Multiple sources are reporting that the Memphis Grizzlies have traded forward/center Xavier Tillman to the Boston Celtics, marking a significant shift in their team dynamics.
ESPN‘s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported the deal, which sends Tillman to Boston in exchange for two second-round draft picks – a 2027 pick from the Atlanta Hawks and a 2030 pick from the Dallas Mavericks.
Tillman’s journey with the Grizzlies began when he was selected 35th overall in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings and was immediately traded to Memphis. Over his tenure with the Grizzlies, Tillman averaged 6.2 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, with career-highs of 7.0 points and 5.0 rebounds last season.
His performance was notable in the Grizzlies’ 2021 play-in tournament victory against the Golden State Warriors, which led to their first playoff appearance since 2017. In the 2023 playoffs, Tillman scored a high of 22 points with 13 rebounds against the Los Angeles Lakers, showcasing his potential as a key player.
Despite his contributions, the 25-year-old has faced challenges this season, averaging 6.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 1.7 assists on a career-worst 40 percent shooting from the field.
The trade comes as the Celtics look to bolster their bench strength, with Tillman potentially providing the depth needed for a championship run. His versatility in the frontcourt could be a strategic addition to the Celtics, who have been actively seeking to enhance their roster ahead of the NBA trade deadline.
From a financial perspective, the implications of this trade for the Grizzlies’ salary cap and future financial planning are yet to be fully realized, but acquiring future draft picks could offer strategic advantages in building the team’s roster.
As the NBA trade deadline approaches, both teams are positioning themselves for future success. While the Grizzlies lose a promising young player, the draft picks acquired could open up new opportunities. For the Celtics, Tillman’s addition is a calculated move to strengthen their squad for upcoming challenges.