Will the Trade Deadline Turn the Season Around?


Brady Scobert, Journalist


This year the NBA trade deadline was March 25th, every year teams scurry to make their moves before the 3:00 PM deadline hits. The Celtics traded Jeff Teague and 2 second round draft picks for Orlando Magic guard Evan Fournier. He was averaging 19.7 points per game over his 26 games played in Orlando this season. The Celtics also moved Daniel Theis and Javonte Green for Moritz Wagner and Luke Kornet from Chicago. 

Moritz Wagner only played in 9 games for the Celtics before being cut. With the open roster spot from cutting Wagner they signed Jabari Parker. Parker averages almost 15 points per game over his career, but has been riddled with injuries preventing him from reaching his full potential. He has only played in 10 games this season and is averaging 4 points per game. 

The Celtics have gone 14-8 since the trade deadline. At times they have looked unstoppable but they have been very inconsistent. They’ve won against incredible teams like the Bucks and the Lakers, but then drop easy games against the Thunder and the Hornets.

But have the new moves actually fixed the issues that the team has faced throughout the season? Evan Fournier was brought onto the team to remedy the problems they’ve had with scoring. He has already made an impact by having 2 20+ point games at the time of writing this. It’s good to have a veteran player like him taking minutes away from struggling young players like Semi Ojeleye and Grant Williams. 

Luke Kornet wasn’t expected to have much impact on winning but he has been surprisingly solid. He has even made some impact plays late in games. Before we acquired them, if you asked someone if we were more likely to keep Moritz Wagner or Luke Kornet they would probably have said Wagner so it’s impressive that Kornet ended up fighting for the roster spot.

Although Jabari Parker is a shell of his former self, he is quietly averaging 4.7 points on good efficiency. He’s good for when you need quick scoring but you can’t expect much from him on the defensive side. I think Parker could be a serviceable defender but it has never been a priority for him. He once said, “they don’t pay players to play defense” showing where his feelings lie on the subject. 

Losing Daniel Theis is unfortunate but not a terrible move. The Celtics still have Tristian Thompson and Robert Williams to play the 5 and having Theis and Thompson on the floor at the same time just wasn’t working. It could be addition by subtraction because it gives the Celtics more room to play only one big man at a time and give more minutes to Robert Williams to help him develop. 

Overall I think this year’s moves make the team better. Evan Fournier is a solid starting caliber player and Luke Kornet has potential. But I don’t think it’s enough to make them legitimate contenders against Brooklyn, Milwaukee, or Philadelphia and they’re going to need to beat at least one of them to make it to the finals. I asked a Celtics fan who they’d rather face of those three and he said, “I’d say the Sixers(Philadelphia) Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid haven’t shown up in the playoffs.” There might be some truth to that, Ben Simmons was once held to 1 point in a playoff game against the Celtics and he has had multiple single digit scoring games.