Kupchak.

“To lose him for that amount, I don’t even know how to describe it,” Scalabrine said.

They agree the addition of Tristan Thompson fills a void.

When the Celtics reportedly agreed to a two-year, $19 million deal with Thompson, NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg said it “eases the sting” of losing Hayward – at least a bit.


“I think we know that Tristan Thompson is a walking double-double,” Forsberg said. “The sort of true big that the Celtics have lacked.”

Forsberg clarified that Thompson isn’t the type of juggernaut who can match up with Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid and shut him down (if that player exists), but he said Thompson will consistently help around the basket as a rebounder and defender.

He also pointed out that having Thompson, Theis, and Robert Williams will allow Grant Williams to play more at the 4 instead of as an undersized yet sturdy 5.

“The Celtics found a quality big man to fill that void,” Forsberg said. “You feel a lot more comfortable now with the depth chart.”

Yahoo! Sports reporter Keith Smith said Thompson will help their frontcourt “in a major way.”

Boston Sports Journal‘s Brian Robb added that minutes were available after Hayward left, and perhaps that fact helped lure Thompson to Boston. He said the Celtics needed a veteran big and that Thompson rounds out the rotation nicely.

He pointed out that the Celtics had success with a double-big lineup last year, so they may do that again depending on the matchup.

A reporter called Teague “a very good insurance policy.”

The Celtics prioritized addressing their need for shooting off the bench by drafting Nesmith and Payton Pritchard. Thompson fills a hole as a backup big.


Next up, with Wanamaker gone – and Pritchard and Tremont Waters in the mix but unproven at this point – was a backup point guard. Experts agree the Teague moves makes sense for both parties.

The Boston Globe‘s Adam Himmelsbach said Teague gives Boston’s backcourt some depth.

“Teague is a very good insurance policy if the Celtics proceed cautiously with Kemba Walker, who is dealing with left knee issues,” Himmelsbach wrote.

Stadium’s Jeff Goodman said that while agreeing to a deal with Teague was key, it isn’t ultimately the deciding factor for the Celtics.

“Bottom line is the Celtics need Kemba to be the All-Star, 100 percent healthy Kemba to have a chance to win the East,” Goodman said.

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