Needing to bolster frontcourt depth, the Celtics went out and made a move to further position themselves as favorites to win the 2024 NBA Championship.
Veteran big man Xavier Tillman Sr. was acquired by the Boston Celtics on Wednesday afternoon. In exchange for the former Michigan State product, Boston sent two future second-round draft picks to the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis also landed Lamar Stevens in the deal.
While Tillman Sr. is putting up modest numbers for the reeling Grizzlies, the 25-year-old is a very strong role player — particularly on the defensive end. He’s a stout stationary defender and has quick hands (evidenced by averaging over a steal a game).
Stylistically, Tillman Sr. is also a bit of a bruiser. Boston didn’t really have anyone in that category who could match up with more physical power forwards/centers. With Tillman Sr. in tow, Boston now has a big-man rotation (Tillman Sr., Al Horford, Kristaps Porzingis, Luke Kornet) with real versatility.
It might not look like a major impact deal from the outside — though Tillman Sr. is exactly the type of piece contenders seek for stretch runs. In 18.4 minutes a game, Tillman Sr. is averaging 6.0 PPG and 4.6 RPG on 40.8 percent from the field and 22.6 percent from three.